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Don’t our taxes pay for grass?

By nanzan - 28 October 2010 21

It has bugged me for such a long time now that the “lawn” area in front of 2 Constitution Avenue, Canberra (aka Australian Taxation Office HQ) has looked so appallingly bad.

This is surely one of Canberra’s premier addresses. It is the home of one of the Australian Government’s most important agencies. It is opposite the complex housing the Australian Capital Territory Public Service, and just around the bend from the ACT Legislative Assembly. And yet, the garden area between the front of the building and the street has looked unloved and unkempt for years now. The appearance of the area is nothing short of a disgrace, in fact.

Does the ATO not have control over their “nature strip”? (Does the ATO not have enough money?!) Is it the NCA’s domain? Or does it fall within the remit of TAMS? Whichever way you look at it, though, it is a terrible indictment on those who are tasked with the important responsibility of caring for our central urban areas.

[ED – Let it be noted that the ATO no longer occupies that building and Climate Change are responsible]

What’s Your opinion?


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21 Responses to
Don’t our taxes pay for grass?
p1 1:58 pm 28 Oct 10

rosscoact said :

p1 said :

rosscoact said :

but tax free grass does sound like a good idea

Grass is tax free. That is one of the big reasons given to legalise it.

ah, no its not, it’s GST and excise free. You still have to pay for it with after tax income.

If I have to explain it, it spoils it for everyone, try to keep up.

You could always try to claim it as a deduction on your tax return. Assuming you smoke it as part of your employment?

rosscoact 1:11 pm 28 Oct 10

p1 said :

rosscoact said :

but tax free grass does sound like a good idea

Grass is tax free. That is one of the big reasons given to legalise it.

ah, no its not, it’s GST and excise free. You still have to pay for it with after tax income.

If I have to explain it, it spoils it for everyone, try to keep up.

rosscoact 1:10 pm 28 Oct 10

p1 said :

rosscoact said :

but tax free grass does sound like a good idea

Grass is tax free. That is one of the big reasons given to legalise it.

ah, no its not, it’s GST and excise free. You still have to pay for it with after tax income.

Mark of Sydney 1:01 pm 28 Oct 10

The dustbowl is a particularly bad look for the Department of Climate Change, but the ongoing problem for the building owner is that most of the ‘grassed’ area will disappear when Constitution Avenue is rebuilt as a double carriageway under the Griffin Legacy plan. The Howard government funded this and it was due to get underway around 2008 (along with the Parkes Way and Kings Ave flyover), but the Constitution Ave element was dumped by the Rudd Government. It’s a shame it doesn’t appear to be on the agenda in time for Canberra’s centenary in 2013.

p1 12:28 pm 28 Oct 10

rosscoact said :

but tax free grass does sound like a good idea

Grass is tax free. That is one of the big reasons given to legalise it.

rosscoact 11:42 am 28 Oct 10

As a tenant the occupier would require the building owner to maintain the curtilage of the building too. Seems like they don’t care.

but tax free grass does sound like a good idea

astrojax 11:39 am 28 Oct 10

i think the dept of climate change are in 2ca, so unless it gets cooler again soon i can’t see any lawns in the near future… i also think it would be the building owner’s purview to maintain the grounds and the act government’s to maintain the nature strip.

concrete and green paint anyone? 😉

Keijidosha 11:37 am 28 Oct 10

A problem equal to (or greater than) the lawn area is the broken pavement on the rear entrance to the building from Allara Street. Amazing that someone hasn’t been injured given that the area gets pretty heavy pedestrian traffic from people going to/from Commonwealth Park.

nanzan 11:36 am 28 Oct 10

Thanks for the update re tenancies at 2 Constitution Avenue.

I deliberately mentioned grass – and not lawn. Lawn would be wasteful, of course. But grass – lots of native grasses – don’t need much water or upkeep. A nicely planned and cared for Australian garden – would that not be appropriate for an avenue that celebrates our constitution – in the centre of our national capital city.

I wonder what all the ACT and Federal public servants looking down from their adjacent offices in Constitution Avenue make of it all?

Quince 11:35 am 28 Oct 10

The ATO is definately out of 2CA.

The Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency now lives there.

http://www.climatechange.gov.au/about/contact-us.aspx

Definately needs a lick of drought resistant landscaping!

Holden Caulfield 11:30 am 28 Oct 10

Ironically DCCEE (Climate Change) is now one of the tenants at 2CA, haha.

SmileOnTrial 11:23 am 28 Oct 10

Deary me. Grab a whipper snipper and do it yourself if it bugs you so much.

bugmenot 11:10 am 28 Oct 10

I’m not 100% positive, but I suspect that 2CA is leased now (as virtually every government building is since they were all sold off back in the 90s only to be leased back at a higher cost).

It would be up to the building owner to provide gardens etc.

Fiona 11:09 am 28 Oct 10

Just can’t win, can you?

excession 10:48 am 28 Oct 10

The ATO ceased to lease 2 Constitution Avenue in 2009 or so.

Theses days they have the tower in the North Quarter of the greater Canberra Centre, and the office buildings above Tongue and Groove in Genge Street, opposite Gus’ Cafe.

No lawn there either.

Back when the ATO -was- there, they were told that it was irresponsible to ‘waste water’ keeping the lawn, and it was ‘allowed to die’ from about 2002 onwards. I’m sure that the hoity toity accusations of water profligacy would be much more prevalent had they kept that lawn ‘looking nice’.

Oh and GET OFF MY LAWN!

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