For a brief history of the Giralang shops saga, you can visit the Giralang Residents Action Group website.
Giralang used to have local shops. Over a decade ago, the shops begun to close, until finally they were all gone. The shops sat derelict for some time, until the site owner and developer begun the rebuilding process. A few rejected development applications later, and one was approved. It was set aside by the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal 5 months later. A fourth development application was submitted and again approved (this time using call-in powers).
What happened next ties up the development application in legal red tape for 5 years, until expired, and then the case was finally heard and ruled against the complainants. That is to say, the 5 year delay should never have happened.
What happened to the Giralang community shouldn’t have happened to them. It also shouldn’t happen to anyone else in the future. The solution to this problem must include the lessons learned, and fixes to the flaws in the system that allowed this to happen.
Law’s and measures should always consider the bigger picture, and I will need to seek further advice on this, however I propose that a failed court action should pause the life of a development application. If we remove this mechanism to essentially veto a development application, it is possible that this would never have gone as far as it did, and the shops might even be open today.