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Where next with Floriade?

By Paul Costigan 15 October 2015 20

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As mentioned in an earlier post, the ACT Government is under pressure from the National Capital Authority to move Floriade out of Commonwealth Park west.

Many people agree that it is time to rethink some aspects of Floriade. It has been much the same for decades – so yes it is indeed timely to refresh this successful national attraction.

But it does not follow that to bring about a new Floriade the event needs to be wrenched from its ideal spot and scattered across Civic. It should definitely not be placed into Glebe Park — think how people enjoy this green open space all year – sometimes just to have their quiet moment of zen!

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The proposed move of Floriade from beside the lake to Civic would be a mistake, in the same category as the shambles and waste of money that is Westside.

Taking Floriade and scattering it through Civic will mean it is not be the event it was. It will become a shadow of its former success. It will not enhance the businesses around Civic. They should not be allowed to take this successful event and ruin it!

Those open spaces in and around Civic should be used more, for smaller events, such as markets, but not for major events.

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We much remember that it was big business that brought about changes to Civic that delivered a ghost town into what was a busy Garema and Petrie Place – think what life would have been like without their big box mall called the Canberra Centre.

As I said in the earlier post, Glebe Park is not an event area – it is a park.

On behalf of the locals who fought the earlier battles to save Glebe Park and those who have made contact since my earlier post, I ask the Chief Minister to stop listening to the lobbyists and instead look elsewhere for creative, intelligent and innovative ideas.

It is indeed time for a change. It is time to consider expanding Floriade to give it a status of an international flower/garden design festival – think the Chelsea Flower Show and several other international garden festivals.

It is time to rethink the use of lakeside sites and to decide which one would be the most attractive for the long-term use as a major event space – for a new Floriade and other major local/national events.

It is time to sort out this ridiculous conflict with the Commonwealth over the use of the lakeside for local events, particularly those with a national focus such as Floriade.

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The community does not agree with the business lobbyists and their simplistic ideas for the use of Civic and Glebe Park for Floriade.

It is time to think laterally about something that would build on the decades of achievement of this lakeside event and be even more attractive than the present Floriade. We should not deny that being by the lake is part of that success and should be in the future.

It is time for the bureaucrats behind the CBR logo and marketing to walk their talk and to deliver something creative. And to leave Glebe Park alone!

What’s Your opinion?


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Where next with Floriade?
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Maya123 6:07 pm 19 Oct 15

GardeningGirl said :

Affirmative Action Man said :

. . there are endless possibilities it just takes some imagination.

Agree with that and a number of other comments. I hope the decision-makers are listening.

Floriade needs a new home, which provides the opportunity to improve upon what we’ve got and alleviate the practical and aesthetic disadvantages of setting it up in Commonwealth Park every year.

There are already attractions and events that coincide with Floriade. There’s no reason why the city centre can’t do its own Floriade thing regardless of where the main Floriade venue is. Tours, walks, competitions, getting residents and organisations involved throughout the city sounds like a desirable natural progression for the festival.

The Sydney and Melbourne Buldings need fixing. They are an embarrassment instead of the historic and charming gateway/centrepiece of the city that they could be. Couldn’t they look awesome with some good landscaping instead of being cluttered with bus shelters.

And where do you suggest the buses go? Or do people wait in the rain?

GardeningGirl 3:04 pm 19 Oct 15

Affirmative Action Man said :

. . there are endless possibilities it just takes some imagination.

Agree with that and a number of other comments. I hope the decision-makers are listening.

Floriade needs a new home, which provides the opportunity to improve upon what we’ve got and alleviate the practical and aesthetic disadvantages of setting it up in Commonwealth Park every year.

There are already attractions and events that coincide with Floriade. There’s no reason why the city centre can’t do its own Floriade thing regardless of where the main Floriade venue is. Tours, walks, competitions, getting residents and organisations involved throughout the city sounds like a desirable natural progression for the festival.

The Sydney and Melbourne Buldings need fixing. They are an embarrassment instead of the historic and charming gateway/centrepiece of the city that they could be. Couldn’t they look awesome with some good landscaping instead of being cluttered with bus shelters.

rubaiyat 12:35 pm 19 Oct 15

dungfungus said :

Affirmative Action Man said :

Floriade has a national presence but has been marking time for a number of years. They need to build on it & develop it further or do away with it altogether.

They could expand on it & make it Australia’s biggest Gardening event, link in with the National Institutions, link it with a major Art prize or Literary Prize – there are endless possibilities it just takes some imagination.

