8 February 2011

More Hawker groups brought inside the tent

| johnboy
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Chief Minister Stanhope has announced he’s creating a new reference group to make enraged community bodies in the suburb of Hawker feel as if they’re being listened to in the re-development process.

Representatives from the Friends of Hawker Village and Belconnen Community Council are among the members of a new reference group which will help guide the development of the Hawker precinct through the creation of a Master Plan, Chief Minister and Minister for Land and Property Services, Jon Stanhope said today.

Mr Stanhope said the reference group would be chaired by Land and Property Services Chief Executive, David Dawes and include members of the local community, Hawker business owners and other key stakeholders. The group will also include representatives of the Council on the Ageing, Christ Church, professional bodies and the ACT Government Architect Alastair Swayn.

“It is important that the views of the local community are listened to and that is why the reference group has been established and the Master Plan commissioned,” Mr Stanhope said. “I am pleased that groups like the Friends of Hawker Village and Belconnen Community Council have accepted the Government’s invitation to work together to achieve the best possible outcome for everyone with an interest in Hawker’s future.”

Mr Warren Prince, spokesman for the Friends of Hawker Village, said, “Achieving sustainable outcomes for the Hawker shopping area and the surrounding community has been one of our key aims. A Master Plan will help shift the focus from uncoordinated ad hoc development towards a more considered and integrated approach.

Because it’s absolutely vital that views of the KFC remain unsullied.

In a strange move Mary Porter (who serves in Mr Stanhope’s Government) has put out a media release saying how awesome she thinks this announcement is.

Member for Ginninderra Mary Porter has welcomed the inclusion of representatives from the Friends of Hawker Village, local businesses, Christ Church and the Belconnen Community Council in a Project Reference Group which has been formed to help guide the development of the Hawker commercial precinct through the creation of a Master Plan.

“Today’s announcement by Chief Minister Jon Stanhope is most welcome,” Ms Porter said.

“Having lived in Hawker for more than 20years I have both a personal as well as professional interest in the future of the shopping centre.

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I hope this is a tent where some genuine consultation happens, as opposed to the tent where the government listens then does what it wants anyway.

The cynic in me says this reeks of trying to silence vocal opposition without actually giving them anything.

‘Representatives of the Friends of Hawker Village and the Belconnen Community Council are among the members of a new reference group …’ [Chiefys’ press release].

Who are the actual people attending these meetings?

The press release names some people who are attending on behalf of the ACT Government ie David Dawes and Alastair Swayne. Their role is clear.

Those who attend to ‘represent the community’ should also be named and their interest in the proposed development declared.

As a user of the shops I don’t mind who is on the ‘consultative’ group as long as it is clear what their individual interest is.

My ‘two bobs’ worth on the shops themselves is that the planning decision to allow the medical centre to be developed on Beetaloo Street, taken long ago, is where it all went ‘wrong’.

I think I’ll write to the CM and will expect, in due course, a ‘thanks for all the fish’ answer.

I find this consultation a great community involvement, maybe it could be used as a precedent for other contentious development issues. Hopefully a good outcome is negotiated.
Some people denigrate NIMBYS but they don’t realise how much the local issues are important and how they value their street, their community and especially their local shops. They want to engage in the process of change. It is always a hard process and you cannot please everyone.

Community is more than real estate.

Tetranitrate12:52 pm 08 Feb 11

My worry with redevelopment there is that they’ll bulldoze and build over all most of the carparking and in doing so kill the shops. If people can’t park there they can’t shop or use services – which is pretty much what’s happened to City West.

Hawker shops doesn’t just get people within walking distance and wouldn’t survive on that in its present form, the IGA, Chemist, Butcher and Newsagent for instance service several suburbs, same with the many takeaways (like 3 or so from memory).

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