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Blame the Griffins – really?

By Paul Costigan 3 August 2016 39

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When about 250 citizens venture out on a cold night to hear about plans for the foreshores of West Basin one would expect that they would be taken seriously.

At least one would hope so. You would expect anyone presenting to this Canberra gathering of like minds – with a huge range of expertise and experiences – that the presentations would be fact-based, not be patronising, and be honed down to ensure that there were main points to be made and would avoid spin and generalisations.

At the meeting called by the Lake Burley Griffin Guardians at the Hughes hall on Wednesday 27th July – exactly the opposite happened. It was sadly laughable! And the audience reacted accordingly – polite chuckles were frequent.

In this short piece it would be impossible to provide all the details of the government presenters’ frequent use of spin, the multiple instances of misleading information and the many occasions of cherry-picking.

It was a strange event to witness. The bureaucrats all presented as if they were talking to one of their specially selected tame consultation groups – that later get counted as participants and included in their reports on the processes of consultations.

Here’s just a few examples of the sad amusements for the night:

The NCA Chief tried vainly to convince the audience that they needed to get things into perspective – after all we were talking about a small part of the total foreshore – being 2km of 40km. A hushed chuckle and grumble went through the hall. Later someone pointed out that we gave away Kingston foreshore for those shocking toasters, and now the NCA was saying that we should give away another important foreshore for more of the same. And next?

There was a footnote to the Kingston toaster debacle. One respondent later pointed out that the original urban design brief for the Kingston foreshore was an innovative urban village complete with ample green open spaces and many sustainable features.

But the original planning and design work was trashed to please the developers. So even if we accept what is being proposed by the LDA for the West Basin – we have to consider it may not be delivered as described and could be trashed for more of the same as we see in Kingston.

The main government presenter – who ran over time and looked like he did not want to stop – based most of his arguments around the now well-used myth that all this fitted within his version of the Griffin Plan. Every time he said this there were murmurings – especially from the several Griffin specialists in the room. Several people from the audience later debunked this.

‘Blame Griffin’ was his mantra for the night. Really!

These government bureaucrats, who are the descendants of those bureaucrats who drove the Griffins out of this town, are now using a very twisted version of Walter Burley Griffin’s concepts to justify something that the Griffins would totally reject.

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This project as with many others around town is a case of selling our land to suit other interests. In the process of dealing with the public backlash they use very practiced and clichéd spin to justify their decisions.

The representation on the night was typical of the LDA bureaucrats who have come to operate in a world separate to the rest of us and totally believe their own spin.

The government presenter even tried to use the fact that his Griffin Legacy document had won a prestigious national award. There was yet another chuckle and a few comments about the value of such ‘awards’. There is wide skepticism about the value of such awards except as marketing tools for the industry that runs them. At this point, gauging by his face, the government presenter realised he was running out of tricks.

Later the LDA used terms such as undeveloped land, isolated, degraded infrastructure, unrealised potential, need to have more density, and of course – more housing ‘choices’ – to convince people that parklands, such as those on the foreshore, should be built on. The presenter seemed a little surprise at the chuckle that came from just about everyone in the room when he resorted to these clichés.

Links were made by speakers to the ‘success’ of Docklands in Melbourne. More chuckles followed from people who know the realities about this site. It is an example of a market(developer)-driven solution for a former industrial dock site that suffers because it was not based on real planning. I have stayed in the towers there a couple of times. It is not a location I would recommend for ambience – as the first thing you do is hop on tram to go back into the city or anywhere – but you do not stay in the Docklands.

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The government presenters had to bear the brunt of one speaker, a learned journalist, who used such term as ‘spivs’ and ‘cronies’ when describing the profit-hungry people behind schemes such as the City to Lake project. He said aloud what I suspect most people in the room were thinking.

There were many more instances that caused murmurs, groans and outright laughter and heckling from the otherwise very patient and well-behaved audience.

Praise must go to the government presenters who fronted up. But given that their whole argument for this development is a very silly exercise in deception – smoke and mirrors – one wonders just what they were thinking.

For The Lake Burley Griffin Guardians the evening was definitely confirmation that there is support for scrapping this project and for the government to initiate some real planning for the future development of these green spaces to the west of Commonwealth Bridge. 

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A final note on the meeting: The meeting was very well chaired by Genevieve Jacobs. Thanks to her chairing, most people (but not quite all) kept to their allotted time.

