Archive for July, 2010

Smashing our city

The Mercury, 30 July 2010

Art gallery, library, State Offices, Royal?  A push to systematically wreck every favourite historical and cultural icon in Hobart?  This is not new beer in old glasses, it’s just smashing up the way we live.  When will the public get sick of this and tell the planners to go home?

Michael Davis

Battery Point


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$450,000 spent on doomed building

The Examiner, 22 Jul, 2010


ABOUT $450,000 has been spent refurbishing offices in a Hobart government building scheduled for demolition.

The office building at 10 Murray Street – adjacent to Parliament House – is meant to be demolished in the next three years to make way for a new development.

However, part of level two and part of level three have had hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on them to make them usable for parliamentary staff and members of parliament.

They include the Greens and legislative councillors.

Acting Treasurer Bryan Green said the refurbishment was part of the Parliament Square Project. (more…)

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It’s city versus suburbs

The Mercury, 12 July, 2010


THE battle is on to house Hobart’s public servants.

A plan to relocate sections of some government departments from the inner city has pitted the city against the outer suburbs, with both claiming to be the ideal location.

Employees of health and infrastructure, energy and resources departments have been told not to automatically expect to stay in the CBD when their Murray St office block is demolished.

Cambridge, Dowsings Point, Huntingfield and Rosny have all been mooted as possible new homes.

While the idea is still in its infancy, it has been welcomed in the suburban areas that would benefit from lucrative lunch-hour spending.

But it was met with frustration in the city centre, where traders rely heavily on public-sector employees.


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Square bid forges ahead

The Mercury, 9 July, 2010


THE State Government has vowed to push ahead with the $100 million Parliament Square project.

It will do so even if it means defying planning laws.

Treasurer Michael Aird told Parliament yesterday he would not allow the development to be impeded and hinted at a possible government legal challenge.

The future of the proposal by the Citta Property Group is in doubt after a shock decision on Tuesday by the three-member Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal.

It ruled that new plans submitted by Citta as modifications two weeks ago were too substantial and fundamentally different to be included as part of an on-going planning approval process.

The tribunal found the revised project plans for Parliament Square were deficient and lacking in clarity.

Its decision said some drawings appeared incorrect and other shortcomings of the plans made aspects of the project problematic.

The tribunal said it found the “difficulties with information provided” added up to uncertainty about the visual impact of the proposal on the historic Parliament House.

The project contentiously involves knocking down the 1960s departmental office block in Murray St and replacing it with a modern square that includes office space, lawns, cafes, a piazza space and even a large outdoor screen.


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Parliament Square scuttled

The Mercury, 8 July, 2010


AN ambitious plan to sell off the city block behind Hobart’s Parliament House for a major development is in chaos.

A shock decision this week by the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal has ruled property developer Citta Group cannot proceed with its multi-million dollar Parliament Square project.

The judgment throws into jeopardy the sale of the State Government-owned prime city block to Citta for $7 million, and the rejuvenation of the site behind Parliament House into a “people’s place” complete with large TV screens, cafes, lawns and provision for outdoor concerts.

Read the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal decisionLast week Treasurer Michael Aird said he was confident the sale would be finalised early this month, provided Citta obtained all the necessary planning approvals as expected.

The dramatic turnaround follows a decision by Citta two weeks ago to submit radically changed project plans and designs for Parliament Square to the tribunal for final approval after public consultation had closed.


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Aird steps in over Square knock-back

ABC News Updated Thu Jul 8, 2010 12:10pm AEST

10  Murray Street

The lobby group formed to save 10 Murray Street says the new plans could not be considered a modification. (ABC Local: Carol Raabus)

The Tasmanian Treasurer has taken a swipe at the state’s Planning Appeals Tribunal for rejecting the plans for Hobart’s Parliament Square development.

The Sydney-based construction group CITTA had resubmitted plans for a $100 million project after several objections.

The Resource Management Planning Appeal Tribunal says they differed significantly from plans submitted for public consultation.

The Treasurer Michael Aird says it is a disappointing decision given there has been strong community support for the project and the amendments were of a minor nature.

“The Government is determined that this project has to proceed and we will be doing what we can to ensure it does,” he said.

“It is an interesting decision that when a property developer puts forward a proposal which relates to conditions put on a permit for a development be undertaken, you meet those conditions by submitting an ammended proposal and that proposal dealing with those condition is then rejected,” he said.

Greens spokesman Paul O’Halloran questioned whether the Government would go back to the drawing board.

“Will you now commit to re-submitting the original proposal or start the community consultation process again?”


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