We care for our racehorses, but our industry must confront this mistreatment

The Age - 36 min 9 sec fa
On Friday, writes the boss of Thoroughred Breeders Australia, he contacted most of his members whose horses featured in an ABC investigation the previous night.
Categorie: Australia

Adani awards $100 million rail contract for Qld mine

The Age - 53 min 28 sec fa
Martinus Rail to build 200km rail link from the central Queensland mine to the Abbot Point port.
Categorie: Australia

The Everest a rare chance for Waller and O'Brien to compete

The Age - 55 min 18 sec fa
Chris Waller and Aidan O'Brien share a friendship but will be best of enemies in The Everest at Randwick on Saturday.
Categorie: Australia

Neser makes a statement but Head, Wade fail to deliver

The Age - 55 min 19 sec fa
Ashes tourist Michael Neser had a day to remember but there were wasted opportunities for other Test hopefuls on day one of the second round of the Sheffield Shield.
Categorie: Australia

In pictures: the Iraq - Syrian border

The Age - 1 ora 1 min fa
Kate Geraghty and Michael Bachelard document the situation along the Iraq - Syrian border
Categorie: Australia

Sharp Starc spell tames Tasmania as Wade flounders

The Age - 1 ora 2 min fa
A vintage Mitchell Starc burst has turned the tables on Tasmania as NSW finished the opening day of their Sheffield Shield match on top.
Categorie: Australia

Santa claws back Everest favouritism as punters go with what they know

The Age - 1 ora 9 min fa
Punters have gone back to the horse they know with Santa Ana Lane resuming favouritism for the $14 million The Everest at Randwick on Saturday.
Categorie: Australia

Melbourne keen on Jack Martin if he becomes keen on them

The Age - 1 ora 10 min fa
Melbourne are not likely to choose Jack Martin in a draft unless they had an indication he was open to the prospect of playing with them
Categorie: Australia

'Do or die' for England as Farrell looks to lead with 'warrior' spirit

The Age - 1 ora 17 min fa
The 'warrior' leading England's band of samurais into battle.
Categorie: Australia

Rebels OMCG member and woman charged over Logan raid

The Age - 1 ora 20 min fa
Police raid uncovers cash, illicit cigarettes, firearms and stolen vehicles.
Categorie: Australia

UEFA bans Ajax fans for Champions League trip to Chelsea

The Age - 1 ora 21 min fa
Ajax Amsterdam have been banned from selling tickets to their fans for next month's Champions League game at Chelsea following crowd trouble in their match at Valencia.
Categorie: Australia

'A noble vision': HSC 'guinea-pigs' test new English exam

The Age - 1 ora 25 min fa
A new HSC English topic introduced to improve students' understanding of the mechanics of writing has been criticised for a lack of clarity.
Categorie: Australia

Parr for the course: Jockeys hold key to tightly bunched Everest field

The Age - 1 ora 26 min fa
The best ride will take today’s $14 million The Everest at Royal Randwick and Josh Parr, on Trekking, is the highest-rating jockey from a learned quarter.
Categorie: Australia

Second-half fadeouts a theme in Cheika's winless record against Jones

The Age - 1 ora 26 min fa
Eddie Jones has Michael Cheika's measure on the scoreboard but will England get the job done in a World Cup quarter-final when it really matters?
Categorie: Australia

The battler trainer trying to win the $14 million Everest

The Age - 1 ora 26 min fa
The mid-morning sun is cutting trainer Greg Hickman’s weather-beaten stables at Warwick Farm very little slack. Dead vines along the chicken-wire fence out the front withered a long time ago.
Categorie: Australia

New tricks, same game in Dickson development 

Canberra City News - 1 ora 30 min fa
One person dared to suggest that the building as proposed was boring – was too industrial looking. That did not go down well

THE government-as-developer used a different bag of tricks to convince locals how irresistible was the concept design for a new Common Ground complex to be built on the south-east corner of Section 72 Dickson (the Dickson Parklands), reports “Canberra Matters” columnist PAUL COSTIGAN.

AS happens regularly across Canberra, developers have a set style in their presentation to community groups. 

Paul Costigan.

Residents have become numb (possibly bored) to the enthusiastic spin about how vibrant the building will be, how wonderful a job the architects have done, how it will be a fabulous addition to the neighbourhood and be linked to the tram, no matter how far away it is. 

Most of the time the audience at these painful sessions remain polite (but not always).

On Wednesday (October 16) at the North Canberra Community Council meeting there was a variation on this.

The developer was the ACT government, namely Minister Yvette Berry’s Community Services (Housing) Directorate. 

