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Kingston Island – why is this private footbridge being passed off as “public infrastructure”?

By I-filed - 27 November 2011 20

Article in the Canberra Times this morning proudly promotes a footbridge to a proposed “private island” of exclusive residences, with no public spaces as far as I can tell (there is little information online).

It has been funded by the Land Development Agency as “part of almost $18 million it is spending on the public spaces at the foreshore, across from the island”. Why is a footbridge for the convenience of the developers and eventually residents, linking them to the foreshore, being promoted as though it is spending for the public good?

The cost of this private bridge should be borne by the developers!

This is one of the most dishonest things I’ve seen in action by our government, and that is saying something!

The Land Development Agency is saying, disingenuously, that the bridge will be “open to the public” when the “landscaping is finished’. What “public” will be heading across the footbridge FROM the foreshore to a complex of private residences? Sheer nonsense – it’s for the exclusive residence folk to enjoy the foreshore – clearly the developers felt the residents would be more likely to pay up off the plan if the foreshore was easily accessible.

Which minister, which bureaucrats in the pockets of the developers, have allowed this rort at ACT ratepayers’ expense? Answers please!

What’s Your opinion?


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20 Responses to
Kingston Island – why is this private footbridge being passed off as “public infrastructure”?
watto23 11:36 am 28 Nov 11

I’m pretty certain the footbridge is not private. There are plans for restaurants etc on the island for the public to use. The bridge isn’t overly extravagent either. I can’t see the issue here. Money is spent all over the town, as long as its not overly indulgent i don’t see the problem. Infrastructure needs to be built, some is used by more people than others.

I for one will make sure I use the bridge to go have a look around and will also paddle my kayak into the harbour for a look around 🙂

chewy14 9:08 am 28 Nov 11

nobody said :

dtc said :

So, a path was built to a house? And the government paid for that path? I can see why people are upset. In my old house, on a cul-de-sac, there was a outside my house and, you know what, pretty much only the people in my street used it and the path didnt go anywhere, except to our houses. I thought it outrageous at the time.

Was this an $18M path in your cul-de-sac, or was it about the same cost as everyone else’s path?

The bridge didn’t cost $18M, the total infrastructure works did. According to the report the bridge was $1.2M.

Looking at the plan, there is plenty of open public space on the island and the land is all zoned mixed-use which means there will be retail shops, cafes and restaurants out there.
It’s clearly not only for the benefit of the residents of the area.

nobody 8:38 am 28 Nov 11

dtc said :

So, a path was built to a house? And the government paid for that path? I can see why people are upset. In my old house, on a cul-de-sac, there was a outside my house and, you know what, pretty much only the people in my street used it and the path didnt go anywhere, except to our houses. I thought it outrageous at the time.

Was this an $18M path in your cul-de-sac, or was it about the same cost as everyone else’s path?

Mr Evil 11:16 pm 27 Nov 11

Psst, wanna buy a bridge?

2604 10:34 pm 27 Nov 11

drfelonious said :

The point is not the taxpayer spend per se, but that the relative spend is far in excess of the relative taxpayer dollar spend on public amenities in the boonies. As you style yourself 2604, I suppose you don’t often lower yourself to visit the boonies. However in the event you suffer some calamity that causes you to get out to Gungahlin for example you might notice that the area is not exactly flush with $18 million footbridges and “public” areas.

The end result is of course that the residents of Gungahlin etc are subsidising the residents of the Kingston Foreshore – as I said – par for the course with the LDA and the ACT government.

What an expert you are.

Do you have any proof, or anything at all, that suggests that “the residents of Gungahlin etc are subsidising the residents of the Kingston Foreshore”? What about figures regarding “the relative taxpayer dollar spend on public amenities in the boonies”? I’d be very interested to hear how you arrived at this conclusion about taxpayers in the “boonies” cross-subsidising those in Kingston – particularly given the fact that residents in the Kingston Foreshore will derive almost no benefit from the GDE, new schools in Gungahlin (Amaroo, Bonner, Harrison, Gungahlin College, etc), the roadworks for new suburbs like Bonner and Casey in Gungahlin and the future Majura Parkway – while sending their own kids to existing schools around Kingston and driving mainly on existing roads. The fact is that the development of Gungahlin is being bankrolled by all ACT residents. And that’s the way it has to be for any new urban area, including Kingston Foreshore – the community as a whole pays for amenities that will usually only be used by the residents of that new area. Do you have a better suggestion?

