Keep the Vision of Parliament Clear

Submission to the Inquiry into the administration of the National Memorials Ordinance 1928 of the Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories, Parliment of Australia

Tom Worthington FACS CP HLM

PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617, Australia t: 0419496150

Version 1, 7 September 2011

About the Author

is a long term resident of Canberra and delivered an invited seminar to the Bauhaus Kolleg international post-graduate design school on Canberra planning. This submission is made as an individual and may not reflect the views of any of the organizations mentioned.

The appropriate level of public participation in the development of proposed National Memorials.

The process by which the "Canberra National Memorials Committee" (CNMC) currently operates is unclear. The National Capital Authority (NCA) web site has one web page about the committee, equivalent to about one printed page. This states that the position of the two ACT resident committee are "not currently filled". There are no links from the web page to the proposed WW I and WW II memorials, no invitations to comment on any proposals and no minutes of previous meetings of the committee, no agendas for future meetings, nor any record of any deliberation by the committee.

Proposal for public participation in the development of proposed National Memorials

Over the period 2009 to 2010 Senator Kate Lundy and her IT advisor Pia Waugh developed the Public Sphere process to combine face to face public meetings with online discussions to canvass public opinion on an issue. The latest of these is "The Digital Culture Public Sphere", on the topic of national cultural policy. I suggest that such a process should be used by the NCA for consulting on planning aspects of Canberra, including proposed National Memorials. This could be facilitated by a specially designed facility in Canberra for the purpose, as I discussed in "Designing for Democratic Dialogue" (May 2011), but could be run in existing facilities. In any case the deliberations of the CNMC should be open, with all documents of the committee made available on-line at the time they are created.

Transition provisions for current proposals for memorials which have not yet been constructed

The Memorial(s) Development Committee has proposed World War 1 and World War 2 monuments on the lake shore near Anzac Parade would be a suitable topic for the first public sphere type consultation. In my view, the proposed monuments are out of proportion with the landscape of the lake shore and Griffin's land axis for Canberra and are unlikely to receive wide public support. The monuments should be scaled down to one quarter their proposed size.

Tom Worthington 1 of 1 Submission on National Memorials

Note: This was accepted as Submission 14 to the inquiry and published in the inquiry report, "Etched in Stone?", 23 November 2011.