Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Lifestyle

Thinking about your business
Is a big part of ours

Greens kiss QIC donations goodbye and stand up for Civic

By johnboy 26 October 2011 36

centrepoint

The Greens’ Caroline Le Couteur has announced her plans to move against the QIC takeover of Civic in the Legislative Assembly:

“My motion raises a number of issues which have been of growing concern to shoppers and small businesses in Civic. These small businesses in City Walk and East Civic provide retail diversity to Canberra’s commercial heart.

“QIC now owns a solid portion of Civic, and there are no laws designed to stop such an ownership concentration.

“Businesses have told us that QIC is continuing to buy up blocks adjacent to the Canberra Centre, making conditions unpalatable for current tenants.

“It’s not clear what the long term plan is, but with the growing number of empty shopfronts, the centre of Civic is becoming less unattractive, and now Centrepoint is the dead heart of Civic.

“My motion calls for:
– Exploring options to minimise land and retail dominance in planning, land sale or other decisions, including through discussions with the ACCC
– Lease conditions to be enforced in Centrepoint
– Small business impact studies to be undertaken by a Government appointed consultant
– More toilets, public seating, the civic cycle loop and other actions to improve the amenity of Civic
– A master plan for Civic

What’s Your opinion?


Please login to post your comments, or connect with
36 Responses to
Greens kiss QIC donations goodbye and stand up for Civic
Filter
Showing only Website comments
Order
Newest to Oldest
Oldest to Newst
nobody 7:38 am 29 Oct 11

Crazed_Loner said :

nobody said :

All this cursing of QIC and the Canberra Centre reminds me of a scene in the Life of Brian –

Q: They bled us dry and take everything we have, and not just from us, but our fathers and fathers’ fathers. What has QIC ever done for us?
A: Well, they have given us parking covered from the rain, baking sun, and chilling wind.
Q: Oh yes they have given us that, but apart from that?
A: Scores of specialty shops we are free to browse around.
Q : Yes, yes, but apart from covered parking and scores of shops, what have they done?
A: Escalators and lifts so we don’t have to deal with stairs.
Q: Well yes, but apart from covered parking, specialty shops, and escalators, have they ever done anything for us?
A: Shopping protected from the chilling wind, rain, and baking sun.
Q: Well, yes but have they really ever done anything for us?
A: Security guards to remove aggressive, high, or drunk people.
Q: OK, apart from covered parking, specialty shops, escalators, protection from the weather, and security, what have they done for us?
A: A pleasant place to socialise, have a coffee, and watch the world go by.
Q: OK, OK, OK, but what does QIC do for us?
A: A vibrant, warm, safe, place to go for Friday night shopping.

You’re taking the piss, right?
– given us covered parking and gouged us for the privelege without any 2- or 3-hour free periods as at other malls. It was their obligation to provide parking for the centre and particulalrly to replace the lost parking, not some sort of act of benevolence;
– scores of specialty shops – d’uh, well that was their purpose, although quite a few of them are chain stores identical to every other mall in the land;
– escaltors and lifts which are a practical necessity, compared to the non-QIC shops which are at street level, not requiring any such facilities, a real ‘straw-man’ argument;
– protected from all that nasty weather – oh you poor petal, how do you manage the trek from your back door to the car without expiring? Perhaps you haven’t noticed that even non-QIC shops are air-conditioned;
Security guards – yes, the world needs more security guards, especially the ones who try to evict ordinary people for taking photos of their own children in malls. Thank goodness they’ve already saved us from the hordes of rampaging ferals invading this sacred ground so that we didn’t even notice;
– yes, you can really watch the ‘world’ go by sitting inside a covered mall, if you have a very insular, inward-looking view of the world as represented by the inside of a mall, that is. Try sitting in Garema Place or similar for a slightly better experience, replete with sights, sounds and smells (and a few birds) and an outward-looking view of the real world. Sounds like Paris might be a stretch too far, though;
-the Friday night shopping experience? I’m already quivering with excitement but what about Saturday to Thursday – too much vibrancy or not enough? Anyway, thank goodness for the warmth and safety (again).

