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Campbell’s Crimes and Misdemeanors

By 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.

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