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Goodwin is go!

Kerces 7 November 2005 17

The Goodwin Village development in Ainslie has been given the go-ahead after Planning Minister and RA commenter Simon Corbell used his call-in powers to cut the approval process short.

However he decided to cut the six-storey buildings in the original plans down to only four-storeys after “public submissions” (one wonders how much effect RA has had in this).

UPDATED: ABC Online has the news here.

FURTHER UPDATE: The Greens’ thoughts on the subject are now up.

“The ACT Greens however will continue to champion a genuinely inclusive process, which allows for community input rather than confrontation, and which explores creative solutions to conflicting interests, rather than simply limiting the political damage.”

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17 Responses to Goodwin is go!
Mr Weavil Mr Weavil 2:01 pm 15 Nov 05

Just a quick follow-up to let Simon “Call-in” Corbell know that the residents of Ainslie will not be letting this issue go. I for one will now be vigorously campaigning against Corbell at the next election.
Maintain the rage Ainslie – don’t let our joke of a planning Minister get away with this!

Maelinar Maelinar 8:15 am 10 Nov 05

Has anybody thought of challenging Canberra’s claim to being a ‘bush capital’ ?

It seems to me that we’re quickly becoming the ‘concrete capital’.

Mr Weavil Mr Weavil 8:08 pm 09 Nov 05

Simon “Call-in” Corbell,
In addition, given the absolute debacle that the Goodwin development process has been – how can we be sure the conservator is acting independent of you? Are you able to give an absolutely iron-clad guarantee that you will not, and have not, contacted the conservator to place pressure on her re the Goodwin site? The conservator should have absolute freedom to make Goodwin go back to the drawing board if Goodwin’s tree damaging activity is seen to be excessive (which it genuinely is). I’m sorry to have to ask such a question but we simply can’t believe the ACT ALP Govt anymore when it comes to planning!

Mr Weavil Mr Weavil 8:03 pm 09 Nov 05

Simon “call-in” Corbell,
I take your call-in of Goodwin as a complete retreat from your promises regarding development in Ainslie. You did not have to call this in – you could have left it to the proper avenues.
Five cases of “exceptional circumstances” in one year – what a joke – hopefully voters will use their “call-out” powers at the next election and get you removed from Office.

Martin Martin 9:16 am 09 Nov 05


Your statements above are intriguing.

You have said you called in the development to avoid protracted delays and that you have not shut down community consultation.

Why then prevent residents from independently testing the development’s merits via the democratic Administrative Appeals Tribunal? This process only takes three months – hardly a protracted delay, given advice from the Federal Government that they would favourably consider a funding extension (advice which you and Goodwin must have known about).

If as you say, you did not call in the development to avoid the enforcement of the Tree Protection Act 2005, then you could have only called in the development to avoid the AAT process. This would have ONLY significantly delayed the development if it was proven that the design was flawed and needed to be reworked. If the development is as good as your endorsement indicates it is, the AAT would not have delayed the process.

Perhaps the AAT would have proven the development caused unacceptable adverse impacts such as traffic, parking, noise or loss of privacy, in contravention of the Land Use Policy. No doubt you considered this in your decision to deny residents a right of appeal.

Your comments about Labor policies significantly protecting Ainslie are great and I appreciate the protection. However, despite this protection, it seems a three storey development has been approved in Wakefield Street (right in the heritage precinct) in the last few months. Also, there is a current dual occupancy DA under consideration in Cox Street (again in the precinct). Why hasn’t the government formally advised this developer that they are wasting their time and money submitting an application – seems a bit unfair on them if they never stood a chance of getting their development approved in the first place.

henry henry 7:38 pm 08 Nov 05

I am feeling so aggrieved at being told that I was consulted when I most definitely was not, that I am going to conduct a survey of Ainslie residents. I will ask very simple questions. Were you involved at any stage in the consultation process? If not, why not? Would you like to have been consulted about a $90 million, five year, six storey, high rise, high density development in your suburb? Yes, to have been included in the consultation process would have been a fair process. It will take me a while to consult with everyone in the suburb so stay posted.