Looks like QIC is just implementing the monopolist’s playbook: buy up the surrounding buildings and force out the (small) opposition and then claim only they can save the situation with a big, shiny new (but unnecessary) development. How much is enough for these vultures? The world really needs more retail at the moment. Without growth (and that’s a whole other argument), it’s a zero-sum game.

Judging by this long and exaggerated curse of the Canberra Centre, I’d suggest watching the last scene of the Life of Brian, “Always look on the bright side of life”.

RedDogInCan 11:16 am 28 Oct 11

creative_canberran said :

As for QIC… buying tickets to a party event where the cash ends up as a donation is more acceptable than handing money directly with no pretence?

Interestingly enough the QIC is a ‘core member’ of the Property Council of Australia ACT Branch. They don’t need to donate directly to the Liberals to push their case.

bryansworld 10:39 am 28 Oct 11

Crazed_Loner said :

nobody said :

All this cursing of QIC and the Canberra Centre reminds me of a scene in the Life of Brian –

Q: They bled us dry and take everything we have, and not just from us, but our fathers and fathers’ fathers. What has QIC ever done for us?
A: Well, they have given us parking covered from the rain, baking sun, and chilling wind.
Q: Oh yes they have given us that, but apart from that?
A: Scores of specialty shops we are free to browse around.
Q : Yes, yes, but apart from covered parking and scores of shops, what have they done?
A: Escalators and lifts so we don’t have to deal with stairs.
Q: Well yes, but apart from covered parking, specialty shops, and escalators, have they ever done anything for us?
A: Shopping protected from the chilling wind, rain, and baking sun.
Q: Well, yes but have they really ever done anything for us?
A: Security guards to remove aggressive, high, or drunk people.
Q: OK, apart from covered parking, specialty shops, escalators, protection from the weather, and security, what have they done for us?
A: A pleasant place to socialise, have a coffee, and watch the world go by.
Q: OK, OK, OK, but what does QIC do for us?
A: A vibrant, warm, safe, place to go for Friday night shopping.

You’re taking the piss, right?
– given us covered parking and gouged us for the privelege without any 2- or 3-hour free periods as at other malls. It was their obligation to provide parking for the centre and particulalrly to replace the lost parking, not some sort of act of benevolence;
– scores of specialty shops – d’uh, well that was their purpose, although quite a few of them are chain stores identical to every other mall in the land;
– escaltors and lifts which are a practical necessity, compared to the non-QIC shops which are at street level, not requiring any such facilities, a real ‘straw-man’ argument;
– protected from all that nasty weather – oh you poor petal, how do you manage the trek from your back door to the car without expiring? Perhaps you haven’t noticed that even non-QIC shops are air-conditioned;
Security guards – yes, the world needs more security guards, especially the ones who try to evict ordinary people for taking photos of their own children in malls. Thank goodness they’ve already saved us from the hordes of rampaging ferals invading this sacred ground so that we didn’t even notice;
– yes, you can really watch the ‘world’ go by sitting inside a covered mall, if you have a very insular, inward-looking view of the world as represented by the inside of a mall, that is. Try sitting in Garema Place or similar for a slightly better experience, replete with sights, sounds and smells (and a few birds) and an outward-looking view of the real world. Sounds like Paris might be a stretch too far, though;
-the Friday night shopping experience? I’m already quivering with excitement but what about Saturday to Thursday – too much vibrancy or not enough? Anyway, thank goodness for the warmth and safety (again).

Looks like QIC is just implementing the monopolist’s playbook: buy up the surrounding buildings and force out the (small) opposition and then claim only they can save the situation with a big, shiny new (but unnecessary) development. How much is enough for these vultures? The world really needs more retail at the moment. Without growth (and that’s a whole other argument), it’s a zero-sum game.

+1.

