Campbell’s Crimes and Misdemeanors

Susan Kinsey 13 February 2010 18

The issue about the development at the bottom of Blamey Crescent, isn’t so much that it is “development” and heaven forbid, that Canberra should eschew any form of development – no matter how ugly. We are the nation’s capital after all! We wouldn’t want to appear to be too hickish about issues relating to “development’.

But it seems to me the key issue is that the “development” is happening with very little prior awareness of the parameters of the “development”, how encroaching traffic issues might impact on Campbell residents (for example) or why it simply had to be located right smack-dab at that Blamey Cresent and Constitution Avenue intersection.

Since local news is often as exciting as reading a ten-year old telephone directory, perhaps I haven’t been reading my Canberra Times assiduously. But judging from a previous article on this and the feedback, there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of facts about it. All I can make out is there seem to be an awful lot of smoke, dust and grit and very little information.

Apart from the idea that the building will be encroachment on what was a much more scenic skyline in and around a suburban street, by a five (or is it seven) story building, along a suburban corridor which was once reknown as a quiet northern suburb right next to the city, or apart from the fact that it was done by stealth, ie one day there was a national park, the next it’s a humungous building site. I suppose this stealth-like m.o. is the way Asio hopes to operate in relation to their dealings with terrorism and international espionage? One minute the mean old terrorist is hitting on you, the next he’s dead? Or is it really the nation’s development authority’s m.o. not to engage in any community exchange, because it really isn’t any of our business, (we just live here). Judging by the current build-up of mud, traffic congestion and parking issues, it’s no wonder no one wants to discuss the best way forward.

The treatment of citizens as problems whose potential issues can only be solved by not providing opportunities for dialogue or any information, or by taking action thus making outcomes an ‘au fait accompli’ before any community buy-in, is probably more reflective of exactly how developed Canberra is. Many developing countries deal with their citizens this way too.

What's Your Opinion?

Please login to post your comments, or connect with
18 Responses to Campbell’s Crimes and Misdemeanors
captainwhorebags captainwhorebags 5:17 pm 16 Feb 10

wishuwell: you mean someone lied to complete a land sale? Say it aint so!

Who was this man who gave the promise? Were they duly authorised to do so? Was there an expiry on the promise? I don’t mean to cast aspersions on your father, but I hope he didn’t take it seriously when in 1957 he was told “there’ll be no building from here down to the lake forever and ever”. I mean, the lake wasn’t even completed until 1964.

Living in the A.C.T. means that we all have to suffer somewhat for the “greater good” – restrictions on city planning, leased residential land, lack of equal democratic representation etc. I don’t see how your needs trump those of the national interest (a debate on the usefulness of ASIO is offtopic).

spinact spinact 11:35 am 16 Feb 10

So many things wrong with the OP it’s hard to know where to start, although some of the replies above cover off most things.

On a related issue, the ASIO building was suppose to coincide with the complete re-developemnet of Consitution Ave as part of the NCA’s infamous Griffin Legacy. Take a look at amendment 60 to the National Capital Plan ( But make sure you take some deep breaths before you to read it, you may be a little surprised at the number of buildings that are allowed in the area under the planning law.

DeadlySchnauzer DeadlySchnauzer 3:16 pm 15 Feb 10

When you break down the complaints about the ASIO building, they essentially boil down to:
– its going to ruin our nice view that we’ve had for X decades. (True, but no multiple storey buildings would ever get built anywhere if that was a valid concern).
– there’s going to be traffic issues (Questionable, given how many other routes there are into Campbell that bypass constitution ave).

I am a Campbell owner/resident and I am looking forward to the re-vitalisation of constitution ave that this building will hopefully bringm, eg cafes and services for the thousands of employees. It worries me that whingeing about developments like this gives campbellites a “cry wolf” reputation and detracts from other issues that could have more serious quality of living impacts (read: the noise from large freighter jets taking off regularly throughout the night).

troll-sniffer troll-sniffer 4:58 pm 14 Feb 10

hi wishuwell

own three in campbell which qualifies me on both counts.

does that answer your kweschun?

bidle bidle 3:26 pm 14 Feb 10

Argument in a nutshell: I’m not anti-development. Some of my best friends are developers. It’s just that… not in my backyard!!

J Dawg J Dawg 1:00 pm 14 Feb 10

wishuwell said :

In those days a mans promise was gospel and that was from the NCDC.

WOAH!!! STOP CONSTRUCTION!!! There was a man promise!

A man promise (not just a normal promise, so you know its legit and super-manly) was made from a single employee of the NCDC to a private citizen about development in that area. This is the area of a corner of the Parliamentary Triangle. Well, I’m pretty sure there was a man design (possibly a man-woman design, super manly and super womanly, legit to everyone) upon which this city was based which included the possibility of development in the Parliamentary Triangle and surrounding area.

I can’t wait until I get to the chapter on “Man Promises” in law textbooks. Oh thats right, it’s after the chapter on “He Said, She Said” and “I Swear I’m Innocent, So I Must Be!”

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 10:11 am 14 Feb 10

newbie 1972 there was a man to man agreement when my father bought there (1957) (a reward perhaps for spending your youth being shot at by i) that there was not going to be development south to the lake.