A comment on political interests in urban matters: I have seen Shane Rattenbury at several community meetings – as an observer. He was there on the night as a presenter (keeping to his allotted time) and it was clear that he was listening.

More of our elected politicians should attend such meetings – just to hear for themselves rather than relying on others to filter the information. I used to see Kate Lundy do this. Gai Brodtmann was there to observe. I have not seen Andrew Leigh attend such meetings – you would have thought he would be interested given the importance of the lake to the national capital.

The meeting chair read out a statement by the ACT Opposition Leader – which went down well till the end when he could not resist somehow linking the West Basin proposal to the coming of the tram – which caused some laughter. He just could not resist! Shame.

Thanks to the Guardians, the real and open community debate about the use of these foreshore parklands has only just commenced.

What’s Your opinion?


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Blame the Griffins – really?
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Tref 1:54 am 22 Aug 16

Postalgeek said :

I’m not against development of some areas of the lake. I think the west basin, if done correctly, could be a great development.

Kingston foreshore has some positives, but its biggest fault is that developers came before lake users. People who want to circumnavigate the east basin are channeled into narrow walkways servicing commercial establishments. Cyclists were originally channeled into these same walkways, with posts in the way and pinch points. Even now the cycle route is directed away from the lake, is disjointed, and runs a gauntlet of cars instead of being separated. Given the recent nature of the development and its location I find this regressive approach to recreational users inexplicable and I think Canberrans need to be very vigilant to ensure we don’t have a repeat of the Kingston Foreshore in the West Basin.

The primary focus of any lakeside development should be the facilitation of the lake circuit for all users, with wide direct paths, not some blatant effort to channel people into a commercial zone. I’m not saying don’t have commercial zones to cater for those who want them, but don’t have some dinky 2-meter wide path. If developers are going to encourage milling foot traffic to serve the commercial ventures the path should be at least the width of the Menzies walk and should take precedence over commercial development. Thought should also be given to segregating pedestrians and cyclists for the comfort of both.

Best comment yet.

JC 8:56 am 10 Aug 16

JC said :

dungfungus said :

Fourthly re Fitzharris being married to someone who was part of the bid, so what? The bid was presented to both government and opposition and Fitzharris is not the planning minister. It makes for good headlines and political talking points, but show one skerric of Fitzharris having been involved in pushing the bid through government in an inappropriate way?

Fifthly how about some congratulations to the government for rejecting the unsolicited proposal and putting it to the community and a potential open tender. Oh that’s right they only changed their mind because of political pressure, of course they are too useless to have made up their minds and made the right decision.

Re your “Fourthly” : Of course you will not find any such “skerric” of evidence. Then again, without proper and independent investigation, any such evidence will probably not be uncovered. It was a dumb situation for Fitzharris to put herself and the ACT Gov’t into in the 1st place. Where probity in the public sector is concerned, perception is reality. Your rusted on Labor denial of the black and white of this situation is mind boggling. If we are that apathetic as voters about this obvious conflict of interest, then I encourage every MLAs partner, family member or friend to become a lobbyist or a consultant or a supplier to the ACT Labor/Greens Gov’t and to lob in these unsolicited development proposals or push to get business/contracts. In my view, probity and accountability has been thrown out the window by Fitzharris’s actions anyway. The ACT Auditor General should look at this and report publicly.

Re your “Fifthly” : Why did it need an unsolicited proposal to initiate a potential tender process ???

To go to the community ?? Makes u wonder who or what drives this ACT Labor/Greens development. It should have been quick and easy and quick to reject the unsolicited proposal – just put RTS on the envelope.

How hard is it to say “Thanks – but no thanks”. At least, yet.

Will comment only on your last para so you are saying the government should not look at any unsolicited proposal for anything. Just return in mail hey? Seriously the world doesn’t nor should it work like that. How it should work is how it did, the proposal was considered and after consideration subsequently, in this case rejected.

And did you miss the bit where the opposition said they too supported examining the proposal too? In other words they would have done the same thing, from a process perspective. But guess rusted on Libs just want to play politics to gain power.

rommeldog56 8:23 am 10 Aug 16

dungfungus said :

Fourthly re Fitzharris being married to someone who was part of the bid, so what? The bid was presented to both government and opposition and Fitzharris is not the planning minister. It makes for good headlines and political talking points, but show one skerric of Fitzharris having been involved in pushing the bid through government in an inappropriate way?