Crazed_Loner 1:34 am 28 Oct 11

nobody said :

All this cursing of QIC and the Canberra Centre reminds me of a scene in the Life of Brian –

Q: They bled us dry and take everything we have, and not just from us, but our fathers and fathers’ fathers. What has QIC ever done for us?
A: Well, they have given us parking covered from the rain, baking sun, and chilling wind.
Q: Oh yes they have given us that, but apart from that?
A: Scores of specialty shops we are free to browse around.
Q : Yes, yes, but apart from covered parking and scores of shops, what have they done?
A: Escalators and lifts so we don’t have to deal with stairs.
Q: Well yes, but apart from covered parking, specialty shops, and escalators, have they ever done anything for us?
A: Shopping protected from the chilling wind, rain, and baking sun.
Q: Well, yes but have they really ever done anything for us?
A: Security guards to remove aggressive, high, or drunk people.
Q: OK, apart from covered parking, specialty shops, escalators, protection from the weather, and security, what have they done for us?
A: A pleasant place to socialise, have a coffee, and watch the world go by.
Q: OK, OK, OK, but what does QIC do for us?
A: A vibrant, warm, safe, place to go for Friday night shopping.

You’re taking the piss, right?
– given us covered parking and gouged us for the privelege without any 2- or 3-hour free periods as at other malls. It was their obligation to provide parking for the centre and particulalrly to replace the lost parking, not some sort of act of benevolence;
– scores of specialty shops – d’uh, well that was their purpose, although quite a few of them are chain stores identical to every other mall in the land;
– escaltors and lifts which are a practical necessity, compared to the non-QIC shops which are at street level, not requiring any such facilities, a real ‘straw-man’ argument;
– protected from all that nasty weather – oh you poor petal, how do you manage the trek from your back door to the car without expiring? Perhaps you haven’t noticed that even non-QIC shops are air-conditioned;
Security guards – yes, the world needs more security guards, especially the ones who try to evict ordinary people for taking photos of their own children in malls. Thank goodness they’ve already saved us from the hordes of rampaging ferals invading this sacred ground so that we didn’t even notice;
– yes, you can really watch the ‘world’ go by sitting inside a covered mall, if you have a very insular, inward-looking view of the world as represented by the inside of a mall, that is. Try sitting in Garema Place or similar for a slightly better experience, replete with sights, sounds and smells (and a few birds) and an outward-looking view of the real world. Sounds like Paris might be a stretch too far, though;
-the Friday night shopping experience? I’m already quivering with excitement but what about Saturday to Thursday – too much vibrancy or not enough? Anyway, thank goodness for the warmth and safety (again).

Looks like QIC is just implementing the monopolist’s playbook: buy up the surrounding buildings and force out the (small) opposition and then claim only they can save the situation with a big, shiny new (but unnecessary) development. How much is enough for these vultures? The world really needs more retail at the moment. Without growth (and that’s a whole other argument), it’s a zero-sum game.

Usermane 10:10 pm 27 Oct 11

bd84 said :

It is not helped by the ACT Government continuing to create a divide between the centre and other buildings by allowing all traffic along bunda st. There could be a really nice alfresco dining area to join the areas if the government actually listened instead of forking out money to resurface an unnecessary road as they have done in the last year.

For example, Garema Place (only one street over) has matured into a very successful and really nice alfresco dining area full of vibrancy and life. We should make all of Civic like that.

Yeah.

creative_canberran 8:58 pm 27 Oct 11

caf said :

ActewAGL isn’t a government owned corporation. The “AGL” bit is the clue.

I would suggest that the people of Queensland might like to take that up with their Government (although the odd amount might suggest that it was tickets to an event or similar rather than a straight-out cash donation, which is somewhat more acceptable).

ActewAGL is 50% owned by ACTEW Corporation, a wholly owned ACT Government enterprise.
The returns from that partnership are returned to the ACT Government as a dividend.
Look it up!

