More than a few Canberrans have concerns about the pace of change in the city, according to our most recent poll.
The Federal Government’s Centre for Population predicts Canberra will grow by almost 100,000 within the next decade, reaching 550,000 by 2033, but experts say that strategic planning for the ACT didn’t go beyond the half-million mark and the tension on our infrastructure is showing.
Brad Gordon commented “[feels] like 450,000 is in Gungahlin”, while Shannos wrote “The ACT Government (and nationally for the last 30 years) has maintained a growth mentality based on immigration, construction of housing and consumption. The consumption cycle is driven by developers who sponsor the need for high density (sustainable) living. The result is obviously not sustainable or desirable.”
We asked: Is Canberra ready for a population of 550,000? 843 voters responded.
You could have voted: Yes, change is inevitable, so let’s embrace the challenge. That option received 34 per cent of the total, or 284 votes. Alternatively, you could have voted: No, we’re bursting at the seams. Let’s pause and reassess. This received 66 per cent of the total, or 559 votes.
This week, we’re wondering whether you think public servants should be allowed to choose whether or not they mark 26 January as Australia Day?
Chris Johnson reported this week that Australian public servants can ask for another day of leave instead of the 26 January Australia Day public holiday. As the date and what it symbolises become increasingly controversial in some quarters, APS employees can request through their immediate managers or their agency heads to work on 26 January and substitute it for an alternative day’s leave.
It is a provision most state and territory governments – including the ACT – are not providing their public servants.
Prior to the election, Scott Morrison’s Coalition government forced the federal workforce to take leave on Australia Day, Anzac Day and Queen’s Birthday (now King’s Birthday) public holidays, so the change of direction is a conscious choice from Labor.
It’s also been a divisive one among readers.
“The whole matter is rather silly. Any public servant can negotiate with their manager to take leave on specific dates. I have had this type of conversation with Muslim and Hindu staff who wish to trade one holiday for another. Having worked on Christmas and New Year’s Day it is not that big a deal. Get over it,” one reader said.
But another reader asked “What next? Public servants picking and choosing when they take any public holiday? They can save them all up and just have a week off whenever if it comes to that.”
Our poll question this week is: Should taking the Australia Day public holiday be mandatory?