Fifthly how about some congratulations to the government for rejecting the unsolicited proposal and putting it to the community and a potential open tender. Oh that’s right they only changed their mind because of political pressure, of course they are too useless to have made up their minds and made the right decision.

Re your “Fourthly” : Of course you will not find any such “skerric” of evidence. Then again, without proper and independent investigation, any such evidence will probably not be uncovered. It was a dumb situation for Fitzharris to put herself and the ACT Gov’t into in the 1st place. Where probity in the public sector is concerned, perception is reality. Your rusted on Labor denial of the black and white of this situation is mind boggling. If we are that apathetic as voters about this obvious conflict of interest, then I encourage every MLAs partner, family member or friend to become a lobbyist or a consultant or a supplier to the ACT Labor/Greens Gov’t and to lob in these unsolicited development proposals or push to get business/contracts. In my view, probity and accountability has been thrown out the window by Fitzharris’s actions anyway. The ACT Auditor General should look at this and report publicly.

Re your “Fifthly” : Why did it need an unsolicited proposal to initiate a potential tender process ??? To go to the community ?? Makes u wonder who or what drives this ACT Labor/Greens development. It should have been quick and easy and quick to reject the unsolicited proposal – just put RTS on the envelope. How hard is it to say “Thanks – but no thanks”. At least, yet.

JC 8:04 pm 08 Aug 16

rommeldog56 said :

JesintaBale said :

Yeah guess the same when the planning authorities approve something minority/self intrest groups disagree with. Never mind they may well have listened but disagree and thinking of what is better for the wider community.

The “wider community” u talk about will only use the Manuka facility oval very occasionally.

Same for the Kingston shops. But, the “minority/self interest groups” that you talk about, such as local residents, live there so will be directly fully impacted by the proposal.

Regardless of your attempts to put down the concerns of residents and spin it as a plus for the ACT Labor/Greens Govt, affected local residents have a right to be heard. The ACT Govt, in this election year, has acknowledged that and now is establishing some sort of planning arrangement lead or involving local residents. They will also be going to tender rather than considering an unsolicited proposal.

As to exactly what the local residents groups are concerned about – I hope someone representing those folk will articulate that on here as they certainly were and still are, quite vocal about those.

Firstly I wasn’t talking about Manuka, was talking in general.

Secondly I didn’t support the GWS proposal for Manuka because I felt that it was about their self interest and not the wider community, which is the whole of the ACT.

Thirdly re consultation and Manuka, this was not a government proposal it was an unsolicited proposal by a private developer. It was being considered by the government, and in principle support to look at it given by the opposition might I add. It did not really get to the public consultation stage. So not sure what you and others are on about really. Or do you want it where no proposals should be discussed or as the poster said the government are meant to be mind readers?

Fourthly re Fitzharris being married to someone who was part of the bid, so what? The bid was presented to both government and opposition and Fitzharris is not the planning minister. It makes for good headlines and political talking points, but show one skerric of Fitzharris having been involved in pushing the bid through government in an inappropriate way?

Fifthly how about some congratulations to the government for rejecting the unsolicited proposal and putting it to the community and a potential open tender. Oh that’s right they only changed their mind because of political pressure, of course they are too useless to have made up their minds and made the right decision.

chewy14 12:55 pm 08 Aug 16

Mordd / Chris Richards said :

Don’t you get it? The government should reject these proposals before they even know about them and consult residents with information they don’t have. It’s simple.

So, u reckon the ACT Labor/Green Govt knew nothing about this unsolicited proposal to redevelop Manuka Oval ???

Haha……you gotta laugh.

Of course they would have.

Of course this unsolicited it came out of the blue to the ACT Labor/Greens – out of left field !!

I mean, the then TAMS Minister, Megan Fitzharris’s partner was involved in it for goodness sake……..

Where did I say that I believe they knew or didn’t know about any proposal?

I was simply commenting on the attitudes of certain people here who believe that the government should reject proposals before they’ve been considered or full information is available as well as the idea that “consultation” for these people means the government doing whatever that individual thinks is correct rather than following the existing planning laws, regulations and processes.

rommeldog56 8:36 am 08 Aug 16

JesintaBale said :

Yeah guess the same when the planning authorities approve something minority/self intrest groups disagree with. Never mind they may well have listened but disagree and thinking of what is better for the wider community.

