Chairman’s Comments to the Weston Creek Community Council AGM – 28 Aug 13

I would like to make a few points about what we have done this year for the Weston Creek Community and what issues we continue to face.

1.  Council has arranged a series of presentations to the community at our Public Meetings including :

  • An election Forum in the lead up to the ACT 2012 Election
  • Update on Molonglo Development
  • Updates to the Molonglo/Weston Creek Aquatic FacilityDavid Jeffery Economic Development Directorate 
  • Block 1 section 47 Wright – Presentation on a proposed development.
  • Dr Kindler, Principal of Stromlo High School
    • Canberra Airport
    • The Health Care Consumer’s Association  

Mr Shane Rattenbury, MLA, ACT Greens Member for Molonglo Minister for Territory and Municipal Services; Corrections; Housing;  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs; and Ageing.

  • Ms Gai Brodtmann MP, Member for Canberra 
  • Defence Housing on the proposed development in Weston off Heysen Street.
  • Bupa Healthcare on the Proposed Aged care facility in Stirling on Fremantle Drive.

 

2.  Submissions:

 Council made  several submissions on behalf of the Community including:

  • The Size of the ACT Assembly
  • Draft Variation 306 to the Territory Plan
  • DHA Development in North Weston
  • Comments on a Development Application in Wright

 3.  Working Groups and Committees

Your Committee Members also attend various working groups and Committees on behalf of the Community.  These include

  • Molonglo Group centre working group
  • Weston Group Centre Master Plan stakeholders Reference Group
  • Planning and Development Forum – ACT Planning and Land Authority
  • Canberra Airport Community Aviation Consultation Group
  • Molonglo Urban Edge Master Plan Community and Industry Working Group
  • Combined Community Councils Forum

Publicity:

Again good publicity was received for Council and several issues which were significant to the Community.

I want to publicly thank the Chronicle for providing Council with a column each month and several front page articles on issues and matters of importance to our community.

We also have issued flyers for a number of our Meetings each year to try to influence our Community to attend our Public Meetings though we do not do this for every meeting.

Council has a vibrant Website and we thank our Webmaster Lance Williamson for his great work for Council on this site.  We do pay a small fee for this and your Committee considers we get great value for what we pay.  Thanks Lance.

We also achieved some publicity in the Canberra Times.

 4.     The Issues Ahead:

 I continue to be concerned over the actions or really the inactions of the ACT Government.  For near on 40 years the residents of Weston creek have been forgotten by Government.  Yes occasionally they will remember and in my mind tinker around the edges but they really do not come with those items which most of the other Districts in Canberra have and have had for some years.

My concern is that we will continue to be deprived of these services as these will be provided to the new Molonglo development and we will just be included in that.  We have already seen this with the proposed Swimming Pool to be developed in Molonglo.

I am concerned with the continued delays in the provision of the Draft Master Plan for Weston.  It was due last year and we will be lucky to see it this year.  Our Community needs a new Community Centre with library, health care and meeting rooms to care for our ageing and our new population and to cater for those people who are moving into Molonglo at least in the short to medium term.

The pressures from Molonglo are there already and these will continue to grow as the population in Molonglo builds.  We see these already in

  • Duffy Primary School
  • Cooleman Court and parking there – where are the 70 car parking spaces that were promised before last year’s election?
  • Where is the draft master plan for Weston?
  • Look at our roads – chaotic at the moment with all of the road works.  And no time table can be believed any more.  End dates are just blown away
  •  The Heysen Street roundabout was due to be finished in 8 weeks and that was the end of July.  It doesn’t look like being finished before December.
  • The Cotter Road duplication part one was due to be finished initially in September 2012.  The speed restriction signs were finally taken down in March 2013.
  • The bridge in Molonglo over the Molonglo River for John Gorton Drive to travel north is planned for 2018 – that’s only 5 years away.  I can’t see that happening now and in the meantime the only real way out is for the flow of people from Molonglo to come along the Cotter Road and we have the issue of the duplication of this road from Yarralumla Creek to contend with.  How long will that take as there is a need to build another bridge.
  • Catch the buses or ride a bike is the cry.  Well the buses don’t work too well – the peak hour are not quick and not the service that people want.  The Myway system only records usage not what is wanted and it is difficult to change a system that is bound by a 20 year plan.  We will continue to push for a fairer and faster service to Civic and a link to Tuggeranong and Belconnen.
  • We continue to ask for better care of our open areas including more frequent not less frequent mowing and more trimming of trees and not taking 2 to 3 years to do something when trees in poor health or dead branches in dangerous locations are left for months and more before something is done. 

 They are my main issues and I know reflect many of the issues of the community.

A Vote of Thanks

Finally I would like to publicly thank those who have served on the Council for the past year.  It is a good team and has the interests of Weston creek at its heart 

A particular than you to Christine Wilson who is stepping down as secretary.  Thank you for your time as secretary.  We have been lucky to have someone with her skills and energy. 

I would also like to thank the Weston Club for their support for Council by providing rooms for both our Public and Committee Meetings through the year at no cost.

Finally I would like to thank the Community for the support that they have given throughout the year.  Not always what we would want but it is received with thanks.

 Conclusion:

Thank you for attending and supporting your Council.

Please join us for some refreshments at the end of the meeting.

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