Thumper Thumper 5:09 pm 08 Nov 05

“Because of Labor policies Ainslie is significantly protected from any form of redevelopment. Dual Occupany, Triple occupancy, block amalgamation, unit titling and townhouse and apartment development is not permitted anywhere in the suburban areas of Ainslie. The height control for the suburban residential land use policy area is 2 storeys, no attics or basement garages allowed”

The above is quite interesting given that what is proposed appears to be against everything that has been said.

I agree, aged care is a huge issue and frankly I think the Commonwealth should be soley responsible for it. However, it seems no-one really wants to have that responsibility, not federal, State, or territory.

Having said that, surely the complex could have been built elsewhere, or could have been designed so as to not disrupt the social and cultural landscape that is Ainslie.

oldoak oldoak 4:56 pm 08 Nov 05

Oh dear Simon. Still reading the Riotact?? Well I’ve reflected on your last paragraph and would like to know what constitutes “suburban residential land” in Ainslie. Does this mean that your government can rezone any land to suit a developer who wants to put up a building higher than 2 storey under the guise of Aged Care? As the ACT NT president has stated even a 3 storey building will impact on the heritage precinct in Bonney Street. But obviously you are not interested in preserving what little history we have in Canberra.

Maelinar Maelinar 10:28 am 08 Nov 05

Sounds fair enough to me. Then again, I don’t live in Ainslie.

*Disclaimer – I still have no idea where Ainslie is, and can’t be assed looking it up on a map*

Simon, at the end of the day it appears that you have made a hard decision, which is what we have voted you into your position to do.

Personally I’ve seen enough photos of Atlas Cedars in the last few days, as well as hearing of other stands around Canberra, to feel that the trees will not be sorely missed in the grand scheme of things.

I note however you have applied a rule that apartment developments are not permitted anywhere in the suburban areas of Ainslie, apart from a different title, how does that affect the development of an apartment style complex that people will live in in (making it suburban) Ainslie ?

At the end of the day, you are correct, the burden of aged care is incoming quickly. A one-way rail system to the Gold Coast may have been a more cost-effective method of reducing the aged care burden on the ACT, however ethical it may be.

Simon Corbell Simon Corbell 10:08 am 08 Nov 05


The need for more aged care beds and accomodation n Canberra is clear. We have the most rapidly ageing population in the country, and while this may not be of direct interest to you, I can assure it is for many of the people I have a responsibility to represent. It is for this reason I felt it was in the public interest to call the development in. We need more aged care as soon as possible. Potracted delay’s are not in anyone’s interest.

I cannot agree with your assertion that community consultation was “closed down”. It was not. In fact over a hundred residents from across Canberra made formal submissions on the development proposal. In considering the application I read each and every one of these submissions, and the common theme from those which expressed concerns about the proposal was the height of the six storey buildings. I also visited and talked with residents who were directly affected, including yourself. Finally I attended the public meeting and heard the views of all sides on the proposal. It was from all of these discussions and representations that I felt there was a compelling case to limit the height to four storeys. Far from “closing down’ consultation this shows that the avenues available to people to raise their concerns worked. People were not ignored, they were heard.

Your assertion that my use of the “call -in” power was to avoid the provisions of the Tree Protection Act 2005 is incorrect. The approval of the development does not, in any way, override the requirement for Goodwin to seek, and obtain, approval for tree removal or tree damaging activity. In fact it is a condition of my approval that these seperate approvals are sought and obtained before the development can proceed.

Finally, it was the National Trust itself, in 2001, which placed nine inner Canberra suburbs on its endangered places list beaucse of the ad hoc planning policies of the previous Liberal Government. The National Trust removed these suburbs from this list in 2003, citing the passage of Variation 200 to the Territory Plan ( The Garden City provisions ) as the reason why the suburbs were no longer endangered. This Variation was instigated by the Stanhope Labor Government.