The “wider community” u talk about will only use the Manuka facility oval very occasionally. Same for the Kingston shops. But, the “minority/self interest groups” that you talk about, such as local residents, live there so will be directly fully impacted by the proposal.

Regardless of your attempts to put down the concerns of residents and spin it as a plus for the ACT Labor/Greens Govt, affected local residents have a right to be heard. The ACT Govt, in this election year, has acknowledged that and now is establishing some sort of planning arrangement lead or involving local residents. They will also be going to tender rather than considering an unsolicited proposal.

As to exactly what the local residents groups are concerned about – I hope someone representing those folk will articulate that on here as they certainly were and still are, quite vocal about those.

rommeldog56 8:24 am 08 Aug 16

Mordd / Chris Richards said :

Don’t you get it? The government should reject these proposals before they even know about them and consult residents with information they don’t have. It’s simple.

So, u reckon the ACT Labor/Green Govt knew nothing about this unsolicited proposal to redevelop Manuka Oval ??? Haha……you gotta laugh. Of course they would have.

Of course this unsolicited it came out of the blue to the ACT Labor/Greens – out of left field !! I mean, the then TAMS Minister, Megan Fitzharris’s partner was involved in it for goodness sake……..

JC 10:51 am 07 Aug 16

Mordd / Chris Richards said :

rommeldog56 said :

pink little birdie said :

Robz said :

And for the record there are things the current ACT government does I don’t like, but I don’t, in general have an issue with how they go about planning.

I find that planning is one of those wedge issues that political parties of both sides use to play political games, but overall don’t think things are as dire, or cough cough corrupt as some attempt to make out. And even if I did do you seriously think the Libs would do any different or any better?
Happy to discuss each planning issue on the merit of that development, rather than ACT Labor/Greens bla bla bla bla. Take the Dickson discussion for example.

To not also look at the systemic underlying issues of planning failures and effective community consultation as well as the case-by-case issues and root causes, is just a cop out and will fix nothing that leads to those issues in the 1st place. Here is the latest on the proposed (by GWS/GROCON) Manuka Oval redevelopment :

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/act-government-dumps-gws-giantsgrocon-unsolicited-bid-for-manuka-oval-development-20160805-gqltq6.html

Yes, yes, I know. Baby boomers whinging again, they have no clue, a noise making vocal minority, etc, etc.

And if the Libs dont make a better fist of planning, then vote them out too. Using the scare campaign that the ACT Libs will be no better or will be worse, is exactly why we have the poor planning associated with infill, redevelopment, land releases, infrastructure priority setting and jerry built developments/future slums, that we are getting from this ACT Labor/Greens Govt.

Ok let’s look at the Manuka issue from a fact perspective not a political one.

Unsolicited proposal presented to government, opposition and public.

Both sides gave in principle support to consider it. And key word consider not approve.

Already community whinging no consultation bla bla bla.

Government now rejects the plan.

Now in this case where is the failure? Community going on about consultation, bit hard to consult when the plan is a brain fart of a developer rather than something firm on table being considered by government or planning authorities.

Minister Fitzharris being married to someone making proposal maybe? Nope think that is cheap political point scoring. She usher onsnning minister and the proposal was presented to BOTH sides of politics and was not even at stage to be considered by government. So just politics there.

Don’t you get it? The government should reject these proposals before they even know about them and consult residents with information they don’t have. It’s simple.

Yeah guess the same when the planning authorities approve something minority/self intrest groups disagree with. Never mind they may well have listened but disagree and thinking of what is better for the wider community.

chewy14 8:37 pm 06 Aug 16

rommeldog56 said :

pink little birdie said :

Robz said :

And for the record there are things the current ACT government does I don’t like, but I don’t, in general have an issue with how they go about planning.

I find that planning is one of those wedge issues that political parties of both sides use to play political games, but overall don’t think things are as dire, or cough cough corrupt as some attempt to make out. And even if I did do you seriously think the Libs would do any different or any better?
Happy to discuss each planning issue on the merit of that development, rather than ACT Labor/Greens bla bla bla bla. Take the Dickson discussion for example.

