What can one woman do? … when a woman knows she is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates her mind wonderfully. After Samuel Johnson Climatically, things are not well. The weather is crazy. The coldest Spring on record. Too cold to sit outside – in mid-May! The wettest summer on record is… Continue reading The Heat Dome: What can one woman do?
It’s been ten days since the text arrived announcing the suspension of Metgasco’s license to drill for oil at Bentley. Only ten days — and life has changed dramatically for many of us. I search for a word for this new feeling and find an old one: Embolden: “To give someone… Continue reading Emboldened by the Bentley Blockade
I am old enough to have studied Latin in high school. It helps make me a good speller. A moment of hilarity And today, Latin provided a moment of hilarity in battle to bring Metgasco to see reason about gas mining in the Northern Rivers. The goss now is that Metgasco is encouraging its shareholders… Continue reading Metgasco’s “Community Consultative”: a Moment of Hilarity for the Bentley Blockade
In mid-2011, a speaker’s agent rang me to say he had an invitation for a good speaking engagement. “It’s with APPEA,” he said, “And you can talk about community engagement.” APPEA. Hmmm. I rang off and logged on. APPEA: Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association is the peak national body representing Australia’s… Continue reading The Bentley Blockade: from Cassandra, disbelieved prophetess
The text! It would have looked better if I were digging out the composting toilet or planting organic veggies. But the truth is I was half-way into an egg and sausage McMuffin in Casino when the text came from Bentley. I had to ring Yollana to make sure I had it right. … Continue reading The Bentley Blockade: Weeping for the Earth
Nimbin, 28 April 2014 It was bucketing rain at dawn at the Bentley Blockade this morning. The blockade against unconventional gas mining. No guitars or drums because of the rain. There were lots of people there but not a lot were singing. Then, magically, about 5 am, a woman with a strong,… Continue reading Bentley CSG Blockade: You Can’t Just Take My Dreams Away
“Engagement Done Well” In a few days, Vancouver planner Brent Toderian will be speaking in Sydney, where last year he was training planning bureaucrats in the NSW State Government in community engagement. His conference topic is “Density Done Well”. My topic in the preceding session was “Engagement Done Well”, making the point that density done… Continue reading Toderian’s 10 Lessons in More Engaging Citizen Engagement”: A confused response
I’m celebrating: 2013 was a great year for community activism in planning. In New South Wales, concerted action by many forces, including the Better Planning Network (https://betterplanningnetwork.good.do/nsw/fund-the-better-planning-network-in-2014/), resulted in the State Government withdrawing the contentious and flawed proposed state planning legislation. The Better Planning Network has more than 430 community groups and many… Continue reading Activism in Planning in Australia: A Delicate Balancing Act
Australia‘s “cultural cringe” One of the challenges of being a “migrant” in Australia is understanding the “cultural cringe” that infects so much of Australian life. I’ve lived and worked here for 45 years and it still puzzles me. For those not familiar with it, it is an internalised inferiority complex that causes us to… Continue reading Vancouver’s EcoDensity Policy: Reflections on Australian Planning’s Cultural Cringe and Cultural Imperialism
All hell is breaking loose in Vancouver. I wish I were there to watch it. For decades, the so-called Lotus Land has prided itself on its premier status as the most liveable city in the world. Etc. And so on. Visiting Overseas Experts Its retired or retrenched planners… Continue reading All Hell Breaks Loose with Proposed Housing Density Increases in Vancouver!