6 March 2007

City Heart levy to be discussed today.

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Second lifers’ ABC a running a story about the Legislative Assembly debating a ‘City Heart’ Levy sometime this week. The funds will be used ‘to lift the ammenity of the Civic’.

Fundamentally a great idea, but with the plague of problems (car spaces, floods, leaky cinemas and over-exited stabby young folks) I am yet to be convinced that slapping another couple of bucks onto public services available in the Civic area (granted at least 300,000 Canberrans must be there at least once a week) is a good idea. If anything, it will add to the ongoing ire and angst that seems to be seeping into Canberras public conscience over the issues in this area of Canberra.

The City traders are on board, but will the citizenry follow? What does this do to individuals who live in the heart of Canberra?

[ED – Civic? That’s the hinterland surrounding the Canberra Centre right?]

UPDATED: Simon Corbell has announced that this levy on Civic businesses is to go ahead:

Businesses in the City Centre, Turner and Braddon will pay the levy based on the rateable value of their business

Richard Mulcahy for the Liberals is not impressed and warns that this additional whack of business rates could easily thrown onto other parts of Canberra (or their Government amenity reduced until they cry out for an extra tax too) by a money-hungry Government.

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It is rude, Seepi, but it’s pretty common practice and I think Simbo has a point. I mean, in any other major city, the vast majority of jobs including governmental are in the city, and yeah, sometimes it’s a real shit to get there in the mornings. And normally you cant find a park, or if you do it’s expensive. And then you get stuck in traffic and it’s all just too hard, blah blah.

The problems we all have with Civic are the natural result of working in the centre of town, yet wanting a pretty, sparsely populated, spread out town to live in at the same time.

I agree that we could do with better public transport, but in a town where there are so many routes to cover and so few people to pay the bill, it’s a long shot.

Seepi, you assume the the current council care about its constituents. Perhaps Canberra is now at that stage where developing other areas like Woden & Tuggeranong further are required to ‘spread’ the fed depts around a bit more (since BBP isn’t exactly a raging success). Then again the lack of land space to building new bidgs is only but one of the hurdles….

ooops – meant to also say that the ACT govt has encouraged expansion in Civic, such that many govt departments are located there. These workers cannot all live within reasonable public transport distances to Civic, so they need to drive. Not to mention most people with kids has to drive to drop them at childcare.

I think it is a bit rude to put the majority of jobs in Civic, and then actively work to reduce parking.

Major cities generally have fairly useful public transport to reach the city.

Here, unless you live only one bus from Civic is is a big ask to use public transport.

It is great that you don’t mind walking several blocks, but not everyone is easily able to do that – or has time in their lunch hour.

And most importantly – where do you always find a park???

For gods sakes, you’d think walking two extra blocks was the worst imposition ever imposed on the general public in the history of the universe.

As a regular visitor to Civic (admittedly not working there), it’s always been pretty darn easy for me to find a park and to get stuff done. Then again, maybe that’s because I don’t expect it to be exactly like a suburban shopping centre.

Some of you would struggle in a major city, you really would…

I never go to civic (unless on emergency services duties) so I don’t care.

Civic was a lost cause years before they removed carparking instead of increasing it.


sure are JB. but in the past as these things are implemented, those little people who own businesses tend to be given a bit of a break.

But if this inititive was to be introduced, and the rest of this disucssion was based on the two most popular methods that has been applied when a plan such as this comes into play, it is usually parking spaces and toll roads etc that appear first OR all residents in the ACT had an extra whack placed on their rates each year.

assuming that the ACT govt havent come up with something that another city hasnt yet…

Correct me if I’m wrong but don’t these levies apply to all business in the area, not the consumers? (who can be efficiently levied via the parking)

Canberra has a popn of @340k, are there enough of us parking/heading going into Civic to enable a levy being made?

Mind you it does appear to be a very sneaky way of getting federal govt depts to cough up cash for all of their exec parking… Manny Notaras you clever little monkey. The buggers must be staying out of the casino.

yes i tend to find that tequilla makes problem solving a far more equitable process. Even the derros can understand what bernie fraser is saying when he is pissed.

Aha Bris-Vegas rides once more…

And to be fair JB, there’s something to be said for solving your problems with a bottle of tequila 🙂

The Brisbane city heart levy has enabled the building of one of the country’s best and most popular malls, plus consistent and quality marketing. The place is chockablock day and night.
Why not hijack someone else’s idea if it is already a proven success?
As to the timing – is there ever a right time?
Sometimes in politics you have to take decisions that may be short-term unpopular for long-term positive gain.

Perhaps sensible spending and control of the public purse would be a good place to start… but that is as likely as myself using a chainsaw to clean my teeth

So we can solve all our problems with a bottle of tequila and a bourbon chaser?

The wikiedia smackheads have this which provides a bit of an insight as to how the whole concept of ‘civic’ was buggered up during the planning phase in the long, long ago.

But my biggest whinge is that this dear Govt. of ours (and community too I guess), really does need to come up with a couple of viable alternatives to supplement the local gubmint’s coffers considering that we cant rely on stamp duty and other old, school ‘direct’ taxes due to the size of our population in relation to our neighbours. Perhaps sensible spending and control of the public purse would be a good place to start… but that is as likely as myself using a chainsaw to clean my teeth.

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