To not also look at the systemic underlying issues of planning failures and effective community consultation as well as the case-by-case issues and root causes, is just a cop out and will fix nothing that leads to those issues in the 1st place. Here is the latest on the proposed (by GWS/GROCON) Manuka Oval redevelopment :

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/act-government-dumps-gws-giantsgrocon-unsolicited-bid-for-manuka-oval-development-20160805-gqltq6.html

Yes, yes, I know. Baby boomers whinging again, they have no clue, a noise making vocal minority, etc, etc.

And if the Libs dont make a better fist of planning, then vote them out too. Using the scare campaign that the ACT Libs will be no better or will be worse, is exactly why we have the poor planning associated with infill, redevelopment, land releases, infrastructure priority setting and jerry built developments/future slums, that we are getting from this ACT Labor/Greens Govt.

Ok let’s look at the Manuka issue from a fact perspective not a political one.

Unsolicited proposal presented to government, opposition and public.

Both sides gave in principle support to consider it. And key word consider not approve.

Already community whinging no consultation bla bla bla.

Government now rejects the plan.

Now in this case where is the failure? Community going on about consultation, bit hard to consult when the plan is a brain fart of a developer rather than something firm on table being considered by government or planning authorities.

Minister Fitzharris being married to someone making proposal maybe? Nope think that is cheap political point scoring. She usher onsnning minister and the proposal was presented to BOTH sides of politics and was not even at stage to be considered by government. So just politics there.

Don’t you get it? The government should reject these proposals before they even know about them and consult residents with information they don’t have. It’s simple.

JC 11:17 am 06 Aug 16

pink little birdie said :

Robz said :

And for the record there are things the current ACT government does I don’t like, but I don’t, in general have an issue with how they go about planning.

I find that planning is one of those wedge issues that political parties of both sides use to play political games, but overall don’t think things are as dire, or cough cough corrupt as some attempt to make out. And even if I did do you seriously think the Libs would do any different or any better?
Happy to discuss each planning issue on the merit of that development, rather than ACT Labor/Greens bla bla bla bla. Take the Dickson discussion for example.

To not also look at the systemic underlying issues of planning failures and effective community consultation as well as the case-by-case issues and root causes, is just a cop out and will fix nothing that leads to those issues in the 1st place. Here is the latest on the proposed (by GWS/GROCON) Manuka Oval redevelopment :

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/act-government-dumps-gws-giantsgrocon-unsolicited-bid-for-manuka-oval-development-20160805-gqltq6.html

Yes, yes, I know. Baby boomers whinging again, they have no clue, a noise making vocal minority, etc, etc.

And if the Libs dont make a better fist of planning, then vote them out too. Using the scare campaign that the ACT Libs will be no better or will be worse, is exactly why we have the poor planning associated with infill, redevelopment, land releases, infrastructure priority setting and jerry built developments/future slums, that we are getting from this ACT Labor/Greens Govt.

Ok let’s look at the Manuka issue from a fact perspective not a political one.

Unsolicited proposal presented to government, opposition and public.

Both sides gave in principle support to consider it. And key word consider not approve.

Already community whinging no consultation bla bla bla.

Government now rejects the plan.

Now in this case where is the failure? Community going on about consultation, bit hard to consult when the plan is a brain fart of a developer rather than something firm on table being considered by government or planning authorities.

Minister Fitzharris being married to someone making proposal maybe? Nope think that is cheap political point scoring. She usher onsnning minister and the proposal was presented to BOTH sides of politics and was not even at stage to be considered by government. So just politics there.

rommeldog56 8:53 am 06 Aug 16

Robz said :

And for the record there are things the current ACT government does I don’t like, but I don’t, in general have an issue with how they go about planning.

I find that planning is one of those wedge issues that political parties of both sides use to play political games, but overall don’t think things are as dire, or cough cough corrupt as some attempt to make out. And even if I did do you seriously think the Libs would do any different or any better?
Happy to discuss each planning issue on the merit of that development, rather than ACT Labor/Greens bla bla bla bla. Take the Dickson discussion for example.

To not also look at the systemic underlying issues of planning failures and effective community consultation as well as the case-by-case issues and root causes, is just a cop out and will fix nothing that leads to those issues in the 1st place. Here is the latest on the proposed (by GWS/GROCON) Manuka Oval redevelopment :

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/act-government-dumps-gws-giantsgrocon-unsolicited-bid-for-manuka-oval-development-20160805-gqltq6.html

Yes, yes, I know. Baby boomers whinging again, they have no clue, a noise making vocal minority, etc, etc.