As for me “lowering myself to visit the boonies”, why don’t you stop being so clever and knowledgeable, already? I live in a spec-built 1970s house, in a suburb that class warriors like yourself who hate “rich people” would say is full of “bogans”.

dtc 9:20 pm 27 Nov 11

So, a path was built to a house? And the government paid for that path? I can see why people are upset. In my old house, on a cul-de-sac, there was a outside my house and, you know what, pretty much only the people in my street used it and the path didnt go anywhere, except to our houses. I thought it outrageous at the time.

peterepete 9:07 pm 27 Nov 11

I hope its a drawbridge – to keep riff raff out

nobody 6:22 pm 27 Nov 11

“User Pays” has been the mantra from the right when they are taking away funding from public transport, housing, or social services. But, this mantra is quickly dropped when the rich and privileged can wrangle some public works for their benefit.

I looked at the map from 2604, and yes it looks like the hoi polloi could use this bridge if they wanted to, but I can’t imagine why they would use more than once just to gawk at the luxury apartments and fancy yachts owned by the well-heeled.

I-filed 4:28 pm 27 Nov 11

2604 said :

Look at this plan from June 2010. The island in question seems to have plenty of open spaces, and if the buildings are anything like the rest of the foreshore, they will most likely have commercial premises, restaurants etc at ground level.

… …
Before posting in a jealous rage about how “rich people” are getting something and you’re not, waaaaah, why not do a little bit of basic research and some thinking about what you’re writing?

Firstly, your post doesn’t address the question of why this has been dressed up as “public foreshore” spending, and public good, rather than a benefit to business that business should pay for.
Secondly, I am not exhibiting “jealous rage” – I am legitimately concerned about misrepresentation on the part of the government.

drfelonious 4:21 pm 27 Nov 11

2604 said :

Look at this plan from June 2010. The island in question seems to have plenty of open spaces, and if the buildings are anything like the rest of the foreshore, they will most likely have commercial premises, restaurants etc at ground level.

You are also aware that people pay a lot of money to purchase these blocks of land, that some of that money will go towards the construction of this bridge, and that eventually the residents will pay rates that will be used by the government to maintain the bridge, aren’t you? Seems pretty obvious to me.

Before posting in a jealous rage about how “rich people” are getting something and you’re not, waaaaah, why not do a little bit of basic research and some thinking about what you’re writing?

What rot.

The point is not the taxpayer spend per se, but that the relative spend is far in excess of the relative taxpayer dollar spend on public amenities in the boonies. As you style yourself 2604, I suppose you don’t often lower yourself to visit the boonies. However in the event you suffer some calamity that causes you to get out to Gungahlin for example you might notice that the area is not exactly flush with $18 million footbridges and “public” areas.

The end result is of course that the residents of Gungahlin etc are subsidising the residents of the Kingston Foreshore – as I said – par for the course with the LDA and the ACT government.

2604 2:11 pm 27 Nov 11

Look at this plan from June 2010. The island in question seems to have plenty of open spaces, and if the buildings are anything like the rest of the foreshore, they will most likely have commercial premises, restaurants etc at ground level.

You are also aware that people pay a lot of money to purchase these blocks of land, that some of that money will go towards the construction of this bridge, and that eventually the residents will pay rates that will be used by the government to maintain the bridge, aren’t you? Seems pretty obvious to me.

Before posting in a jealous rage about how “rich people” are getting something and you’re not, waaaaah, why not do a little bit of basic research and some thinking about what you’re writing?

drfelonious 12:49 pm 27 Nov 11

Par for the course from the LDA. I’d love to know how much taxpayers money they spend per residence on these new gated communities relative to the spend per block for the plebs that cough up a measly $300k for a block in the new sheep paddock communities.

alaninoz 12:36 pm 27 Nov 11

One must assume that this “private island” has vehicle access. Why wasn’t pedestrian traffic included in the design for that access? If is was, why is a footbridge needed? In either case, why is the public paying?

dvaey said :

I wonder what happens if theres a fire on the single bridge? Or if it should happen to fall down after a few uni students sabotage it? What are the rich property owners gonna do then?

Further, as dvaey points out, who will be liable for any accidents on or to it? And who will be responsible for its maintenance? If the public is paying for its construction you’d have to assume it will be the public.

WilliamZ 12:14 pm 27 Nov 11

“This is one of the most dishonest things I’ve seen in action by our government, and that is saying something! “

Are you kidding? This seems like a pretty small thing compared with other “concessions” done by the ACT government.

dvaey 10:40 am 27 Nov 11

I wonder what happens if theres a fire on the single bridge? Or if it should happen to fall down after a few uni students sabotage it? What are the rich property owners gonna do then?

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