Letters / Costigan right to call out the Dickson mess

COLUMNIST Paul Costigan is right to question the ACT government’s ability to not only satisfactorily manage the public’s ongoing accessibility to the Dickson commercial area and its adjacent recreational precinct for over two years while the new Coles supermarket and apartment complex is constructed, but also mitigate major negative impacts on existing businesses (“How does the planning minister keep his job?”, CN February 6).

Potential disruptions to the new public transport services that will operate next to this massive development site will also need to be addressed and avoided on a day-to-day basis, given the many passenger connections that will need to be made, stress-free, between bus and rail at the new nearby Dickson Interchange.

In 2011 the government sought community feedback on two supermarket options for Dickson. The only choices presented to the public were having two on the large carpark site opposite Woolworths or having one there and another on the only other carpark in that shopping precinct, east of the library. The public opted for the former.

The government formally advised all consultation participants that, regardless of which option was pursued, “appropriately managing the impact of any development on car parking in the Dickson Group Centre will be a priority”. There is no evidence of workable solutions and reassurance for the public on this to date for the lengthy construction phase.

In addition, over the much longer term the impacts of having a constant stream of slow-moving vehicles winding their way past the complex forecourt much of the day and night will also require innovative management in order to “put people first” and support “active travel”. Unfortunately, the artist’s impression of the new complex suggests that the wide roadway expanses around the forecourt might support a pleasant pedestrian precinct. This is misleading – the one and only roadway shown needs to support all traffic linked to the one entry point into and out of the complex’s two-level, basement carpark, that is near the forecourt. The resulting noise and vehicle pollutants at ground level in that “public” area will be neither inviting nor healthy .

Sue Dyer, Downer

Thank you for Paul’s pieces

THANK you for the continued inclusion of Paul Costigan’s articles. There needs to be a constant drive for accountability, transparency and efficiency in town planning in general to ensure community-wide best outcomes are achieved. Paul’s articles importantly contribute to this vital issue.

Mark De Bortoli, Deakin

At least they’re trying

COLUMNIST Mike Welsh writes (CN, February 7) that, in a small jurisdiction like ours, Liberals Alistair Coe and Mark Parton “have no hope of making a difference to petrol prices”.

Mudgee, an even smaller jurisdiction has cheaper prices than Canberra, as I witnessed on a recent holiday trip!

At least this duo is trying to do something rather than accept the obviously biased status quo.

Is it any wonder that a great majority of Canberrans fill up at Costco or in Queanbeyan, with the obvious exception of Mike Welsh.

Robert Kerby, via email

Letters to editor@citynews.com.au

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