It will be done away with as the government can’t afford it and the arboretum.
As an opponent of both, I concede the arboretum has more appeal as the exotic trees that survive climate change (ha ha) and then mature are torn apart by flocks of cockatoos much to delight of spectators from all over the world.

Explains the balanced views: Against both government AND trees. The twin evils of modern society!

Dante 12:08 pm 19 Oct 15

I don’t agree with Paul’s views and could see Floriade being completely rejuvenated by being moved across Canberra’s city and town centres. Glebe Park seems a perfectly reasonable location for part of Floriade, and I could see it being easily extended into City Walk and Garema Place.

dungfungus 7:35 am 19 Oct 15

Affirmative Action Man said :

Floriade has a national presence but has been marking time for a number of years. They need to build on it & develop it further or do away with it altogether.

They could expand on it & make it Australia’s biggest Gardening event, link in with the National Institutions, link it with a major Art prize or Literary Prize – there are endless possibilities it just takes some imagination.

It will be done away with as the government can’t afford it and the arboretum.
As an opponent of both, I concede the arboretum has more appeal as the exotic trees that survive climate change (ha ha) and then mature are torn apart by flocks of cockatoos much to delight of spectators from all over the world.

rosscoact 5:04 am 19 Oct 15

Affirmative Action Man said :

Floriade has a national presence but has been marking time for a number of years. They need to build on it & develop it further or do away with it altogether.

They could expand on it & make it Australia’s biggest Gardening event, link in with the National Institutions, link it with a major Art prize or Literary Prize – there are endless possibilities it just takes some imagination.

All those attractions are in the Parliamentary triangle, I wonder if the NCA would be more accommodating with Floriade taking over more rather than less?

Affirmative Action Man 10:48 am 18 Oct 15

Floriade has a national presence but has been marking time for a number of years. They need to build on it & develop it further or do away with it altogether.

They could expand on it & make it Australia’s biggest Gardening event, link in with the National Institutions, link it with a major Art prize or Literary Prize – there are endless possibilities it just takes some imagination.

Kim F 12:55 pm 17 Oct 15

It is absolutely mind-boggling that succesive ACT governments haven’t been able to negotiate a settlement with the Feds that would allow them to use Commonwealth Park without having to “restore it” after each Floriade. And that temporary staleg fence that goes up each year – how ugly is that ?

Rheity 10:56 am 17 Oct 15

Floriade has a national presence, somewhat undeserved in my opinion, but there it is. And now there are moves to downgrade it. ( which is what will happen if it is moved out of Commonwealth park). Madness. Rubiat is absolutely in the right track – if the businesses want more of the action, then have them sponsor garden beds in and around civic. And while you are at it, create opportunities for residents and local organisations to take part by running ‘best verge’ competitions. Map out walks and drives and make the whole thing a City wide event. And as for the ‘Authority’, well, it is proof of Australian complacency that we accept this benign dictatorship without a quibble.

,

dungfungus 11:06 am 16 Oct 15

miz said :

Civic certainly has looked more attractive since they started to put up hanging baskets and tubs a few years ago. There is nothing stopping Civic lobbyists to put our feelers re Rubaiyat’s suggestions to coincide with Floriade.
The only spanner is the ACT Government, which seems hell bent on killing a number of Civic businesses with evening parking fees and light rail works.
I used to love summer evenings in Civic during my student days, and I also worked in a shop in Civic for a while including late night shopping. You could get a good giros from the Acropolis on East Row followed by an iced coffee at Mitchell’s up the top of the Monaro Mall . . . there were no beggars or chuggers, and you never felt unsafe. And there were still buses running to take you home! And Gus’s was the traditional place for a hot chocolate after Eisteddfod performances at the old Griffin Centre. I miss Civic.

“More attractive”?
Let’s agree on “less ugly”

rubaiyat 10:26 am 16 Oct 15

miz said :

Civic certainly has looked more attractive since they started to put up hanging baskets and tubs a few years ago. There is nothing stopping Civic lobbyists to put our feelers re Rubaiyat’s suggestions to coincide with Floriade.
The only spanner is the ACT Government, which seems hell bent on killing a number of Civic businesses with evening parking fees and light rail works.
I used to love summer evenings in Civic during my student days, and I also worked in a shop in Civic for a while including late night shopping. You could get a good giros from the Acropolis on East Row followed by an iced coffee at Mitchell’s up the top of the Monaro Mall . . . there were no beggars or chuggers, and you never felt unsafe. And there were still buses running to take you home! And Gus’s was the traditional place for a hot chocolate after Eisteddfod performances at the old Griffin Centre. I miss Civic.

