Canberrans paying for new Chief’s and Deputy’s failures on Giralang shops

Canberra taxpayers are still paying the price of Andrew Barr’s and Simon Corbell’s poorly judged decisions regarding the future of the Giralang shops, Shadow Minister for Planning Alistair Coe said today.

“Today, the High Court has ruled that nearby traders have the right to appeal the ACT Labor government’s planning decision to allow the development of a large supermarket. Costs have been awarded against the government,” Mr Coe said.

“For years, the saga of the Giralang shops dispute has been costing taxpayers, businesses and the community because of ACT Labor’s mismanagement of the issue. The dispute has also seen the departure of an ACT Chief Planner.

“After the issue was held up under Andrew Barr’s watch as planning minister, Simon Corbell was appointed planning minister in 2011 and he immediately went against Andrew Barr’s stance by approving the development through the call-in powers.

“Given the Supreme Court has indicated it will almost exclusively be dealing with criminal matters in 2015, the site could be left in limbo for years to come.

“The residents of Giralang have been big losers as a result of the government’s handling of this issue.

“Andrew Barr and Simon Corbell have a terrible legacy in the planning portfolio and Canberrans are still paying the price. If this is their legacy in planning, I’m concerned about the damage they can do to all portfolios in their running of the Territory,” Mr Coe concluded.