And if the Libs dont make a better fist of planning, then vote them out too. Using the scare campaign that the ACT Libs will be no better or will be worse, is exactly why we have the poor planning associated with infill, redevelopment, land releases, infrastructure priority setting and jerry built developments/future slums, that we are getting from this ACT Labor/Greens Govt.

JC 11:14 am 05 Aug 16

JC said :

The bagging out on here of anyone who has a contrary view to the ACT Labor/Greens Govt planning or to a developers’, is astounding.

The bagging out on here of anyone who has no issues with the Government planning system, is astounding.

Now resorting to personal insults and mud slinging rather than looking at the facts and each proposal.

And for the record there are things the current ACT government does I don’t like, but I don’t, in general have an issue with how they go about planning.

I find that planning is one of those wedge issues that political parties of both sides use to play political games, but overall don’t think things are as dire, or cough cough corrupt as some attempt to make out. And even if I did do you seriously think the Libs would do any different or any better? Just look at the amount of donations they get from property developers for your answer …

Happy to discuss each planning issue on the merit of that development, rather than ACT Labor/Greens bla bla bla bla. Take the Dickson discussion for example.

Dacquiri 8:53 pm 04 Aug 16

There was at least one person at the Hughes meeting under the age of 50 — a young man of 26 who was not able to speak because of insufficient time for questions. With all the wisdom and enthusiasm and moral indignation that characterises that age, he has started a group called Youth for Canberra Urban Planning (on Facebook) with the aim of redressing what he sees as the substantial imbalance of voices in planning issues. Indeed, it was his view that hardly any young people would even have known about the Hughes meeting because of the way it was advertised.

It is certainly the case that older people have both the knowledge and the time to devote to these issues, and this is why older Canberrans tend to dominate community groups. However, other age groups also care about Canberra and the attributes that make living here so pleasant (see, for example, the recent Canberra Times article, ‘The C Change’ (http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/canberra-life/the-c-change-moving-to-canberra-for-the-lifestyle-20151021-gkegp2.html).

However, different types of engagement (other than 6pm face-to-face meetings on weeknights) are likely to be more successful with younger age groups, including parents of young children. It is disappointing that meetings are not taking advantage of ‘webinar’-type technology which would allow people to participate at home. (Given that university lecture theatres tend to have this type of technology, why not consider holding these meetings there?)

While I think that there is obviously some innocence around Youth for Canberra Urban Planning — and the group is already being watched closely by representatives of various vested interests in the planning sector — it is encouraging that an attempt is being made to stimulate and organise young people’s interest in local planning matters. As the young man said to me at the Hughes meeting, “There are all these older people talking about preserving Canberra for their grandchildren, but no one is asking the grandchildren what they want!” I did say to him that what he wants at the age of 26 may be very different than what he wants at the age of 66.

creative_canberran 5:55 pm 04 Aug 16

rommeldog56 said :

It’s called participatory democracy, a difficult concept to grasp for those in the cohort who don’t bother to vote, move in limited social circles, are intolerant of views different from their own and then complain bitterly after the majority goes for something else (eg Brexit).

Funny you bring up Brexit, because in that vote it was overwhelmingly the older demographic who voted for it, while younger people overwhelmingly wanted to remain in the EU.

The oldies, who were always more comfortable with the Britain of old, and uncomfortable with new ideas like global trade and multiculturalism, made a decision that will screw over younger people long after they are gone.

And that perfectly demonstrates why this minority of planning luddites is bad for Canberra.

rommeldog56 said :

We saw better outcomes achieved after community protests following the attempted takeover by developers of the Yarralumla Brickworks

The brickworks remain a fenced off toxic site. What positive outcome was achieved? People opposed development for the sake of it, but with no alternative to put the heritage to use.

rommeldog56 said :

Far easier to cram as many bland and ugly multi-story apartments into as small an area as possible, before moving on to the next lucrative project.

Haha, oh this is rich. The deplorable flats along Northbourne, and behind Civic (now being demolished) and parts of Griffith, Narrabundah and Kingston, were all about quickly building small bland lodgings for the population influx of that era. They became ghettos, everything wrong with planning. Yet luddites wanted them retained for “heritage” value. We’re stuck with mistakes for another era because again a minority of people afraid of change stood in the way.