And I miss the Sydney/Melbourne buildings bracketing the main entry to Canberra before all the buses and traffic turned everything into dead or dying offices or shopfronts. Most of the windows facing Northbourne are now painted over and everything around the bus terminus looks well, …just like a bus terminus!

Who could ever have guessed THAT would happen?

miz 9:51 am 16 Oct 15

Civic certainly has looked more attractive since they started to put up hanging baskets and tubs a few years ago. There is nothing stopping Civic lobbyists to put our feelers re Rubaiyat’s suggestions to coincide with Floriade.
The only spanner is the ACT Government, which seems hell bent on killing a number of Civic businesses with evening parking fees and light rail works.
I used to love summer evenings in Civic during my student days, and I also worked in a shop in Civic for a while including late night shopping. You could get a good giros from the Acropolis on East Row followed by an iced coffee at Mitchell’s up the top of the Monaro Mall . . . there were no beggars or chuggers, and you never felt unsafe. And there were still buses running to take you home! And Gus’s was the traditional place for a hot chocolate after Eisteddfod performances at the old Griffin Centre. I miss Civic.

rubaiyat 9:09 am 16 Oct 15

If you want to bring Floriade into the City and add commercial opportunities, why not simply plant the bulbs in every available bed or space throughout the entire City centre?

It will brighten up the dowdy spaces, put the money into what should have been looked after in the first place.

It will use the already hard spaces so the grounds are not damaged by the crowds.

It will put people immediately next to all the cafes, restaurants and shops, which can join in by personally adding their planters and floral displays.

It will put the huge display in the heart of the city where all the transport leads and really show case Canberra to the world.

Leave the bulbs in place and it will give us a better spring and Canberra to look forward to every year.

rubaiyat 9:03 am 16 Oct 15

JC said :

wottaway said :

Not having been a local since before there ever was an ACT Government,do I understand correctly that the NCA can overide the ACT Government???…WHAT?

Yes, the reason for it is the ACT has national significance so the feds do get a say for the national good. For the most part they only worry about the Parliamentary triangle which is meant to be the show case, so they manage the triangle but pay the ACT to maintain roads, parks etc, including Commonwealth park. Outside the triangle they interfere less, but can do so.

Though there is one classic case where they interfered which is the GDE. Essentially the path that road takes was not the ACT governments choice, they wanted to go the western side of the AIS. NCA, egged on by the local Liebral party and a compliant Federal Liebral government got the NCA to force a change to the eastern option.

This cost more, put the ACT government in long running legal disputes which lead to delays which cost even more money, yet the ACT Labor government has this road held up as an example of poor planning and performance and cheap political points from Liebral party supporters.

When the Feds start paying rates, THAT’s when they should get a say in anything!

JC 12:38 am 16 Oct 15

wottaway said :

Not having been a local since before there ever was an ACT Government,do I understand correctly that the NCA can overide the ACT Government???…WHAT?

Yes, the reason for it is the ACT has national significance so the feds do get a say for the national good. For the most part they only worry about the Parliamentary triangle which is meant to be the show case, so they manage the triangle but pay the ACT to maintain roads, parks etc, including Commonwealth park. Outside the triangle they interfere less, but can do so.

Though there is one classic case where they interfered which is the GDE. Essentially the path that road takes was not the ACT governments choice, they wanted to go the western side of the AIS. NCA, egged on by the local Liebral party and a compliant Federal Liebral government got the NCA to force a change to the eastern option.

This cost more, put the ACT government in long running legal disputes which lead to delays which cost even more money, yet the ACT Labor government has this road held up as an example of poor planning and performance and cheap political points from Liebral party supporters.

gooterz 9:50 pm 15 Oct 15

gazket said :

If they had to move Floriade you would spend heaps of cash and build a new Botanical park at Yarramundi Reach below the Arboretum.

Toot Toot, Light rail couldn’t get people to Yarramundi Reach so they probably won’t do that.

You mean at the site of the other Arboretums?

Masquara 8:22 pm 15 Oct 15

Do we trust the government that lost a million dollars on that hipster thought bubble Westside to manage a “commercially viable” new version of Floriade?

gazket 6:54 pm 15 Oct 15

If they had to move Floriade you would spend heaps of cash and build a new Botanical park at Yarramundi Reach below the Arboretum.

Toot Toot, Light rail couldn’t get people to Yarramundi Reach so they probably won’t do that.

wottaway 6:27 pm 15 Oct 15

Not having been a local since before there ever was an ACT Government,do I understand correctly that the NCA can overide the ACT Government???…WHAT?

curlylocks 4:55 pm 15 Oct 15

I heard a rumour that it will go out to the arboretum in the future

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