Council invites the Weston Creek community to the 22 February 2023 Public Meeting which will focus on the move towards electrifying the ACT, with a presentation by the Sub Zero ACT Community Group. We will also discuss Council’s proposed response to the draft District Strategies and Territory Plan.
EVENT: FEBRUARY PUBLIC MEETING.
DATE: WEDNESDAY, 22 FEBRUARY 2023. TIME: 7:30 PM
LOCATION: WESTON CREEK COMMUNITY CENTRE, off PARKINSON STREET
The meeting will be webcast live via our Facebook pages. Questions that we receive will be presented to the speakers. Please let us know your question in advance by email or the Facebook pages.
We should start by acknowledging the significant effort by the ACT Emergency Services Agency in organising the 18 January 2023 ceremony to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the 2003 Bushfire event. The commemoration was well organised and appropriate. It was pleasing to see it was well attended by local leaders and Legislative Assembly members, including three of our local MLAs.
The Covid_19 virus is still with us, and the Government has arranged for a further vaccination to be available from 20 February 2023, to ensure as many people are vaccinated as possible before winter arrives. Council encourages residents to keep their vaccinations up to date.
The year 2023 should see the delivery of initiatives Council has been keen to see commence for some time now:
- The Return-it Australia container reverse vending machine commenced operations in Commons Court on 8 February. This should encourage a significant increase in containers being recycled, rather than becoming litter, while providing local young people with a handy source of additional funds and nominated charities with a new source of donations.
- The Development Application for the former Australian Police Force site on Streeton Drive should be approved and construction commenced.
- Intersection improvements for the Hindmarsh Dr/Briely St, Namatjira Dr/Streeton Dr and Heyson St/Streeton Dr are expected to commence. These are anticipated to result in significant road safety improvements when completed.
- Capital Works & Infrastructure, Justice and Community Safety Directorate, ACT Government, has commenced site investigations for a combined Emergency Services Centre on Block 2 Section 58 Duffy. We have invited the Directorate to come to a Public Meeting to share with us their plans for this important facility. This afternoon, the Directorate indicated they will attend our March meeting.
- On 16 February 2023, Minister Steel announced that contracts had been signed for the design and construction of the high-level bridge over the Molonglo River. On completion (expected for 2025), this will provide the second, strategic all-weather connection to the North of Canberra and nearby NSW.
- The final plans for the Brierly st upgrade project are expected to be released shortly.
- The Planning Reform process continues, with the Government determined to amend the draft Bill to take account of the many recommendations it received from the Planning Committee consideration. Nevertheless, consultations are proceeding on the proposed District Strategies and draft Territory Plan. More on this later.
- The Legislative Assembly’s Inquiry into Dangerous Driving will be reporting shortly. Council made a submission and appeared at the public hearings. The submission was based on feedback we had received from the community, and we believe we received a good opportunity to present our views.
Back to the Planning Reforms, Council is currently analysing the draft District Strategy documents, and intends to discuss them at the Public Meeting on 22 February 2023. Planning how land will be used is important to every resident, because once a piece of green space is developed, it is gone! So, after considering that both the Territory and the Nation face housing availability and affordability shortages, our view is that the documents provided do not assign these pressures sufficient coverage, nor the impact on Weston Creek. There is no linkage to Human Rights Law, or environmental protections. Similarly, the current era hazards of extreme heat, dust, storm, bushfire, pandemic and major accident receive insufficient attention.
The data used in the Planning Strategy is primarily from the 2016 Census, with an undertaking to update data as the 2021 Census data becomes available. Our view is there is sufficient time available to refine the data and better consider the population data and projections for the future. But it appears the Government does not have sufficient analytical capacity and would be well advised to engage an expert population statistician. Thank you to those residents who have provided commentary. Council will include these in our submission, due on 3 March 2023.
The next Planning Events being held by the Government are scheduled for 24/25 February. Details can be found at: https://yoursayconversations.act.gov.au/act-planning-review
Moving to a Council administration matter, Lucille Ball once quipped that “If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it!”, while John Heywood opined “Many hands make light work”. These quotes summarise Council’s status over the last year or so succinctly. A couple of our stalwarts have indicated they will have to stand down, due to having just too many other commitments. This could well be dire for your Community Council’s ongoing viability!
So, we again renew our call for volunteers to join your Council to assist with a few tasks. New ideas and skills are valuable and appreciated. Tasks could include moderating social media, setting up meeting facilities, advocacy and engagement, video recording and editing, asset management or a more formal position on Council’s committee. Do you have a little bit of spare time, and want to contribute to something in your community? If yes, please get in touch.
CELEBRATING WORKING TOGETHER AND ACHIEVING.
The Weston Creek Community Council (WCCC) continues to be a forum for residents to meet, share ideas and to convey concerns to government. We are non-partisan, advocating for the best services and facilities for the people of Weston Creek. To continue to function successfully we need community input and feedback.