This was a presentation by the government as developer using a different bag of tricks to convince locals how irresistible was the concept design for a new Common Ground complex to be built on the south-east corner of Section 72 Dickson (the Dickson Parklands). 

The difference between the usual developer presentations and this was that the presentation was undertaken by a couple of upstanding community representatives with obvious links into inner-ACT government circles.

The worthy luminaries were enthusiast about how fantastic Common Ground Gungahlin has been. The enthusiasm reached a crescendo at one point that I fully expected a heavenly choir to appear.

The tone was such that surely no-one could contest the concept for such a worthy facility to be on this precious Dickson site. 

To oppose what was presented would be to be seen to be against opportunities to assist homeless women and to be seen to taking a stand against such an overdue facility being placed within the inner north. 

It worked! Sort of. At least for the small number of residents who ventured out for this meeting (the numbers were down on the normal attendances). 

Things were not so settled when the queries flowed while the presenters were present and more so after they had departed. 

There are serious unresolved issues about the initial proposed concept especially as residents know only too well that things always change later. The amount of parking proposed is below what should be expected for this housing facility and safety will be a serious issue given the isolated nature of that corner of the parklands site.

Another query was about building heights. It is to be six storeys in places. Yet as the Minister for Urban Renewal, Rachel Steven-Smith said very recently: “Common Ground Dickson’s proposed design reflects what we have heard the community wants to see in Section 72. It comprises primarily low to medium-rise elements of up to four storeys”. 

Seems the Minister for Urban Renewal is the loser in this deal along with the residents who were clear that for the whole site – three to four storeys should be the limit. And as is well known, many developers often get a variation late in the process to plonk another floor or two on top. At this point only the developer (the government in this case) knows what the final height might be.

Finally, two queries that were left out there. One person dared to suggest that the building as proposed was boring – was too industrial looking. That did not go down well even though it was factual. 

The other was a question about responsibility. To paraphrase: “Who proposed this for this corner of Section 72 when there are better options elsewhere within the inner north?” 

That question was unanswered. (The answer is that it was their boss – Yvette Berry). Let’s not mention who cleared the public housing from Northbourne Avenue.

However, despite all the preparation and positive energy that went into this Common Ground presentation, it was the wrong presentation. Sad, but true!

What people are more concerned about is trying to get their heads around what is being proposed in the way of changes to the zoning for this corner of Section 72. Whatever is approved in this corner will most likely be the Trojan Horse for allowing the rest of Section 72 to be developed for some form of housing rather than community cultural facilities. 

Will the Minister for Urban Renewal fight for the community’s aspirations for the rest of the site having lost in the first round?

To sum up, on the night the consensus was that there should be a new Common Ground complex in the inner north. On this site? That’s another story.

From the presentation it is now clearer that Common Ground is not about temporary accommodation. Its operations are about providing 40  units for selected homeless people to occupy for so long as they wish – that could be permanently. During this they will have access to on-going in-house assistance on a range of matters to get their lives together and beyond that. 

The reality will be that the number of homeless to be assisted will be minimal when rated against the queue that is possibly around 1500 plus people, based on previous published figures.

The message from here is that residents who want to see Section 72 Dickson remain as a community cultural site need to get themselves online and look at the variations being proposed. 

This is not an easy task as this stuff is complicated. It is not made easy for residents to access the details hidden away among the developer’s (the government’s) small mountain of documents to work out what is going on and what the longer implications will be for the larger site.

For more on Draft Variation 367 that will apply specifically for Common Ground Dickson – click here and scroll down to the relevant sections. 

Written comments about the draft variation are invited until COB, Friday,  November 1.

Categorie: Australia

Liberals urged to double size to deal with rise of populism

The Age - 1 ora 39 min fa
Liberal president Nick Greiner has set of goal of doubling party membership to 100,000, while warning of the danger of election defeat if the Morrison government displayed hubris and arrogance.
Categorie: Australia

Police officer convicted after CCTV captures indecent exposure

The Age - 1 ora 41 min fa
A police officer who repeatedly exposed himself to his neighbour is set to lose his job after a well-placed security camera led to his conviction.
Categorie: Australia

Ex-Adelaide United player banned for drugs

The Age - 1 ora 43 min fa
Former Adelaide United midfielder Ken Ilso has been banned for two years after testing positive to cocaine, Football Federation Australia says.
Categorie: Australia

Industrial convolution

The Age - 1 ora 53 min fa
When it comes down to it, sport is an industry, with profits to protect and waste to dispose of.
Categorie: Australia