As for QIC… buying tickets to a party event where the cash ends up as a donation is more acceptable than handing money directly with no pretence? I don’t know what plane of logic you’re on?

caf 8:10 pm 27 Oct 11

creative_canberran said :

Happens with ACT Government businesses:
http://www.elections.act.gov.au/resources/uploads/pdfs/returns_09/thirdparties/ActewAGL.pdf

And if you direct your attention to the final page of this document, you’ll see a few thousand dollars from QIC given to the Liberal Party:
http://www.elections.act.gov.au/resources/uploads/pdfs/returns_08/politicalparties/LiberalParty.pdf

ActewAGL isn’t a government owned corporation. The “AGL” bit is the clue.

I would suggest that the people of Queensland might like to take that up with their Government (although the odd amount might suggest that it was tickets to an event or similar rather than a straight-out cash donation, which is somewhat more acceptable).

nobody 5:08 pm 27 Oct 11

All this cursing of QIC and the Canberra Centre reminds me of a scene in the Life of Brian –

Q: They bled us dry and take everything we have, and not just from us, but our fathers and fathers’ fathers. What has QIC ever done for us?
A: Well, they have given us parking covered from the rain, baking sun, and chilling wind.
Q: Oh yes they have given us that, but apart from that?
A: Scores of specialty shops we are free to browse around.
Q : Yes, yes, but apart from covered parking and scores of shops, what have they done?
A: Escalators and lifts so we don’t have to deal with stairs.
Q: Well yes, but apart from covered parking, specialty shops, and escalators, have they ever done anything for us?
A: Shopping protected from the chilling wind, rain, and baking sun.
Q: Well, yes but have they really ever done anything for us?
A: Security guards to remove aggressive, high, or drunk people.
Q: OK, apart from covered parking, specialty shops, escalators, protection from the weather, and security, what have they done for us?
A: A pleasant place to socialise, have a coffee, and watch the world go by.
Q: OK, OK, OK, but what does QIC do for us?
A: A vibrant, warm, safe, place to go for Friday night shopping.

Stevian 12:49 pm 27 Oct 11

Just because Civic must die, doesn’t mean we can’t prevent the least desirable vultures from feeding on the carcass

john87_no1 12:09 pm 27 Oct 11

I’m not exactly sure what the people of Canberra are expecting Civic to be. Seems some see visions a kind of European Bohemian enclave?

Canberra has a population of around 300K+, with 7 retail hubs. We simply dont have enough people or money to support ALL local small business. Something has to give and sadly in this case its small business.

creative_canberran 10:27 am 27 Oct 11

bryansworld said :

If Darling Harbour was adjacent to the Rocks, and started to take it over, by purchasing large blocks and raising rents to vacate tenancies, then bulldozed old buildings to expand its shopping centre, your analogy might be valid. It is not.

It is valid to one with an ounce of sense.

Why do people go to The Rocks, which is a bit of a hike, when the shiny, glitzy new Darling Harbour exists? Surely if all the nay sayers of Canberra Centre are correct, then what is shiny and new will create a vacuum, drawing away people from other areas. Surely if they’re correct, then the old fashioned markets at Fyshwick should have gone bust long ago given we have Woolworths and Coles a stones throw from wherever we live?

It’s because The Rocks have character and offer reasons to go. So too the markets, bringing in people from all over Canberra.

Build it and offer people something and they will come.

So far, the centre of Civic is still largely decrepit, tacky pavement works and public art aside.

If you look at New Acton at lunch time where they’ve invested and rebuilt large parts, there’s streams of people going from other parts of Civic and Acton.

I would compare this argument to the older argument about protectionism and the British Car Industry (and Australian industry too). Crap build quality, models updated decades apart rather than 2-4 years, corners cut everywhere. We all know how that ended up, British Leyland went bust. Japanese models offered reliability, American models offered glitz and British models were left in the stone age.

Time for the retail areas around Garema Place to be razed where necessary and redone.

bryansworld 10:02 am 27 Oct 11

creative_canberran said :

Rollersk8r said :

Certainly don’t want to be seen agreeing with the Greens, but in this case I do, completely. More shops at the mall might equal more people at the mall but it certainly doesn’t mean more people in Civic. A vibrant Civic needs small specialty shops and cafes etc that make Garema Place the hub of town.

