Canberra Times – Kim Fischer

Belconnen and Gungahlin may soon get their own federal parliamentarian

In my Canberra Times article, I discuss the likelihood of the ACT getting a third seat in the Federal Parliament at the next election:

With strong growth taking Canberra’s population past 400,000, the ACT may be allocated a third federal seat this year. Like in 1996, there is a chance that this third seat will only exist for a single parliamentary term. Any new representative will have a strong incentive to ensure Canberra continues to thrive and grow, so as to lock in this extra seat.

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Open up empty government offices to the homeless

In my latest Canberra Times article, I argue that there is a compelling argument for reusing empty government offices in the ACT as temporary housing for the homeless instead of being left idle:

As the repurposing of the Addison Hotel in Sydney shows, we can make better use of vacant buildings to address homelessness. It would certainly be a far more effective use of taxpayers’ money than letting leased buildings remain idle. All that is needed is political determination, some smart planning and willingness to act.

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National Capital Authority needs to rethink its purpose

We need to have a broader discussion about how the NCA can work better for us. In my latest Canberra Times article I outline the challenges for the NCA in finding a new role:

The National Capital Authority is at a crossroads. For it to maintain a legitimate oversight and governance role in Canberra, it needs to step up and become a strong voice for local residents and the ACT government within the federal government.

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Twenty five years after ACT self-government, Commonwealth government is still in control

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In my op-ed piece for the Canberra Times, I argue that the National Capital Authority should not have the right to unilaterally approve residential developments such as the 701 hectare CSIRO Ginninderra site in the ACT, and particularly outside of Designated Areas of national significance:

The NCA does not have to seek approval from the ACT Government or reference the Territory Plan. It does not have to align with the ACT’s planned land release program or environmental standards. It can literally write its own planning rulebook.

Read full piece here

My Canberra Times Op-Ed: National Capital Plan should protect workers as well as monuments

An op-ed piece by me has been published in the Canberra Times.

Kim Fischer Immigration Op-Ed

The National Capital Plan can be used to protect workers against the proposed move by the Department of Immigration from Belconnen, and any future proposals:

My suggestion is to include requirements that mandate consultation and planning to mitigate impact any time more than 250 federal public service employees are moved outside a “Defined Office Employment Centre” (ie town centres and the airport) within six months. This process must include, at a minimum, discussions with the ACT Chief Minister and the affected community.