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Images of Canberra – The Goodwin Trees of Ainslie

By johnboy - 1 November 2005 56

To edify the heated discussions on the Goodwin Homes development (which many long term Inner North residents of my acquaintance are in favour of) B2 has sent in the following picture of the controversial (if not red herring) trees.

Threatened Goodwin Trees Of Ainslie

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56 Responses to
Images of Canberra – The Goodwin Trees of Ainslie
oldsoldier 10:55 am 02 Nov 05

Glad theonlyjames brought up the issue of ‘no consultation’. Maybe you are not aware that ACTPLA, following its legal requirements, put up tiny yellow signs at Goodwin and letter-dropped only those residents who were immediate neighbours. Oops. sorry that so many of the neighbours were in public housing and therefore had NO right to comment at all (only houseownerss can do that). Besides, for a $90m project to be built over 5 years, and bringing 500 new residents into the area, you’d’ve thought that ACTPLA would have gone to greater lengths to allow ‘consultation’. Oh yeah, they did talk to about a dozen or so people from the North Canberra Community Council, I think.
For my part, I didn’t even think about it … aftr all Goodwin needs to refurbish the Ainslie homes … until the public meeting, by which time it was too late to submit any comments to ACTPLA. I reckon all this falls into the category of ‘no consultation’ – even to the extent where plain-speaking, she’ll-be-right old codgers like me get a very nasty shock when they finally get to trundle down to Dickson to have a look at the plans.

theonlyjames 10:02 am 02 Nov 05

Oldoak, you are taking the piss right?

oldoak 9:58 am 02 Nov 05

Bonfire, I’d like to say that people who support high-density/rise buildings in inner Canberra are environmentally irresponsible. But having a name like Bonfire a concern for the environment may not mean much to you.

Mr Evil 9:40 am 02 Nov 05

Bonfire, you’d probably support a nuclear reactor being built in the centre of a residential suburb, but only if it was used to supply power to light rail! 😉

theonlyjames 9:36 am 02 Nov 05

Apologies for the long post – there is just a lot to address.

Good points Martin and Evil, I was simply trying to put some of the wider whinges and complaints into perspective.

Even so, accusations of profit/financial motivation seem simplistic at best. The provision of aged-care services for those less well off to whatever extent (by a non-profit organisation remember) is not cheap and would undoubtedly need to be supported by a decent level of income. In the current environment groups such as Goodwin are encouraged to maintain a substantial income in order to provide such services. To me, aged-care doe not seem to be a cheap exercise, especially when providing such services to those deemed as less well off. Any sensible attempt at this, I feel, should be approached without the shrill anti-development calls exhibited here and in the other thread.

The other charges against the development regrading significant trees and the consultation process raise other issues. While the tree issue seems like a last ditch attempt to hold up the development, it does illustrate possible policy flaws, or at least a questionable approach to such policies. Development policy is another thing. Canberrans have a relatively large say on what others can do with their own property. To call the ACT consultation process ‘minimal’ in light of such a fuss seems wrong.

Arguments in the other thread also arose along the tired old line of ‘needs to be done, but not in my backyard’. Someone raised the Karralika extension in Fadden, and I think this is an excellent example of this. If you don’t like the existence of other people impacting in such a way on your life what are you doing living in a city or even suburbia? At the same time charges of ‘no consultation’ seemed to simply mean ‘we didn’t get our way’. In light of the arguments I raised above, these claims seem a touch silly or to some extent selfish.

Should development in Ainslie be limited to such an extent indefinitely? Should we preserve slow-density suburbs in such a way and simply deal with the expenses and drawbacks later? It is a debate Canberra needs to have and I am pleased to see it is happening here in some form. I would hope that town planning would take into consideration wider issues than just inner-suburban residents aesthetical concerns. An increasing need for aged care and retiree services as well as a wish for the city to grow through higher-density, economically viable accommodation are real issues. Endeavouring to be the ‘Bush Capital’ is important, but at the cost of being a real capital city?

