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Corbell happy that 70% of development applications from toasted houses after the bushfires have now been approved.

By Thumper - 5 September 2005 12

does this seem a little long in the process to anyone? Afterall the fires were nearly three years ago now.

is it that the residents have taken so long to put in the said plans? Or could it be uncertainty with planning laws? or simply the government not putting a high priority on this issue?

One must of course remember that not only were the fires nearly three years ago, but also that the government plastered advertising all over the Canberra Times for about two years after the fires telling everyone how well they were managing the rebuilding and where to get help, etc.

And we have also seen a blatent disregard for due process in the railroading of Ms Doogan, although I’m sure Mr Stanhope would put on his angry voice if anyone were to suggest it to him, oh, thats right, he already has.

Pravada [Canberra Times]article is here

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12 Responses to
Corbell happy that 70% of development applications from toasted houses after the bushfires have now been approved.
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smileyc 1:48 pm 07 Sep 05

So it took over 2 years for ACTPLA to approve the redevelopment of the public housing in Tanjil Loop, Duffy (15 units ALL public tenants, 11 of which were burned down in the fires). It’s only now just barely beginning to be built; all those public tenants waiting, waiting…

Maelinar 12:47 pm 07 Sep 05

ok, here’s some math:

30% of 488 is 146.4

Multiply that by 2 is 292.8 to get my standardised figure of people remaining displaced since 2003.

I’m happy with 292.8 people moving on since then.

I agree with Chris S, it is probably time to give a hurry along to the remaining shells before the diplomats get pissed off with their squalid surroundings.

Perhaps after 3 years of no development the government might consider taking the land back and selling it cheaply to people willing to move to canberra ?

It’s obvious to me that the owners aren’t in that dire a strait that they need to sell or build themselves, and somebody willing to move to Canberra has to be seen as a good thing, especially since we’re considering an expensive advertising campaign along the same directions at the moment.

I’m sure that there would be a clause in the 99 year residential lease or whatever name it’s going by these days that says there has to be a house on the property, otherwise it isn’t a residential lease.

I haven’t read it that closely so don’t quote me on that…

Just an idea anyway, it’ll provoke people to either move on, move in or develop, which can only benefit Canberra, except for that one person in the crowd who will appear on Ray Martin calling hard-done-by, but I don’t watch him anyway so I won’t notice.

Chris S 11:28 am 07 Sep 05

I have to support Simon on this one – having been involved (as a resident’s representative) in planning processes over a number of years, I’ve seen many instances where home-owners and developers have held back from lodging DAs. What happens on occasions is that the blame can then be put on ACTPLA for slow approvals, when in fact there may not be anything to approve.

Unfortunately, then all parties look to shift the blame elsewhere, and seem to fixate on the “consultation” process as being the faulty component, and government and developers push for streamlining DAs or cutting red tape (ie planning-speak for reducing resident input into decision-making).

In this case, it is homeowners who are presumably still working out what their options may be – as Kramer points out above, some may well be holding back to get the best price or outcome that they can.

The bottom line is that ACTPLA can only make decisions on what is placed in front of them; perhaps it is time for the government to start forcing the hand of those still to lodge a DA.

Simon Corbell 4:03 pm 06 Sep 05

Dear All

Thank you for your comments. Thumper and Maelinar, there are no Development Applications for new homes to replace destroyed ones awaiting approval, all DA’s that have been lodged to replace homes that were destroyed in the fires have been processed and approved. The 70% figure refers to the total number of blocks with dwellings destroyed which have gained development approval to rebuild.

Haroldbeagle, I am surprised you saw homes that were destroyed and not yet cleared, I do not believe this is the case, you may have seen homes damaged but not “written off” and therefore still awaiting repair/ insurance issues, however I will check this. Finally, the total number of dwellings (homes) destroyed, in the rural and urban areas following the January 2003 fires was 488.

Mr Evil 3:37 pm 06 Sep 05

Fires, what fires? There were no fires, okay: it never happened! Nothing happened at all, and Jon Stanhope had nothing to do with the nothing that happened.

Thumper 2:26 pm 06 Sep 05

It was roughly 500 plus houses from memory, and I think I saw most of them on the 19th when we were in the field.

haroldbeagle 1:53 pm 06 Sep 05


I went for a walk around the base of Mt Arawang (at the back of Chapman) on Sunday, and there were still undemolished houses (or the burnt out shells thereof) to be seen.

Unless we have had other fires in the meantime, I don’t believe the “12 month” claim you make above.

Maelinar 1:19 pm 06 Sep 05

is that figure 70% of all the applications since the fires have been approved, or 70% of fire-related rebuilding applications have been approved ?

Since there are no current applications awaiting approval, there would seem to be 30% of applicants out there in the ether probably begrudging Deb Foskey for sitting resident in a public house paying FULL MARKET RENT, or whatever pittance they’ve put on it, probably the latter.

Just how many houses containing residents were demolished ?

The reason I would like to know this figure is so I can calculate just how many people this 30% are in human terms.

Given that most people don’t live alone, I think you could safely double the figure of houses to calculate a reasonable idea on how many people are displaced.

Then again, they could just move to Gungahlin or Kingston like everybody else, and probably have.

Any takers to fill out the statistics ?

I’m sure the ACT Government will know exactly how many houses were destroyed in the fire, they’ve had 3 years to ponder it.

Thumper 11:09 am 06 Sep 05


Indeed I would concur that all the damaged houses were demolished within that 12 month period. However, I think a lot of the community find it hard to believe that nearly three years have passed since the fire and that only 70% of applications have been approved. it appears to be a long time to be having both rent and repayments if one hasn’t rebuilt.

Having said that, if there are no current applications awaiting approval then this must be seen as an acceptable outcome.

Simon Corbell 11:01 am 06 Sep 05

Once again, sk8erboi’s comments are simply inaccurate. There are no residential blocks where homes were destroyed in the fires still to be cleared. All these blocks were cleared in the first 12 months following the fires. The rebulding process is proceeding solidly, remembering that decisions to rebuild are made by each individual leaseholder according to their own circumstances and concerns. The development approval process has responded well, with no Development Applications cuurently awaiting approval.

Kramer 10:54 pm 05 Sep 05

There are also a few postive thinking people still trying to get a better price for what used to be their house.

sk8erboi 7:02 pm 05 Sep 05

One must also remember that there are still houses and blocks left to be cleared. 70% is an appalling figure, Corbell should resign.

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