New apartments have far higher standards of materials (even if the build quality is dodgy too often), they incorporate passive surveillance and mixed use to improve security and provide convenience.

rommeldog56 5:39 pm 04 Aug 16

250 people turning up for an info session/consultation is a pretty good turn out I would have thought.

The bagging out on here of anyone who has a contrary view to the ACT Labor/Greens Govt planning or to a developers’, is astounding.

If u want to support something, go to the consultation – or send your comments in – have your say.

To complain on here about baby boomers or retirees whinging or that they were the only people who attended because of the timing, is absurd. It held was after hours. If you have a counter view and could not get to this meeting to voice it, then submit it as part of the consultation process.

If u want to talk about “closed mindedness” of the attendees, what about comments on here claiming that they are a “minority” and just making noise. How do u know they are a “minority” ? Claims that the “majority” support this development are equally unproven. Regardless of which, it is going to happen.

And comments like : whats the problem, its only a small part of the lakefront and there are another 20Ks of lakefront left – are optimistic at best. You know that when the ACT Gov’t wants/needs $, it can and will sell off more of the lakefront for development. So listening to feedback and concerns about this one sets a precident for others. As one comment correctly observed “realestate is Canberra’s economy”. That certainly seems to the the case now – so hang onto your wallets, its going to get even more expensive to live here than it already is if you are a home owner or a renter !

Could it be that the “noise” that occurs with these developments/infill/capital works projects (like the tram) is not so much vested interests or Nimbyism, but a total lack of faith in the ACT Labor/Greens Gov’t ability to do it right, plan properly and recognition that once built, it can not be undone. Nah, surely not.

Anyway, my views and observations only – as a self funded retiree babyboomer (the wort of the worst – I know…..).

chewy14 3:57 pm 04 Aug 16

rommeldog56 said :

What really gets up the nose of developers is when they have to take account of the wishes of the general community, as shown by some of the pro-development, anti-green spaces, arrogant don’t interfere with my plans for you, comments on this page. Recent media reporting confirms that developers are taking out political party memberships and making ‘donations’ to secure influence, if not outcomes, in local ACT development planning. Property developers prefer the short-cuts offered by buying political influence, rather than genuine consultation with the community to find out what the community really wants and then meeting those community preferences. Far easier to cram as many bland and ugly multi-story apartments into as small an area as possible, before moving on to the next lucrative project.
As for the complaint that community meetings are dominated by retirees and baby boomers and so is unrepresentative of the Canberra community all I can say is thank you to those members of the community who take the time and put the effort into ensuring our community is not ruined by developers seeking to concrete and ‘apartmentalise’ any place that looks like a park, woodland or open green recreation area. It’s called participatory democracy, a difficult concept to grasp for those in the cohort who don’t bother to vote, move in limited social circles, are intolerant of views different from their own and then complain bitterly after the majority goes for something else (eg Brexit). Community activism requires more than sending sarcastic tweets from your iphone. It means attending meetings, organising petitions, talking face to face with other people and effective protesting. We saw better outcomes achieved after community protests following the attempted takeover by developers of the Yarralumla Brickworks and the Manuka oval. Retirees and baby boomers grew up in the 1960s when protesting was almost a rite of passage. Thanks to community protests many places, both small and iconic, around Australia have been saved for future generations to enjoy.

The irony of someone complaining about developers not engaging in consultation to find out the wishes and preferences of the general community whilst supporting a tiny group of people who claim to speak for everyone in their rejection of any development that doesn’t support their own personal amenity.

If this were really about participatory democracy, these people would be arguing for changes to planning legislation and running or supporting candidates who ran on a platform of making development rules or controls more stringent in the ACT. If those candidates were successful then their views would have more credence.

But they aren’t doing this because it has nothing to do with democracy or community preference, it’s about a loud minority trying to force their personal views on everyone else. They’re alright jack….stuff what other people think.

