Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Welcome to Canberra! Some thoughts on the ACT’s gateway signs

Paul Costigan 15 July 2015 46

border-P1120332

I enjoy the drive between Sydney from Canberra. I do it reasonably often. The mood of the country changes according to the weather, the drought, the latest rains and the time of day. Lake George and the surrounding hills have many moods to be enjoyed.

All of this leads back to how the traveller is welcomed back to Canberra. This is not so good. In fact, many country towns do a far better job. As Australia’s national capital, Canberra deserves something far better than the insignificant tokens at the borders.

What do we have on the return from Sydney? There’s a small stonewall with a concrete sign – Australian Capital Territory. This is followed by a couple of signs about the indigenous connections and the sister city arrangements. And there’s a threatening 100 km per hour speed sign.

When you leave, there’s a sign that welcomes you to New South Wales. But there is no sign to welcome you to Canberra.

A couple of decades ago I used to suggest that there should be a large set of statues at the border. These were to be at least 18 metres tall and should have been statues of public servants. The perception by people outside of Canberra was that this was a city full of public servants, and no one else, so why not give them what they expected at the border. The gateway was to be dominated by a series of large public servants, complete with lunch boxes and briefcases and boring clothing.

Given that the current federal government has been working extra hard to make public servants a thing of the past, I need to update this concept.

There should now be large illuminated signs alerting visitors to watch out for the endangered species known as public servants. The signs should have phone numbers to bring assistance to this rare species of humans as many are now often seen wandering about the city in a distressed state.

Given the introduction nationally of the new Border Force, maybe Canberra should introduce its own border force to check on who is entering the city and where they have come from.

Travellers would feel as though Canberra was a very important city if our own uniformed border force officers greeted everyone at the border checkpoints. And given the Chief Minister’s recent statements that venues such as Westside were not designed for people over 50, the Border Force could enforce limits on those pesky aging travellers trying to jump the queues and sneak through our borders.

And now for more serious thoughts.

While the landscape along Northbourne Avenue is about to be altered, as any landscape does, it is a good time to consider the whole road entrance to the city. At the moment, when you travel from Sydney across the border, the greenery is patchy and there is nothing special to indicate that you are in Canberra.

These early parts of the road entrance could be enhanced with a greater variety of trees and shrubs to provide a range of visual interests as you drive up and over that last hill and down towards the city. Along the way there should also be a range of artworks, both hard sculptural pieces and landscape artworks.

border-P1120346

To be honest, whether it is more greenery, artworks or whatever, both this entrance and the one from Yass urgently need a rethink. The entrances to Canberra should offer very clear messages that welcome people to the national capital.

So the first target should be to have some far better signage and sculptural pieces at the entrances. Given the way planning is carried out in Canberra, whereby committees meet to discuss setting up other committees and then meet in venues to hold workshops, I hope that there is a way to cut through the bureaucracy and for some visionary within our government to push hard for new gateways to be installed sooner rather than later.

Canberra has loads of creative residents, so maybe it is time to hear from some of them.

What would send a message of welcome to visitors to Canberra and welcome back us travellers after we have ventured by road in to New South Wales and beyond? Over to you!


What’s Your opinion?


Please login to post your comments, or connect with
46 Responses to
Welcome to Canberra! Some thoughts on the ACT’s gateway signs
Filter
Showing only Website comments
Order
Newest to Oldest
Oldest to Newest
miz 11:38 am 20 Jul 15

The Monaro Highway is also a significant entry into Canberra, with no welcome and very daggy IMO.

dungfungus 11:37 am 20 Jul 15

rubaiyat said :

dungfungus said :

Pity we can’t get the same effect on the fossil fuel industry shills!

Such feigned concern about wildlife.

The windmills are simply an ineffectual method of mass extermination of wildlife when you can wipe out twenty times as many with coal powered power stations, and eradicate the rest with climate change.

Then the conservatives will be coexisting with the roaches in their tax havens.

