Letters / Planning critic ‘threatened’

THE government’s handling of technical amendment 2012-06 raises serious questions about the integrity of planning in the ACT.

The Planning and Land Authority initially said that the amendment added new precinct maps and new precinct codes to the Territory Plan, and relocated provisions to precinct maps and codes.

By making these changes as a technical amendment the authority avoided the Planning and Development Act’s requirements to present them to the Minister and to the Legislative Assembly.

When questioned about the legitimacy of its use of the technical amendment process the authority contradicted itself by claiming that the amendment “merely relocated provisions to precinct maps and/or codes”.

The Planning Directorate threatened me with “further action” if I should publicly repeat “unwarranted accusations of misleading conduct” in relation to the authority’s contradictory statements.

On June 19 the director-general of Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development distanced the directorate from the authority’s conflicting positions, saying: “There is nothing further that I can usefully add”.

But on July 20 the Chief Minister’s Directorate endorsed the claim that the amendment “merely relocated provisions to precinct maps and/or codes”, wrongly claiming that it “is a reasonable and unremarkable summary of the main thrust of TA2012-06”. The directorate repeated the threat of “further action.”

Leon Arundell, Downer

Greyhounds should run free

I WISH to applaud Colliss Parrett for his eloquent letter (CN, August 3) in praise of greyhounds. I, too, agree that they are magnificent creatures and that we should never “degrade” them by preventing them from running freely.

Sadly, that is where our opinions part company because I believe they should be able to run freely no matter how fast or slow, for the joy of it, not for a profit.

As long as people run greyhounds for a profit, there will always be dogs that pay the price for being slow. Some get lucky and are re-homed but most of them just become “wastage”.

Alison Tinker, via email

Ode to William Shatner

HUMANS have nearly reached Nirvana.

Either by self-decision or someone else’s, one can now choose not to be born; to recreate on drugs and/or alcohol; change gender, marry traditionally or not; have same-sex marriage; live together unmarried; divorce your partner or children; children to divorce their parents; buy weapons legally or illegally; refuse to pay bills if they are too high; refuse to stand for the judiciary, national anthem, the Queen; own vicious dogs; import contraband; avoid tax, have or have not dual citizens representing you in parliament; enjoy or not endless appeasement as in 1938, and choose how, when and where to die.

Any human not happy with this smorgasbord of life choices should trek to where no man has gone before…

Colliss Parrett, Barton


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