A blossoming culture
Ian Warden suggests that the Canberra's planning minister declare a suburb to be a cultural centre, as in the world's older cities.
However, before the citizens of Banks leap to proclaim their initiative, note that Ian has omitted to notice that culture already blossoms in our planned centre.
In the Sydney Buildings, the Phoenix blazed and faded, London's Soho is Mooseheads, and in the Melbourne Buildings, Smith's Bookshop is Canberra's Montmartre. Go down Odgers Lane, a medieval alley.
We have already emerged from a planned town to a true medieval city.
Jack Palmer, Watson
John Mungoven (Letters, August 22) makes very good points about the situation with shops in the Molonglo Valley. He asks that Koko "should be restricted to a small style supermarket/convenience store". I think that would be a good idea, but I cannot see any mechanism to do that.
The DA has just been rejected, but the size of the supermarket was not one of the issues. We are told that the developer is working with the planning directorate to get the project approved.
It would be difficult (and unfair) to turn around at this stage and say to the developer that the supermarket has to be removed, when it is consistent with the lease. The government tries to wash its hands on the issue, consistently saying they are purely matters for developers.
It would be difficult (and unfair) to turn around at this stage and say to the developer that the supermarket has to be removed.John Hutchison, Coombs
The government created the problem initially through the mess it made with the planning by allowing two supermarkets in close proximity to each other, and insisting that the one in the designated shopping centre be restricted to 1000m2 while the one over the road could be 1500m2.
It seems inevitable that Coombs will eventually end up with a commercial district clustered around the four corners of a major intersection, which is completely at odds with what was proposed in the Estate Development Plan.
The ACT government should be expected to step in to fix the mess they themselves have helped create.
John Hutchison, Coombs
A sorry state of affairs
I applaud John Mungoven's (Letters, August 22) solution to the sad story of retail outlets in the Molonglo Valley, namely to legislate to compulsorily acquire the existing lease for the Coombs shopping centre from the owner/developer at market valuation and start again.
Unfortunately his solution has one fatal flaw. It would require ACT government ministers to act rather than supinely follow without challenge whatever advice they receive from the entrenched land and planning authorities that have stuffed up, and continue to stuff up, the planning and development of Coombs and Wright. Every indication is that on the shopping centre and other planning issues the relevant Ministers will continue to be both paralysed by the entrenched bureaucracy and invisible.
A planning, land development and building control bureaucracy that - in Coombs and Wright at least - could not effectively plan, consult on and deliver the proverbial party in a brewery. The degree of anger in Coombs and Wright regarding this tin-eared incompetence is palpable.
John Mellors, Coombs
Heating things up
The former president of Kiribati, Anote Tong, is right to be critical of the Australian government for its lack of meaningful action on climate change ("Australia acting like 'abusive relative'", August 23, p9). This inaction will contribute to further sea level rise, which would see the Pacific islands become increasingly vulnerable to storm erosion and other damage, and leave many partly or completely submerged.
At last week's Pacific Islands Forum, Prime Minister Scott Morrison refused to contemplate further emissions reductions, let alone the phasing out of coal-fired power and coal mining. Mr Morrison has also claimed that Australia is transitioning to renewable energy and reducing its dependence on coal.
The transition to renewable energy is far too slow; and at the same time the Morrison government is pushing for coal-fired power stations to keep operating or to be resurrected. Furthermore, Energy Minister Angus Taylor, backed by Mr Morrison, is pushing hard for new coal-fired power.
Australia's emissions have been increasing since the carbon price was scrapped in 2014, and will continue to increase under the Morrison government. Shame about those Pacific island nations.
Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin
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