I think you are getting confused with canaries in coal mines.

I think you are getting confused with Liberal Party parrots in Family Trusts heavily invested in coal mines.

Johnny Howard lost a stack of ministers who “forgot” to declare their conflicts of interest. Johnny fixed that by removing the requirement to declare.

“I think you are getting confused with Liberal Party parrots in Family Trusts heavily invested in coal mines.”
Source?

rubaiyat 10:13 am 20 Jul 15

dungfungus said :

Pity we can’t get the same effect on the fossil fuel industry shills!

Such feigned concern about wildlife.

The windmills are simply an ineffectual method of mass extermination of wildlife when you can wipe out twenty times as many with coal powered power stations, and eradicate the rest with climate change.

Then the conservatives will be coexisting with the roaches in their tax havens.

I think you are getting confused with canaries in coal mines.

I think you are getting confused with Liberal Party parrots in Family Trusts heavily invested in coal mines.

Johnny Howard lost a stack of ministers who “forgot” to declare their conflicts of interest. Johnny fixed that by removing the requirement to declare.

dungfungus 5:11 pm 19 Jul 15

rubaiyat said :

Evilomlap said :

watto23 said :

dungfungus said :

Why not put the 2 x bird blenders on Red Hill so everyone could see them up close and get to love them?

Amazing how birds manage to avoid vehicles travelling at far greater speeds than a wind turbine, and occasionally one gets hit, but when its a wind turbine and a bird gets hit, the conservatives use it as a valid reason to justify their very weak anti wind-power argument. Contrary to what you might think, wind turbines have very little effect on birds and animals, if any. I’ve seen nests on wind turbine pylons, so clearly those birds didn’t seem to mind too much.

Darwinism – only stupid birds fly into wind turbines. We’re just helping nature weed out the idiots.

Pity we can’t get the same effect on the fossil fuel industry shills!

Such feigned concern about wildlife.

The windmills are simply an ineffectual method of mass extermination of wildlife when you can wipe out twenty times as many with coal powered power stations, and eradicate the rest with climate change.

Then the conservatives will be coexisting with the roaches in their tax havens.

I think you are getting confused with canaries in coal mines.

GardeningGirl 3:00 pm 19 Jul 15

tim_c said :

Wait, did I read that right? The chief minister has said the newest addition to the city is not designed for people over 50, while his current registration plate slogan is “An age friendly city”???
Yeah, we’re an age friendly city, as long as you’re not over 50.

Yeah, haha, I noted that too.

dungfungus 1:06 pm 18 Jul 15

watto23 said :

dungfungus said :

Why not put the 2 x bird blenders on Red Hill so everyone could see them up close and get to love them?

Amazing how birds manage to avoid vehicles travelling at far greater speeds than a wind turbine, and occasionally one gets hit, but when its a wind turbine and a bird gets hit, the conservatives use it as a valid reason to justify their very weak anti wind-power argument. Contrary to what you might think, wind turbines have very little effect on birds and animals, if any. I’ve seen nests on wind turbine pylons, so clearly those birds didn’t seem to mind too much.

You must have seen those nests when you flew over them by yourself. Were they inhabited by Cuckoos?

dungfungus 1:05 pm 18 Jul 15

Evilomlap said :

watto23 said :

dungfungus said :

Why not put the 2 x bird blenders on Red Hill so everyone could see them up close and get to love them?

Amazing how birds manage to avoid vehicles travelling at far greater speeds than a wind turbine, and occasionally one gets hit, but when its a wind turbine and a bird gets hit, the conservatives use it as a valid reason to justify their very weak anti wind-power argument. Contrary to what you might think, wind turbines have very little effect on birds and animals, if any. I’ve seen nests on wind turbine pylons, so clearly those birds didn’t seem to mind too much.

Darwinism – only stupid birds fly into wind turbines. We’re just helping nature weed out the idiots.