If the man who made the promise is dead, and I’m guessing he is, I’m pretty sure you can’t hold him to it. And a little naive to believe a promise like that could be kept for over fifty years, isn’t it? “Oh, sure, Bob, there’ll be tens of thousands more people, but we’ll just build the city around you. And we’ll make sure there aren’t any Japs, too.”

wishuwell wishuwell 9:26 am 14 Feb 10

Troll-sniffer is there a difference between owning in Campbell and living in Campbell?

troll-sniffer troll-sniffer 12:28 am 14 Feb 10

I live in Campbell and regularly pass this site in all directions, on foot, by bicycle and in a car. Do I have a problem with it? No. We live in a city, cities grow. Is it inappropriate for the site? No, it’s a building in a city full of buildings, not far from 15 storey accommodation edifices.

Sure, I used to enjoy walking through the grove of trees to get to the lake, now I can’t. I guess some of my neighbours used to enjoy walking down to the Molonglo River and on to Kingston via sheep paddocks. That’s what happens in a city.

Sorry, but I don’t think your post is going to get much kudos or sympathy from this forum, or anywhere else outside a small band of vocal diehards.

As for this notion of community input into decisions relating to projects like this, are you for real? Can you imagine what would happen if every project had to get the approval of those affected by it? Take a step back and consider the consequences of such a suggestion. Some things are suitable for community consultation, large infrastructure and national building projects are not.

Best you slip on the mountain climbing boots and head for Mt Ainslie and forget about wandering down to the lake, it’s far better exercise anyway.

arescarti42 arescarti42 11:27 pm 13 Feb 10

Oh noes! I can’t ever imagine why they’d want to build at the end of Blamey Crescent! The fact that it is “within” the parliamentary triangle, next to the Defence “headquarters” and fronting one of the busiest and most accessible roads in “Canberra” pales into insignificance when considering the effect it will have on my quiet suburban abode. How is it that I am the only one who sees a problem with this?!

wishuwell wishuwell 8:23 pm 13 Feb 10

newbie 1972 there was a man to man agreement when my father bought there (1957) (a reward perhaps for spending your youth being shot at by Japs) that there was not going to be development south to the lake. They lied. In those days a mans promise was gospel and that was from the NCDC. My question is why is it now acceptable. I will support Susan if you don’t live there why is it your noddy.

wishuwell wishuwell 7:49 pm 13 Feb 10

Susan I am as angry as you, but arseholes are arseholes. I think I know who you are. And swank whats wrong with dropping the s.

swamiOFswank swamiOFswank 6:52 pm 13 Feb 10

So move to Queanbeyan already, get out of the ACT and get over yourself, whining Campbellite.

beh1972 beh1972 6:42 pm 13 Feb 10

Yawn. You’re really clutching at straws here, that land was set aside decades ago, there was an old NCA diorama Regatta Point showing ‘planned’ buildings for all along there.

It wasn’t anywhere near National Park like, it was some dry patchy grass, littered red gravel carparks and a few trees. Something we’re not short of here.

Why should Campbell be treated differently to any other suburb in this city?

buzz819 buzz819 6:18 pm 13 Feb 10

Unfortunately we live in a developing city. Living in Campbell means that you live in the city centre, any major city around the world has to deal with these problems when living that close to the city centre, Canberra is no different.

If we want the city to grow it needs bigger businesses and better roads, unfortunately you live in an area where traffic has always been stupid, that Kings Ave roundabout, whilst being amusing is dangerous, I have known personally 4 people who have been in accidents on that thing (Two at fault, two not at fault, I don’t know if that means that if you had a crash there then 50% of the time you would be at fault?).

All the way around the town there are new buildings going up, you don’t hear the people of Palmerston and Gungahlin complaining about the big building going up there, or the people of Belconnen complaining about the new Mall (maybe just the 500 traffic lights now in the area).

At the end of the day, yes you may have lived there for 70 years in a little bubble where nothing has changed, unfortunately it has come to a time when you have to deal with some changes. You do live near one of the major intelligence hubs in Canberra. ASIO, ASIS, DIO, DFAT and other types work in the area already, having the ASIO HQ their is not going to change that.

If the terrorists were gonna try and bomb the building, you’d get a warning any way, Parliament house is only a hop skip and a jump away….

Ps. I believe the road was always going to be upgraded, may as well do the two things at the same time??

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 6:07 pm 13 Feb 10

Cast your mind back to high school debating class, where you were reminded again and again to have a point, make it clear and back it up.

What is this post about? Because you’ve been ever so wonderfully clever with your backhanded casualness that I really can’t tell what you’re for or against. It seems to boil down to “Somebody’s building something down the end of the street, which I may or may not be against, and while I admit I can’t be arsed keeping informed about local affairs, somebody should have made sure I was better informed.” And some throwaway reference to terrorists. Is that about it?

ahappychappy ahappychappy 5:55 pm 13 Feb 10

Would you like a tissue?

The suburb is also pretty close to Russell offices – should they remove the offices because of the increased traffic and parking/congestion issues?

Anyone who lives near the city centre (especially those close to the parliamentary triangle) really should expect high volumes of traffic and high levels of congestion.

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Region Group Pty Ltd

Search across the site