Friday, November 25, 2011

Canberra Dickson Centre Master Plan

Last week I found a post card in my letterbox asking for my input on the "Dickson Centre Master Plan". The is for the shopping center near where I live in Canberra. I chaired the community group which the government consulted on the previous "Dickson Group Centre Redevelopment". Now as an ordinary citizen I was deligited to be invited to comment on the new plan.

It was refreshing to receive a small simple card, rather than a large complicated brochure. The postmasters has a map of the proposed location of new supermarkets, on existing car-parks on either side of the Dickson Library. The other side had a description of the proposal and two tick box options. The text was too small to read comfortably in a light gray font. It would have been better to have less text in a bigger font, as the information is also available online.

Also it was odd that the card was from the ACT Government "Economic Development Unit", not the land planning department. While it was claimed the survey could be completed at the unit's web site, I could not fiond the survey on-line. The words "survey" and "Dickson" do not occour on the web page the residents are referred to.

Unfortunately the master plan is a 6Mbyte PDF file, making it difficult to download and read. The document says "The ACT Government is committed to making its information,
services, events and venues accessible to as many people as
possible. If you have difficulty reading a standard printed document and would like to receive this publication in an alternative format — such as large print or audio please telephone (02) 6207 7307." Unfortunately this statement is in white text on a pattered red and white background, making it very difficult to read.

The web page for the Master plan failed an automated accessibility test, with 19 Problems. The ACT Government clearly has not met its commitment to making information accessible.

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