That was a bird-brain inspired comment.

rubaiyat 6:15 pm 17 Jul 15

Evilomlap said :

watto23 said :

dungfungus said :

Why not put the 2 x bird blenders on Red Hill so everyone could see them up close and get to love them?

Amazing how birds manage to avoid vehicles travelling at far greater speeds than a wind turbine, and occasionally one gets hit, but when its a wind turbine and a bird gets hit, the conservatives use it as a valid reason to justify their very weak anti wind-power argument. Contrary to what you might think, wind turbines have very little effect on birds and animals, if any. I’ve seen nests on wind turbine pylons, so clearly those birds didn’t seem to mind too much.

Darwinism – only stupid birds fly into wind turbines. We’re just helping nature weed out the idiots.

Pity we can’t get the same effect on the fossil fuel industry shills!

Such feigned concern about wildlife.

The windmills are simply an ineffectual method of mass extermination of wildlife when you can wipe out twenty times as many with coal powered power stations, and eradicate the rest with climate change.

Then the conservatives will be coexisting with the roaches in their tax havens.

Evilomlap 1:08 pm 17 Jul 15

watto23 said :

dungfungus said :

Why not put the 2 x bird blenders on Red Hill so everyone could see them up close and get to love them?

Amazing how birds manage to avoid vehicles travelling at far greater speeds than a wind turbine, and occasionally one gets hit, but when its a wind turbine and a bird gets hit, the conservatives use it as a valid reason to justify their very weak anti wind-power argument. Contrary to what you might think, wind turbines have very little effect on birds and animals, if any. I’ve seen nests on wind turbine pylons, so clearly those birds didn’t seem to mind too much.

Darwinism – only stupid birds fly into wind turbines. We’re just helping nature weed out the idiots.

dungfungus 12:17 pm 17 Jul 15

watto23 said :

dungfungus said :

Why not put the 2 x bird blenders on Red Hill so everyone could see them up close and get to love them?

Amazing how birds manage to avoid vehicles travelling at far greater speeds than a wind turbine, and occasionally one gets hit, but when its a wind turbine and a bird gets hit, the conservatives use it as a valid reason to justify their very weak anti wind-power argument. Contrary to what you might think, wind turbines have very little effect on birds and animals, if any. I’ve seen nests on wind turbine pylons, so clearly those birds didn’t seem to mind too much.

More spin than a wind turbine there.
The surface area of the blades on a wind turbine are many times greater than the front of a motor car and the speeds vary from fast to very fast.
In fact, the speed of the blade (or car) isn’t the issue as the speed of the bird is enough to cause death (ever had a bird survive after flying into a window in your house?)
And there is plenty of documented proof confirming bird deaths caused by wind turbines. Check this link from the non-conservative ABC Radio National (note it is not the Daily Telegraph) http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/ockhamsrazor/bird-strikes-at-wind-farms/4668750

watto23 11:11 am 17 Jul 15

dungfungus said :

Why not put the 2 x bird blenders on Red Hill so everyone could see them up close and get to love them?

Amazing how birds manage to avoid vehicles travelling at far greater speeds than a wind turbine, and occasionally one gets hit, but when its a wind turbine and a bird gets hit, the conservatives use it as a valid reason to justify their very weak anti wind-power argument. Contrary to what you might think, wind turbines have very little effect on birds and animals, if any. I’ve seen nests on wind turbine pylons, so clearly those birds didn’t seem to mind too much.

watto23 11:07 am 17 Jul 15

vintage123 said :

watto23 said :

dungfungus said :

Antagonist said :

Once upon a time the signage was perfect because it was understated. We didn’t need a sign after travelling the noisy and rough roads to be found all across NSW. We *knew* we were somewhere better when we hit the line on the road at the NSW/ACT border and the road noise and bumps immediately disappeared. The dramatic transition to the super-smooth and quiet ACT roads of days gone by was far more noticeable than any road sign. Our super-smooth road surface said “Yeah! Feel that! It is so good here we don’t need a dumb sign to welcome you. Now enjoy your stay while we still have trees on Northbourne Ave for you to marvel at.” Ahhh – the good old days.

