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We’re doing the Canberra Plan again

By johnboy - 11 August 2008 16

Governments love putting together plans. It beats the heck out of the much harder business of executing them.

This Government is no exception, it lead the nation in announcing plans for this that and the other. The opportunities to look visionary are exceptional.

The really best thing about plans is the political cover they give. If you want to do something that’s not in the plan just ignore it. But if someone else wants to do something that you’re not so keen on you can just shake your head sadly, wave at the huge stack of rarely read books with “Canberra Plan” printed down the spine and say “I’d love to help, but it’s just not in the plan.”

With the last Canberra Plan, supposedly a vision for fore-sight, released only in 2004 it’s fascinating to see the Chief Minister announce that he’d like another go.

    “I hope all Canberrans take the opportunity to engage positively and energetically in the journey by reading The Canberra Plan – Towards our Second Century and sharing their ideas for how our city can become the place we all want it to be.”

    Canberrans can comment on the plan by visiting Canberra Connect shopfronts or ACT Government Libraries, logging onto www.canberraplan@act.gov.au or contacting Canberra Connect 13 22 81″

I think he rather meant www.canberraplan.act.gov.au.

So policy wonks? Is this an improvement?

UPDATED: Thanks to our army of winged monkeys who have noted that “THE FULL PLAN” from the download page is a cover and a back sheet with nothing at all in between.

Did someone decide to have a second April Fools day without telling me?

ANOTHER UPDATE: For the Greens, Deb Foskey is thrilled that “sustainability” is now in the plan. For what it’s worth.

MOAR: The Chief Minister’s launch speech is positively messianic, verging on the creepy…

Compare this:

    Canberra has never been without a Plan.

    There was a Plan before there was a city and before there was a community.

    There was a Plan even before the national capital had a name.

    This very first Plan – Griffin’s Plan – gave us our skeleton.

    The flesh we have put on the frame over the past century has, obviously, been deeply influenced by that Plan, since we are all creatures of our environment.

With this:

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

    The same was in the beginning with God.

    All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

    In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

Stanhope? Or KJV John 1:1?

One for the road: The ABC has a bit of other parties hacking and coughing at the electoral chutzpah of the timing and the advertising.

What’s Your opinion?


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16 Responses to
We’re doing the Canberra Plan again
Skidbladnir 9:32 am 12 Aug 08

To Gungahlin Al’s credit, he does seem to be actually out there promoting his cause and building a profile, as well as trying to solve problems.
And he’s not getting paid.

If I were involved in local Government, I’d be promoting the idea of more concerned local volunteers doing the harder community consultation and advocacy work for free too.

This realy does just seem like a pre-election smokescreening.

Mælinar - *spoiler 8:28 am 12 Aug 08

Is this a feeder thread for ‘Hollowmen’ ?

miz 8:07 am 12 Aug 08

Al, always like your posts – ‘corporate plan’ does seem to sum it up. Other than yet another massive PR opportunity, do you think this mob are trying to ‘lock in’ a future govt (say, a minority one) to what they want now, while they have the Power?

54-11 10:01 pm 11 Aug 08

Agreed. In the absence of any credible opposition (for far too many years), it is community activists such as Gungahlin Al that have repeatedly called the ALP to account.

That’s why Ralph’s inane inclusion of Al (specifically) in his earlier post is so way out of line.

I-filed 9:57 pm 11 Aug 08

They’re not bothering to be subtle. All the little topics run through the TV ad are exactly the top issues identified in focus groups as being of concern to voters in the upcoming election … and not as a valid list of issues in the context … time to get rid of this cynical government unfortunately.

54-11 9:08 pm 11 Aug 08

Ralph, That’s a miserable swipe at someone (Gunghalin Al) who posts regularly on RA, willing to discuss issues, and puts himself out there. Where are you when it comes to real community service?

Gungahlin Al 3:38 pm 11 Aug 08

AGM coming up Ralph. I’ll happily stand aside and get my life back if you (or anyone else) want it. I know my wife and kids would prefer I wasn’t jammed in front of the computer all day every weekend trying to keep on top of it all (and mornings, and evenings).

FFS if just a fraction of the people on this site put just a fraction of the effort they expend here whining into the hard yards like submissions and stuff, the damn government would not know what hit it!

It’s a bloody Corporate Plan. Every government at every level has one. It’s the first significant thing they do after gaining office. It sets the ‘tone’ for the government’s term in office. If it is well worded, it can make it very hard for a government to stray, if the community also gets serious about keeping them to it.

What people should be asking, is what the hell are they doing reviewing it now, just weeks away from going into caretaker mode? An incoming government may have a totally different frame of reference, and would therefore have to spend all the $$$ doing it over.

One wouldn’t have to be too cynical to think it’s just so a bunch more expensive glossy ads can get blasted all over TV…

sepi 3:04 pm 11 Aug 08

It will be interesting to see if they’ve rezoned anything though – like ‘broadacre’ into ‘industrial’ (macarthur) or reserve into housing (molonglo).

I can’t be bothered with it much though – they will only change anything that doesn’t suit them as they go along (call in powers?), and re-do the whole thing in a couple of years.

Thumper 2:46 pm 11 Aug 08

I hope all Canberrans take the opportunity to engage positively and energetically in the journey by reading The Canberra Plan

Why? The last one one was obviously a pointless failure if we need a new again.

Ralph 2:40 pm 11 Aug 08

What an absolute crock of shit. It all boils down to:

a) more government, because government is virtuous; and

b) more self-aggrandising committees and their ilk (aka Gungahlin Al).

miz 2:34 pm 11 Aug 08

The release needs editing. IMHO it should include the bracketed bits, as follows: “We are focused on building [yay! more horrid boxy developments and urban infill] a better city [has he looked outside lately? it looks constantly run down and grubby outside the NCA areas] and a stronger community with excellent [sic] health [failed], education [only closed 23 was it? schools!] and municipal services [GDE, potholes that breed, and higher rates than Quangers which, incidentally, has a hard rubbish and green waste collection] while also strengthening our focus on supporting those that are most in need [by flogging off lots of lovely real estate formerly owned by ACT Housing, and gosh, look at mental health and homeless services!].

“This plan also signals the start of a new phase of an ongoing engagement with the community on planning for our future [though serial deafness was too late for numerous school communities, people who don’t want a shadowy tower next to Phillip Pool, and dodgy process on the power station].”

jakez 1:36 pm 11 Aug 08

Gungahlin Al owes me a coke. Which I’ll extract at some future RiotAct clambake.

Gungahlin Al 1:24 pm 11 Aug 08

Jinxed by Jakez…

Gungahlin Al 1:23 pm 11 Aug 08

Dunno – downloaded the “full plan” PDF – it is just the cover. And one of the other links reports the file as corrupted. The Overview works but is too little to judge.

jakez 1:22 pm 11 Aug 08

The site has three available downloads:
* The full plan
* At a glance
* Be part of the journey

If you download ‘the full plan’ you get a 2 page document. The front and back cover…

So yes johnboy, it is an immense improvement on the original!

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