Sunday 4 November 2007

Planning, planning, planning

Independent Council candidate for the upcoming elections, Robert Pyne, writes...

Perhaps the most important activity of local government is planning.

Best practice planning can have a long term positive effect on vital issues such as transport and building design. A councillor’s approach to planning is crucial. This said, it is not necessary for individual councillors to have all the answers. What is important is the general policy approach of the councillor you vote for.

Transport is a good example. While transport as a whole has not been properly addressed on the south side of the city, I feel bicycle access and mass transit are two areas that have been particularly disadvantaged. Other candidates may consider this is merely peripheral to the main issue of access for motor vehicles. My approach to transport is consistent to an over-arching approach focus on the environment and greenhouse emissions. Often this is misinterpreted as being anti-development.

Recently Mayor Byrne was arguing he is one of those few people who support the construction of building units. This may have some superficial ring of truth to it, with many residents, including myself, having voiced concerns over some of the developments approved in our city. However, with a narrow strip of land between the mountains and the sea, ‘building unit complexes’ do have an important role in the future of Cairns.

Two areas where the current Council has dropped the ball regarding units are appearance and location.

So many ugly rectangular box-shaped unit complexes have gone up in recent years, and it is a real shame. In terms of location, I am worried what the future may hold in some areas where large complexes have been approved, both in terms of livability and social concerns.

What do readers think?


Anonymous said...

Ugly! You said it. Towering blocks of chicken-coop, dog poop coloured boxes all over Cairns.
There, our Generation Ys and Xers will both work for a lifetime paying off their overpriced, cramped, mouse hole. And like mice, they will swarm down to their underground garages in the morning and join the bottle necked traffic jams into the city where they will work like slaves in under resourced, under staffed jobs until they swarm home at night to their dog poop coloured mousehole.
Ugh. God help them.

Anonymous said...

Argh Robert,

You speak so well for someone on a fishing expedition. If any Councillor aspirant wants to truly do the “Greater Good” for Cairns residents they must first stop tip-toeing around the edges. You speak of colours and appropriate locations, yet you neglect to mention the requirement to adhere to the Cairnplan be that the height restriction applicable, site coverage or any other facets of each development. You neglect to mention the folie of private certifiers. Will we expect to hear from you the same type of comments we are currently subjected to from say Cr Nobody, who is constantly in defence of Council’s stupidity or perhaps like Mayor Burnt-out who can have his team engineer a new steel tree or concrete creek or will you stoop so low as to emulate Cr Bone-no and fabricate your own version/s of reality? If you or any other candidates want to be taken seriously, please start asking the hard questions, stop playing the “game” on their level and realise it’s not a game peoples quality of life is at stake here. The voters will require that you are better than those currently sitting not just a mere replacement!
This is not intended to be on a personal level but to have all candidates take a good long hard look at themselves, and ask, can I do a better job than these clowns who are now in office? Because if you can’t, stay in your present job and support someone who can!

Best Regards

Anonymous said...

Let's call a spade a spade. The responsible party for the concrete box prison towers is the ignoramus, Tom Hedley. He's the one constructing monstrosities kerb to kerb, with NO greenspace and NO architectural creativity. He's the one gutting Paradise Palms, loading this beautifully designed greenspace up with apartments that are destroying the ambience and solitude necessary on a worldclass golf course. Tom Hedley is just what he seems, a plumbing monkey dressed up in business clothes. His "wealth" was made on the backs of everyday battlers and their social problems, alcoholics and gamblers, pumping money into his grubby pockets. His continued wealth is turning every vacant lot into a disgusting concrete highrise to be flogged off to other battlers in the south as mostly empty "holiday letting". Where is his philanthropy towards the community he has looted for his personal fortune?

The mayor's mate, funny that.

Anonymous said...

Social concerns!!Have a look at Hogan Steet Westcourt.Dept of Housing in their wisdom, has jumped on the megacomplex bandwagon and built four 3 storey unit blocks. 24 units stacked'n' packed on what was two standard house blocks.I can't imagine this complex is going to be good for the tenants or neighbours. I thought they had learned that this type of high density living does not have favourable outcomes for anyone.

Anonymous said...

Would anyone like to guess what they are building on the site of the old Parkview Backpackers Grafton Street opposite Munro Martin Park? ummmmm..i wonder what it could be???

Anonymous said...

You've got to appreciate how it is our lordship Mayor Byrne is able to dominate the development process so completely. He doesn't have time to scrutinise every development application put in by his mates. Instead, his shill in the process is a man by the name of Peter Tabulo, who's the "director of overdevelopment". Tabulo is either untrained in modern city planning, or he's just pussy whipped into approving these projects that wouldn't fly in most other places. Tabulo has been the chief villain in this destruction of a city and its architectural heritage. Most professional city planners would have long ago established architectural standards, requirements for greenspace and courtyards around city high-rises, and other techniques to reduce the bulk and impact of these buildings. Tabulo has done none of it, but blithely rubberstamps any old shit that the developers dish out.

Like most politicians Byrne hasn't been able to screw up this town alone. Professional bureaucrats are supposed to be the public's balance against ignorant or destructive politicians. In this case, Peter Tabulo is a complete and utter failure to the citizenry.