Because of Labor policies Ainslie is significantly protected from any form of redevelopment. Dual Occupany, Triple occupancy, block amalgamation, unit titling and townhouse and apartment development is not permitted anywhere in the suburban areas of Ainslie. The height control for the suburban residential land use policy area is 2 storeys, no attics or basement garages allowed. Perhaps it is worth reflecting on these matters also in this debate?

Maelinar Maelinar 8:35 am 08 Nov 05

Has anybody seen the proposed developments out in Belconnen’s direction ?

Coppins Crossing won’t exist anymore, it’ll be the new suburbs called ‘Stanhope Heights’ and ‘Corbell’ (and about 15 others).

Heck, I’ll even scan the development proposal when I get home since I’m in the ‘in’ crowd of the 20 residents who get to submit their opinion on it.

Standby for the post…

johnboy johnboy 8:52 pm 07 Nov 05

Henry, from where this inner northican sits the “for” crowd is far from outnumbered.

henry henry 7:46 pm 07 Nov 05

The anger will continue at the total lack of consultation that Corbell and Labor have shown for their constituents. Thank you to Deb Foskey and the Greens for a fair hearing and support for community concerns. We have five years of development to put up with – what a joke that a $90 million five year development can be called in when it is evident that the concerns of those against far outnumber the supporters. I hope it sits empty – a reminder of the greed of this local government (Stanhope and Corbell) and the greed of Goodwin Aged Care Services.

Martin Martin 5:09 pm 07 Nov 05

I must admit I feel aggrieved when I see the Ainslie community’s democratic rights dismissed by a Planning Minister who knows best.

For the life of me, I cannot understand the rush to approve this development, unless it has something to do with the Tree Protection Act 2005 coming into force in March next year. The Federal Government advised us that they would look favourably on a funding extension for events outside Goodwin’s control. So the Minister’s statement that he had to call it in to meet a funding deadline doesn’t seem to hold water.

It interesting to compare Simon Corbell and Jon Stanhope over this process.

Jon Stanhope is a crusader for community consultation against the Federal Government. Simon Corbell shuts it down in his portfolio.

Jon Stanhope says that “a sustainable city-state could inspire the world”. Simon Corbell rejects the advice of his own advisory body, the Planning and Land Council, who stated this development “did not meet the government’s own sustainability aims and objectives.”

Jon Stanhope was so worried about the previous government’s development (and call-in!) track record, that he recommended Ainslie be placed on the National Trust’s endangered suburbs list. Simon Corbell rejects National Trust calls to not call in this development and approves it anyway.

You can’t help but wonder who you’re actually voting for when you vote Labor these days…..

bonfire bonfire 3:46 pm 07 Nov 05

the problem with palnning decisons is that whenever there is a complaint, there will always be vocal aggrieved parties.

str are the absolute gold medal winners in this regard.

Chris S Chris S 2:37 pm 07 Nov 05

The interesting thing is that Simon Corbell was a regular critic of Brendan Smyth (when Brendan was Planning Minister) for over-using his call-in powers. It would be interesting to compare their respective stats, as I think Simon has used this particular planning instrument (a terribly large, blunt one at the best of times) several times more than Brendan ever did.

It’s my view that Simon’s greatest achievement is that he’s managed to make Brendan look like a planning genius.

oldsoldier oldsoldier 10:47 am 07 Nov 05

Whether you are for or against the development, and even if you approve of Corbell trying to find a middle-way, calling-in is not the right way. Calling in means that citizens can’t even follow the appeal processes set out in the Government’s own legislation. It’s a way of ensuring that people cannot scrutinise the Government’s planning decisions.

Looks like we’re going the way of the Federal government with its ‘anti-terror’ legislation. “Just trust us”

Shades of the past – I seem to remember, that many Communist states (USSR, East Germany) tried that too.

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