I think two wind turbines (named Tony and Joe) would be good. The money generated can be used to smooth out that transition in the road surface from NSW back into ACT again.

The joke about wind turbines is not really funny as they cost a lot to build, a lot to run and probably a lot to dispose of.

You’ve swallowed the coalition propaganda. Recent reports and studies suggest wind is actually now one of the cheapest forms of electricity generation. In fact it competes with Coal on cost. I’m sure that has nothing to do with the recent anti-wind sentiment form the government. Also disposing of a wind turbine is far far easier than to fill in a mine or 2 and restore its natural beauty.

Yes there are other differences between the electricity coal can generate vs wind.

So maybe we could have a Hollywood style Canberra sign, in from of a few wind turbines, just so Joe and Tony don’t see them? or do they get around by helicopter like the speaker does on short hops?

A significant difference between a coal mine and land leased for turbine erection, use and disposal is the coal mine land is aquired whereby the land owner is bought out and moves on. The wind turbine arrangement is that the land owner maintains his land and is paid a fixed amount per turbine per year.
The typical arrangement is 20 years.

So that is all well and good for 20 years of fixed income for the land holder. Some companies are paying 25k per turbine per year to the land owner.

But what happens at the 20 year mark.

It is extremely difficult to work out from the turbine company how you would factor is a dismantle and disposal scenario twenty years into the future. If the land owner does not want them, where would they take the turbines. If you have been up close next to them you will realise they are enormous.

Its a tough one. The land owner is perfectly placed at the twenty year mark to negotiate ridiculous sums for the next lease. The turbine company is facing a twenty year old asset with twenty year old technology and who knows what kind of political environment. Not to mention the breakthoughs in other technology such as geo thermal, tidal and tesla type storage batteries. Or even nuclear.

As a keen investor i would probably give wind power a miss and focus on geo thermal, tidal and tesla type companies.

Yes that is an issue, and a lot of the anti-wind people are those with land next to farmers making a few hundred grand a year from wind plus running their livestock on the same land. I could imagine jealousy plays a part. Yes there are some more emerging renewable energy options, but the fact remains, wind is almost as cheap as coal and is actually a viable competitor to coal. That is on the economics, add in the environmental benefits and its no wonder our PM conveniently finds some rather ordinary arguments to be against wind. After all I’m sure companies with a vested interest in coal donated millions to the liberal party coffers. There not even subtle with their arguments, policy and decisions with this current government have been blatantly to support their financiers and have had very little to do with whats best for the people and the country overall.

Antagonist 10:16 am 17 Jul 15

rubaiyat said :

Maybe we should be warning about some of Canberra’s citizens and their decision making abilities, …in their cars.

Amen that! Do you remember the time Kate Carnell was driving back from a social gig at the wineries and crashed her car near the NSW border … and then left the scene of the accident shortly before the police arrived? Now that was some terrible decision making ability right there.

wildturkeycanoe 9:38 am 17 Jul 15

rubaiyat said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

“CAUTION – Beware of Trams” Might serve as a welcome and also save lives.

Cars kill how many people and are the cause of almost 20% of hospital admissions, with serious injuries, and you are warning against the substantially safer trams?

Maybe we should be warning about some of Canberra’s citizens and their decision making abilities, …in their cars.

No need for alarm or statistically backed propaganda, it was simply a tongue in cheek comment.
You certainly love your little rail project, enough to think you had shares in the PPP.

rubaiyat 8:42 am 17 Jul 15

wildturkeycanoe said :

“CAUTION – Beware of Trams” Might serve as a welcome and also save lives.

Cars kill how many people and are the cause of almost 20% of hospital admissions, with serious injuries, and you are warning against the substantially safer trams?

