The Executive Committee has again been kept extraordinarily busy during the last year dealing with a wide range of issues. The number of issues that we have been asked to deal with has been rapidly increasing over recent years. I would like to thank the Secretary, Alan Henderson, and the Deputy Chair, Bob Sutherland, for their able assistance and guidance. Their selfless support has made the execution of my duties a lot easier.
One ongoing issue has consumed a large proportion of the Council’s resources over this period, this being the forestry operation on Narrabundah Hill and its associated weed control proposals. The Council has provided a forum for the community consultation process on this issue and a generally acceptable outcome has been found. However, as the forestry operation is schedule to continue until about 2008, I expect that other associated issues will arise in the future.
The most significant event of the period occurred at our July 2001 meeting when the WCCC celebrated its 10th birthday. Past Chairpersons Messrs Kevin Gill and Bob Sutherland spoke briefly about the WCCC’s history, cut a birthday cake and all those in attendance toasted the future of the WCCC.
The biggest meeting of the period was our September ‘Meet the Candidates’ meeting, with over 100 people attending and 21 of the 46 candidates for Molonglo participating. As in previous election years, the Council was commended on the meeting’s format wherein each candidate was given the same time to address the meeting and all candidates were given an opportunity to answer questions.
Other well-attended meetings were our November meeting when representatives from ACT Forests discussed weed control options for Narrabundah Hill; our March meeting when the Minister for Planning and Education, Mr Simon Corbell MLA, was our guest speaker; and our June 2002 meeting that covered various issues including Draft Variation No. 200 to the Territory Plan (the ‘Garden City’ Variation), ACT Forests, and a wider discussion on the availability of community facility buildings in Weston Creek.
Some of the other issues attended to by the Council are as follows (in no order of priority):
- Traffic problems on Cotter Road at the Defence College roundabout;
- Restricting traffic access to the ‘Casuarina Walkway’ adjacent the DHA estate in Stirling;
- Attendance at a public meeting regarding the future of the Weston Campus of the Canberra College in Stirling;
- The Neighbourhood Futures project for Holder and Rivett;
- Community consultations on a proposed Montessori school development for the disused Holder High School oval;
- Off-street parking for patrons of the Arawang Netball Association;
- Improvements to the informal carpark at the Arawang Primary School;
- Community consultations on the land swap between the Orana School and ACT Forests;
- Withdrawing from the community coalition known as Planning the ACT Together (PACTT);
- Submission on the size of the ACT Legislative Assembly;
- Community consultations on a proposed Sikh community facility in Weston;
- Participation in various ACT Government initiatives such as the launch of Neighbourhood Planning Groups, the release of the OECD Report, and Your Canberra Your Future;
- Attendance at all combined Community Council Forums;
- Community consultations on the draft Weston/Woden Sub-Catchment Plan;
- Submission on the draft ACT Government 2002-2003 Budget; and
- Preparation of a discussion paper on the Gungahlin-Civic Tram proposal.
Our very successful Taking-it-to-the-Streets program was continued in the middle of the financial year with another round of visits to each of Weston Creek’s shopping centres on different Saturday mornings. The Executive was able to speak to many people who could not attend our regular meetings. Also we increased our public profile around the community since many hundreds of residents saw our banners. A report on our discussions with residents was sent to the Chief Minister.
The Executive have also met with various ACT Government Ministers and MLAs to discuss a number of issues of concern to Weston Creek residents. I thank the MLA’s for making themselves available to discuss these issues.
Our regular electronic newsletter was also continued during the tenure of this Committee. The newsletter continues to be very well received and we have broadened our coverage of Weston Creek residents to include some of those who don’t receive our flyers or the local newspapers. A number of flyers were also prepared and delivered to most residences in Weston Creek to advertise our activities.
I would like to extend a special thank you to Bob Sutherland for continuing to write regular columns on local matters for the Valley View (whilst it was published) and the Southside Chronicle newspapers. Bob has written these columns for many years and we have been continually surprised at the number of people throughout Canberra who read his column. On behalf of the Community Council I would like to express our deep gratitude for his selfless commitment to Weston Creek causes and his contribution to the WCCC over the last 10 years.
Also on behalf of the Council, I would like to extend a special thank you to the management and staff of Royals Rugby Club who have gone out of their way (as usual) to accommodate our widely different meetings.
Lastly, I would like to thank our Public Officer, Committee members and other Council members who have assisted the Executive throughout the past year.