oldoak 9:34 am 02 Nov 05

g man to meet!) I would like to say to my grandchildren, ” Sonny, you can thank MDear oh dear, Mr Corbell. Here I was thinking that you spent your time in the office rereading the Labor Party Planning Policy (particularly the “community consultation”) and all the time you have been sitting on the computer reading and writing to the Riotact Ainslie treehuggers! Simon (may I call you that?) when you get to my age, you will realise the (heritage) value of retaining the little history we have in Canberra. I know you are but a mere lad Simon, but we aged persons prefer to live in surroundings we have become used to, not these modern super-duper high-rise buildings with lifts that we are afraid to get in incase they break down and we get stuck for ever. Like Oldsoldier (now he might be an interesting man to meet!) I can say to my grandchildren, “Sonny, you can thank Mr Simon Corbell for keeping the ambience of Ainslie intact.”

bonfire 9:04 am 02 Nov 05

people who oppose high density housing in inner canberra are socially irresponsible.

and why should self funded retirees be condemned as being the target of the development ? unles somethoing goes seriously awry with my plans, i hope never to hit the govt up for a penion.

maybe in 40 years or so i’ll move to ainslie and live in a nice 6th floor apartment with doors wide enough for my wheelchair.

whinge away nimbys. pull every pointless little objection out and obsess over it for years.

oldsoldier 8:59 am 02 Nov 05

Well, I’m certainly not a self-serving NIMBY, or what ever else gets thrown at protestors who are trying to stand up for citizen’s rights. I just want to see my children and my children’s children have some heritage left for them. Keep the beaut trees! Make Goodwin a delightful place for the real aged-care residents as well as for the community in which they live. Forget those high-rise latte drinkers and join me for a beer at Edgar’s.

Mr Evil 7:49 am 02 Nov 05

I agree with Martin: most people aren’t saying no to the development, they are saying no to the way it is being done, and the way Goodwin is trying to have it rushed through without proper consultation.

Stateline raised the issue of building height with the ‘voicepipe’ from Goodwin, and he stated that the buildings would “be no higher than the existing surrounding trees”, but when a gentleman from the ANU was brought in to measure the height of the trees it was obvious that this was not going to be the case, and in fact, the buildings would be a great deal higher than the trees!

Martin 7:10 am 02 Nov 05

I agree the site needs redeveloping. I agree we need more aged care, especially for the less well off.

We need to remember that Goodwin are only providing an additional 30 aged care beds here, of which only around 9 will be for financially disadvantaged people.

The rest of the apartments (178 units housing up to 356 people) are for self-funded retirees, not pensioners. Prices for the units will be pegged to Ainslie property prices (or so we were advised by the development manager), with Goodwin pocketing 50% of any price increases, as the units become more expensive.

I notice that Goodwin’s other two sites are moderate, in keeping with the local suburbs. The fact they’ve singled out Ainslie for high rise development seems to me to be more about finance than any real consideration for the needy in our society.

Let’s redevelop the site. Let’s provide more aged care accommodation. But let’s do it in a way that doesn’t destroy heritage values, that preserves garden suburbs instead of turning them into “Multiplexesque” (love that term) and that considers the full impact on the development on people other than those lining up with chequebooks at the ready.

theonlyjames 12:46 am 02 Nov 05

My apologies – I wanted have had the words “increasingly pressing” before “issues such as aged care…” in there.

Curse these late nights!

theonlyjames 12:43 am 02 Nov 05

Ingenious! Vocal complaining and attempts to limit development to low-density, aesthetically approved housing is exactly what Canberra needs!

I do hope that those who complain about such developments on blatantly selfish motives understand the logical extension of such protests. Rises in rates or increased government activity and intervention would surely then be understood and happily accepted by such groups when issues such as aged care/accommodation, affordable housing and support for inefficient public transport systems are being addressed.

Samuel Gordon-Stewar 11:15 pm 01 Nov 05

In which case I won’t support it. I have heard an awful lot about it, but never really paid much attention to it. And I agree that 3, 4 & 6 Storey buildings have no place in Ainslie. There is a two storey building on the corner of Officer Crescent and Hawdon Street which looks awful (and very Multiplexesque) and I think should never have been built.

That being said, I’m not a huge fan of the current Goodwin buildings, but I’d keep them over the proposed construction if it is as tall as claimed.

ainslieresident 10:41 pm 01 Nov 05

the problem is Sam, that it will be just that, with a few 1 storey buildings, some 3 and 4 storey buildings and 2 SIX storey buildings.

the plans look very Multiplexesque to me

Samuel Gordon-Stewar 10:03 pm 01 Nov 05

I’ve always regarded that site as being in need of development, and it was only recently that I realised it was the Goodwin site.

I will support development as long as it isn’t developed with something that looks remotely Multiplexesque

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