Design panel: toothless, faceless and a joke

"Following pressure, the developers changed the design concept from a Parisian-style design to accommodate the design panel’s requests for a more contemporary federal capital look. I wonder what that is?" writes PAUL COSTIGAN. 

Planning plodders learn nothing from the past

"As is now the norm, almost everywhere across Canberra, what gets considered, and usually approved, is what the developer proposes will be great for...

Competitive rentals keep tenants out of the market

Vacancy rates throughout the ACT have fallen below one per cent that has also driven up rental prices, a not-for-profit real estate organisation has announced.

Changing zoning to maximise profits in Griffith?

"Have a look at the new suburbs being built. There’s the reality of just how much our bureaucratic planners have learnt from the abundance of evidence of what to do and what not to do. They have learnt nothing!" writes "Canberra Matters" columnist PAUL COSTIGAN.

Kill off the CRA and start caring for all of Canberra

"Just how much money can one agency spend on pop-ups, temporary thingys and activation events that deliver nothing substantial when so much of the urban infrastructure is being run down?" asks "Canberra Matters" columnist PAUL COSTIGAN. 

Less talk, the work’s been done for the Greens

"The ACT Greens need to stop talking. They need to stop using spin and to cease producing stuff with loads of busy words. They need to do something," says "Canberra Matters" columnist PAUL COSTIGAN.

Green power trounces Steel’s stupid park plan

"At the core of the Coolo Park fiasco is how an unresponsive bureaucracy controls the ACT’s politicians at the expense of common sense, community aspirations and the future of this city in a landscape," writes "Canberra Matters" columnist PAUL COSTIGAN.

Sydney lessons bode badly for Canberra’s future

"Anything in public hands is seen by 21st century governments as land banks for development… locally such dubious practices are now entrenched as building the new normal within the ACT Labor/Greens coalition," writes "Canberra Matters" columnist PAUL COSTIGAN.

Woden takes brunt of developer-led planning

"With 24 apartment towers and about 10,000 residents due to appear in the Woden Town Centre, this government has not prepared the area for this new high-rise suburb," writes "Canberra Matters" columnist PAUL COSTIGAN. 

‘Yes, Minister’ planners review their own rules!

"The Planning Directorate would be very happy if residents were to move out of the way to allow the developers to get on with shaping this city to be just as bad as other metropolitan centres," writes "Canberra Matters" columnist PAUL COSTIGAN.

Slippery, tricky NCA fails the people of Canberra

"It is rare to hear praise for the management of the NCA. The perception is that it performs badly. Some see it as fairly useless, others more forgiving while being upset with the developer-focused decisions it makes," writes "Canberra Matters" columnist PAUL COSTIGAN. 

Planning change is going to come… it is, isn’t it?

"If the ACT Greens are to build that better normal, then the Planning Directorate will have to be forced to change and to do something about addressing the long list of heritage and the environment issues that matter to Canberrans," writes "Canberra Matters" columnist PAUL COSTIGAN.

Tower block plan to crimp precious Belco park 

"The park is important given how little else there was previously. Now it has become a vital piece of greenery to the growing neighbourhood. Extending Margaret Timpson Park is simple logic," writes "Canberra Matters" columnist PAUL COSTIGAN.

Pigs totally fly when it comes to planning spin

"Anyone with experience knows that these consultations are a complete sham. They are about announcing what's about to be done in your suburb or on important urban spaces – and now you know, consider yourself consulted," writes "Canberra Matters" columnist PAUL COSTIGAN.

Talking to voters happens only during elections!

"Those attempting advocacy by contacting local politicians would most likely receive a 'do nothing' letter or email with reasons why, as local, elected politicians, they could do little to assist," writes "Canberra Matters" columnist PAUL COSTIGAN.

Talking points taking over the planning debates

"Those in the know wondered whether the 45 groups listed as members of the Conservation Council knew that their names were being used to support the work to destroy West Basin’s ecology and biodiversity," writes "Canberra Matters" columnist PAUL COSTIGAN. 

Why West Basin’s worth a wander

"By trashing West Basin, the Labor/Greens government is considering the benefits for the developer lobby, not the benefits of climate change; open, green parkland; biodiversity and a peaceful lakeside haven," writes "Canberra Matters" columnist PAUL COSTIGAN.

Why won’t this deaf government listen to people? 

"This government rarely responds to the issues raised by residents – except to ignore or deflect them and to pretend that people have been consulted – as opposed to being told what is to happen and that it is not negotiable," writes "Canberra Matters" columnist PAUL COSTIGAN.

Planning blot on the bush capital landscape

"When bureaucratic urbanists say there's no harm losing views of the surrounding hills from West Basin or from the approaches to Commonwealth Bridge, they display an ignorance of the city’s heritage and landscape values," writes "Canberra Matters" columnist PAUL COSTIGAN.

Election 2020 / Deafening silence of the Greens

"A city of towers with less community and cultural facilities and diminishing greenery is not what people had expected to be the outcome of having the ACT Greens as part of government," writes"Canberra Matters" columnist PAUL COSTIGAN. 





CIMF / Opening gala gets festival off to a good start

"The opening gala was a most enjoyable musical evening, the 2021 CIMF has kicked off well," writes music reviewer IAN McLEAN.


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