Maybe we should be warning about some of Canberra’s citizens and their decision making abilities, …in their cars.

wildturkeycanoe 7:02 am 17 Jul 15

“CAUTION – Beware of Trams” Might serve as a welcome and also save lives.

Narcobear 6:31 am 17 Jul 15

we could arrange all the seized hydroponic cannabis cultivation equipment from the recent taskforce retards and have a cannabis exhibition, seeing as we don’t contribute anything else useful to the country’s economy

Crazed_Loner 11:18 pm 16 Jul 15

The joke about wind turbines is not really funny as they cost a lot to build, a lot to run and probably a lot to dispose of.

Yeah, that wind is just so expensive to pay for.

vintage123 8:26 pm 16 Jul 15

watto23 said :

dungfungus said :

Antagonist said :

Once upon a time the signage was perfect because it was understated. We didn’t need a sign after travelling the noisy and rough roads to be found all across NSW. We *knew* we were somewhere better when we hit the line on the road at the NSW/ACT border and the road noise and bumps immediately disappeared. The dramatic transition to the super-smooth and quiet ACT roads of days gone by was far more noticeable than any road sign. Our super-smooth road surface said “Yeah! Feel that! It is so good here we don’t need a dumb sign to welcome you. Now enjoy your stay while we still have trees on Northbourne Ave for you to marvel at.” Ahhh – the good old days.

I think two wind turbines (named Tony and Joe) would be good. The money generated can be used to smooth out that transition in the road surface from NSW back into ACT again.

The joke about wind turbines is not really funny as they cost a lot to build, a lot to run and probably a lot to dispose of.

You’ve swallowed the coalition propaganda. Recent reports and studies suggest wind is actually now one of the cheapest forms of electricity generation. In fact it competes with Coal on cost. I’m sure that has nothing to do with the recent anti-wind sentiment form the government. Also disposing of a wind turbine is far far easier than to fill in a mine or 2 and restore its natural beauty.

Yes there are other differences between the electricity coal can generate vs wind.

So maybe we could have a Hollywood style Canberra sign, in from of a few wind turbines, just so Joe and Tony don’t see them? or do they get around by helicopter like the speaker does on short hops?

A significant difference between a coal mine and land leased for turbine erection, use and disposal is the coal mine land is aquired whereby the land owner is bought out and moves on. The wind turbine arrangement is that the land owner maintains his land and is paid a fixed amount per turbine per year.
The typical arrangement is 20 years.

So that is all well and good for 20 years of fixed income for the land holder. Some companies are paying 25k per turbine per year to the land owner.

But what happens at the 20 year mark.

It is extremely difficult to work out from the turbine company how you would factor is a dismantle and disposal scenario twenty years into the future. If the land owner does not want them, where would they take the turbines. If you have been up close next to them you will realise they are enormous.

Its a tough one. The land owner is perfectly placed at the twenty year mark to negotiate ridiculous sums for the next lease. The turbine company is facing a twenty year old asset with twenty year old technology and who knows what kind of political environment. Not to mention the breakthoughs in other technology such as geo thermal, tidal and tesla type storage batteries. Or even nuclear.

As a keen investor i would probably give wind power a miss and focus on geo thermal, tidal and tesla type companies.

oh_ 6:18 pm 16 Jul 15

+1 wind turbines named tony and Joe hah! The Federal Hwy along Watson from roundabout in could be planted with tree species from the arboretum as a teaser. Also some kind of nicely lit structures a la Enlighten/james Turell, like the cube in the city. It should be something that aligns with the image we want to project of Canberra (confident, Bold & ready!), kinda like the CityLink structures in Melbourne, not controversial art like the skywhale or politician statues…(although political cartoon style satire might show people what we really think and remind visitors they actually voted for them, we have to put up with our reputation being associated).

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2019 Region Group Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
the-riotact.com | aboutregional.com.au | b2bmagazine.com.au | thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site