Mike_Drop 2:28 pm 04 Aug 16

rommeldog56 said :

What really gets up the nose of developers is when they have to take account of the wishes of the general community, as shown by some of the pro-development, anti-green spaces, arrogant don’t interfere with my plans for you, comments on this page. Recent media reporting confirms that developers are taking out political party memberships and making ‘donations’ to secure influence, if not outcomes, in local ACT development planning. Property developers prefer the short-cuts offered by buying political influence, rather than genuine consultation with the community to find out what the community really wants and then meeting those community preferences. Far easier to cram as many bland and ugly multi-story apartments into as small an area as possible, before moving on to the next lucrative project.
As for the complaint that community meetings are dominated by retirees and baby boomers and so is unrepresentative of the Canberra community all I can say is thank you to those members of the community who take the time and put the effort into ensuring our community is not ruined by developers seeking to concrete and ‘apartmentalise’ any place that looks like a park, woodland or open green recreation area. It’s called participatory democracy, a difficult concept to grasp for those in the cohort who don’t bother to vote, move in limited social circles, are intolerant of views different from their own and then complain bitterly after the majority goes for something else (eg Brexit). Community activism requires more than sending sarcastic tweets from your iphone. It means attending meetings, organising petitions, talking face to face with other people and effective protesting. We saw better outcomes achieved after community protests following the attempted takeover by developers of the Yarralumla Brickworks and the Manuka oval. Retirees and baby boomers grew up in the 1960s when protesting was almost a rite of passage. Thanks to community protests many places, both small and iconic, around Australia have been saved for future generations to enjoy.

Protests? Please. This is not conscription, it’s urban planning. Seems to me the issue is NOT about developers greasing the palms of politicians, it is about a vocal minority of people who simply don’t like an idea that contradicts their sanctified view of the universe. This is evidenced by the fact that issues of community, architecture and consultation remain the focus of complaints, rather than any genuine desire to prove that this proposed development contravenes heritage, environmental or planning controls.

This is not about Boomers – they’ve contributed much to Canberra and still have much to contribute. For me the most concerning aspect is the existence of a small group of people who are keeping *my best interests* at heart when they claim to speak on behalf of the Canberra community and/or channel the spirits of long-dead landscape architects. These same people have now become indignant, dismissive and condescending when confronted with opposing views from those they claim to represent. Some have even go so far as to accuse people with dissenting views of being intolerant!

The hypocrisy and hubris is staggering, and frankly does nothing to garner popular support to put this development (and those in charge) under greater scrutiny. After all – isn’t that what this discussion is about?

rommeldog56 2:03 pm 04 Aug 16

rommeldog56 said :

What really gets up the nose of developers is when they have to take account of the wishes of the general community, as shown by some of the pro-development, anti-green spaces, arrogant don’t interfere with my plans for you, comments on this page. Recent media reporting confirms that developers are taking out political party memberships and making ‘donations’ to secure influence, if not outcomes, in local ACT development planning. Property developers prefer the short-cuts offered by buying political influence, rather than genuine consultation with the community to find out what the community really wants and then meeting those community preferences. Far easier to cram as many bland and ugly multi-story apartments into as small an area as possible, before moving on to the next lucrative project.
As for the complaint that community meetings are dominated by retirees and baby boomers and so is unrepresentative of the Canberra community all I can say is thank you to those members of the community who take the time and put the effort into ensuring our community is not ruined by developers seeking to concrete and ‘apartmentalise’ any place that looks like a park, woodland or open green recreation area. It’s called participatory democracy, a difficult concept to grasp for those in the cohort who don’t bother to vote, move in limited social circles, are intolerant of views different from their own and then complain bitterly after the majority goes for something else (eg Brexit). Community activism requires more than sending sarcastic tweets from your iphone. It means attending meetings, organising petitions, talking face to face with other people and effective protesting. We saw better outcomes achieved after community protests following the attempted takeover by developers of the Yarralumla Brickworks and the Manuka oval. Retirees and baby boomers grew up in the 1960s when protesting was almost a rite of passage. Thanks to community protests many places, both small and iconic, around Australia have been saved for future generations to enjoy.

+ 1. Well said.

rommeldog56 2:01 pm 04 Aug 16

turfsupplycanberra said :

I also like how a meeting about the future of the West Basin was held in Hughes. And these guys are all about planning?!

Where would u expect it to be held. On a floating platform on the water in West basin perhaps ? If u want to have a go at the Lake Burley Griffin Gardians Group for that, you also need to criticise the ACT Labor/Greens Cabinet for making decisions about development and infrastructure projects all across the ACT, from Civic.

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