PAUL Costigan’s astute observations about the devaluing of community inputs to ACT government consultation processes would strike a loud chord with many who attended the recent “design” workshop on the revitalisation of Section 72 in Dickson (“What a mess, time for a new planning minister”, CN, November 15).
Contributors were highly dismayed to discover that months of well-documented community needs, ideas, suggestions and rationales for these were not reflected in a draft preliminary plan for that area’s regeneration.
Surrounded by a sea of concrete and bitumen, the current components of the Section 72 community precinct are highly valued and sit next to spaces that offer much potential for the further community and cultural development.
Community inputs have looked towards the creation of an appealing, transformative and well-landscaped activity-based “oasis”, offering much needed integrated green and well-vegetated spaces and complementary community and cultural assets for use by a broad range of inner-north residents, other Canberrans and visitors from outside the ACT.
Yet the draft plans focus on stuffing in as many blocks of 3-6 storey residential buildings as the spare spaces will allow.
At this rate, by the time the next ACT election rolls around, the compounding failure of government ministers, planners and associated directorates to acknowledge and act on the need to deliver high-quality integrated assets for broader community use will be even more evident in Dickson and its surrounding suburbs as more and more land is simply handed over for residential intensification and little else. It will be too late for the incumbent government to back pedal then.
Sue Dyer, Downer
Name names, Mr Costigan
I READ Peter Costigan’s column (“What a mess, time for a new planning minister”, CN, November 15) with interest, and could I suggest that it would have more impact if he actually named these “lame” government ministers as most of the general public don’t even know who they are to put more focus on their inept representation?
Keep up the good work with your scrutiny of these numb nuts.
Ian Handberg, via citynews.com.au
Buckley’s chance of being heard
THE poor old ACT has not been best served by its bureaucrats since the first lot we inherited from the Federal government (“The Minister, the bureaucrats and the donkeys”, Paul Costigan column, CN, November 22).
The portfolio for responsibility for the ACT was at the bottom of the prestige pile of Federal government departments. Their disdain for Canberrans, the citizens who were paying their salaries, was legendary. Not much has changed except where we once knew who our politicians were has changed. An unconnected ACTPS and faceless, nameless party hack politicians mean that the ordinary Canberrans have Buckley’s of being heard!
Julie McCarron-Benson, via email
Less parking at Jolimont
AS a regular who assists by dropping off and picking up friends travelling by coach, I am well acquainted with the chronic, limited short-term parking near to the Jolimont bus terminal.
Now the planners have gone one step further in their absurdity by converting sensible and highly popular five-minute parking in Alinga Street outside the post office to a bus stop. The congestion on Northbourne Avenue created by taxis and those trying to drop off and pick up passengers is a disgrace in a modern city and is causing frustration and risk.
Why can’t the city planners and managers see the stupidity of not providing reasonable and safe short-term parking for this essential need at Jolimont? And why another bus stop at this critical location when we have them everywhere?
Colin Dennett, via email
Can’t agree with Macklin
I CANNOT agree with Robert Macklin’s assessment (“‘Four Corners’ falls short of high ideals” CN, November 22).
The program was a very timely and informative account of a matter of public importance. I agree that the statement about Sally Neighbour was left hanging. I suspect that spending more time on explaining Jetstream may have taken the program in a different direction.
Geoff Robertson, Ngunnawal
Farmers should be warned
MATTHEW Cossey, CEO of CropLife Australia, would of course trump glyphosate as “safe” (CN, letters, November 15).
What he failed to emit is that in March 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic in humans”. This was recently outlined in the “Four Corners” report, “The Monsanto Papers”.
The general population will have little effects, however farmers and gardeners who use it day in and out should be warned of its ill effects.
It is well-publicised that Dewayne Johnson, former school groundskeeper from the US won a $289m award after alleging that his exposure to the weedkiller gave him cancer. During the trial, the first of its kind, the 46-year-old also alleged that Monsanto had failed to warn him of the risks of using its product.
The general public need only look back in history where we were told the likes of tobacco and asbestos were “safe”.
Lisa Cheeseman, via email
Letters to email@example.com