A vibrant Civic needs vibrancy. You cannot deny that CC attracted huge numbers, the sidewalks around CC are always busy and the frontages are generally very neat and attractive.

Meanwhile the rest of Civic in general looks run down. Shops are interspersed with lane ways that small of corpses, the pavement is drab and littered. There’s drunks, chuggers and druggies. The buildings look shabby.

My point is QIC has invested in CC and while it may not have the charm you’re after, it works.
If smaller businesses around the place are suffering, it’s their fault and the fault of the owners of those older buildings.

You are right, Garema Place needs to be a hub, but holding back CC is like saying Darling harbour shouldn’t have been built because it would take people away from The Rocks. Offers something and they will come. Time for ACT Gov and the business reps to start investing in the place.

If Darling Harbour was adjacent to the Rocks, and started to take it over, by purchasing large blocks and raising rents to vacate tenancies, then bulldozed old buildings to expand its shopping centre, your analogy might be valid. It is not.

Gungahlin Al 7:27 am 27 Oct 11

bd84 said :

RedDogInCan said :

Fess up, you work for QIC don’t you.

Nah I don’t work for the Queensland Government. Though I think it’s amusing that a Queensland Government owned corporation invests more money in the city than our own government.

What I am saying is that if the Government put a bit of effort and thought into the city, other than replacing some pavers here and there, that the city area could be a lot better than it is and there wouldn’t be such a divide. Having the Greens jumping up and down blaming the QIC for every business closure in the area and coming up with motions about toilets is more a load of brown stuff than anything useful.

I think it’s both. Lack of a strategic town centre plan for refurb and improving pedestrian friendliness. But also QIC are behind much of what they are being accused of.

There has been a lot of talk about Bunda St going shared zone, as we’ve been talking about for Hibberson St, but they frig around so long that some other branch goes and spends a bucket on rebuilding the road so then they can’t rip it up and everything stalls.

It’s “The Canberra Way”…

welkin31 7:00 am 27 Oct 11

Can somebody produce a map showing QIC holdings in Civic ?
Caroline Le Couteur says – “QIC now owns a solid portion of Civic…”
A map would really help.
If any State Govt owned corp is buying up contiguous blocks making up a serious percentage of Civic – I would find that a bit creepy.

creative_canberran 11:28 pm 26 Oct 11

caf said :

Agree with Gungahlin Al, I don’t think a Government Owned Corporation like QIC would ever give political donations.

You’re kidding?

Happens with ACT Government businesses:
http://www.elections.act.gov.au/resources/uploads/pdfs/returns_09/thirdparties/ActewAGL.pdf

And if you direct your attention to the final page of this document, you’ll see a few thousand dollars from QIC given to the Liberal Party:
http://www.elections.act.gov.au/resources/uploads/pdfs/returns_08/politicalparties/LiberalParty.pdf

creative_canberran 11:12 pm 26 Oct 11

Rollersk8r said :

Certainly don’t want to be seen agreeing with the Greens, but in this case I do, completely. More shops at the mall might equal more people at the mall but it certainly doesn’t mean more people in Civic. A vibrant Civic needs small specialty shops and cafes etc that make Garema Place the hub of town.

A vibrant Civic needs vibrancy. You cannot deny that CC attracted huge numbers, the sidewalks around CC are always busy and the frontages are generally very neat and attractive.

Meanwhile the rest of Civic in general looks run down. Shops are interspersed with lane ways that small of corpses, the pavement is drab and littered. There’s drunks, chuggers and druggies. The buildings look shabby.

My point is QIC has invested in CC and while it may not have the charm you’re after, it works.
If smaller businesses around the place are suffering, it’s their fault and the fault of the owners of those older buildings.

You are right, Garema Place needs to be a hub, but holding back CC is like saying Darling harbour shouldn’t have been built because it would take people away from The Rocks. Offers something and they will come. Time for ACT Gov and the business reps to start investing in the place.

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2018 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
the-riotact.com | aboutregional.com.au | b2bmagazine.com.au | thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site