Weston Creek Community Council

your local voice

Postal Address: PO Box 3701 Weston Creek ACT 2611

Phone: 6288 8975

Fax: 6288 9179

Email: wccc@dynamite.com.au

Web site: http://www2.dynamite.com.au/wccc

Minutes of the WCCC

2000 Annual General Meeting

Wednesday 24 May 2000

Welcome

Bob Sutherland welcomed the public and members of the Committee to the WCCC 2000 AGM; which he commented was well attended as there was not a spare seat in the meeting room.

Minutes of the 1999 AGM

The minutes of the 1999 AGM were distributed; after an interval Bob Sutherland asked that the minutes be accepted: moved Gary Caitcheon; seconded Jeff Carl. Mr Mervyn Willoughby-Thomas raised a point of order regarding a quorum to conduct an AGM. The Secretary, Mr Henderson read from the WCCC Constitution (which is based on the model associations constitution provided by the Registrar of Associations) that under section 15(3) page 11 of the WCCC constitution a quorum was indeed present and the Chairperson Bob Sutherland then declared the meeting the annual general meeting.

Advertising

The AGM was advertised in The Valley View on 16 May 2000 pg 32 and The Southside Chronicle also on May 16 pg 6. In addition nearly 500 letters were posted to all persons who had entered their names in the attendance book over the last few years; the AGM was also advertised on the WCCC website.

Apologies

Mrs A Earnshaw, Hazel Bancroft.

Business Arising

The following actions were reported to the AGM by Bob Sutherland as actions arising from the previous AGM:

Chairman's Report

This year has been an extraordinarily busy year for the Weston Creek Community Council. During the year I have received very able assistance from the Secretary Alan Henderson and deputy Chair Jeff Carl. In fact if it were not for their work hardly anything would have been done. They have both laboured mightily for the Community Council over the year in review.

This year the Community Council made five long written submissions to government on a variety of different matters. We made submissions to the ACT Government on an inquiry into Traffic Warrants (traffic warrants is a system of classifying roads and road accidents to ensure that road works funds are expended on the most worthwhile sites) and on public housing.

We made a submission to the ACT Electoral Commissioner on electoral boundaries for the ACT. Subsequently the Commissioner has recommended that the new electoral boundary be drawn in Gungahlin so that the suburb of Nicholls will join the Ginninderra electorate and Molonglo will remain as the seven-member electorate including the remainder of Gungahlin.

We have made a submission to the consultants on the review of the ACT Land Act. We were asked to specifically comment on the way in which land is released for development. This inquiry is still under way and the report will be prepared in 2000/2001.

We made a submission to the Federal Parliament on the then proposed upgrading of the Defence Force Staff College in Weston. Generally we supported the college expansion but drew attention to possible traffic problems and the possibility of light pollution from the site. As we know the Federal Government has decided to go ahead with the college expansion and, by and large, the community has welcomed this.

Apart from submissions we continued our lobbying on a number of matters. Earlier in the year we lobbied on new bus routes and timetables and ACTION representatives attended one of our meetings to explain the changes. We also lobbied on the situation facing Weston Creek public schools and Minister Bill Stefaniak attended one of our meetings to explain government policy in relation to schools in the ACT.

We offered what support we could give on the Weston Creek Group Centre (Cooleman Court) precinct upgrade. The first stage of the upgrade is now complete and I was pleased to be able to attend the official opening. The second stage of the precinct works should begin in the new financial year.

We also lobbied on traffic conditions in Liardet Street in Weston where cars had been taking the corner too fast in the vicinity of Royals Rugby Club. New road marking has been provided and we will continue to monitor the situation to see whether this measure has been effective.

A recent lobbying activity was over the noise coming from special promotions at our new recreational park (Skateboard Park) in Weston. In future promoters will be asked by government officials to keep the noise to within the skateboard park boundaries and again we will continue to monitor this situation.

As I write this report we are continuing to lobby the ACT Government over traffic conditions in Streeton Drive near the proposed Defence Housing Authority subdivision and on the housing proposal itself. This has been done at the request of neighbouring residents. We have also lobbied for some years now to have the Cotter Road upgraded in the vicinity of the Defence Staff College at Kirkpatrick Street. New road works have commenced and we have asked that the road be four lanes from the new roundabout to the Tuggeranong Parkway.

During the year I was pleased to attend the official opening of the new recreational facility or Skateboard Park. Despite the noise problems this is a wonderful facility which is greatly appreciated in our community.

I also prepared a paper on the role of community councils in the ACT system of government. This paper is still being considered by the other community councils and has been heavily criticised by them. The ACT government is keen to have some kind of model that community councils follow and this may be the first step in the process. During the year I also publicly criticised the push by Local Area Planning Advisory Committees for statutory powers. This is an important reason why there should be a statement on the role that community councils should play.

On a more mundane note we have had to prepare for GST from 1 July. Part of this process has been our successful bid to be given an ABN.

Other issues, which have yet to be resolved, and which are likely to continue in 2000/2001 are the derelict petrol stations and the storage of large numbers of cars (some in poor condition) on private blocks.

During the year I continued to write regular columns on local matters for the Valley View and Southside Chronicle newspapers.

 

John Logue also helped out during the year by attending and reporting on a seminar on water drainage in the ACT. Gary Caitcheon helped again by being our public officer a role he is happy to continue this year. Thanks to you both.

As usual I offer my resignation as Chairman - a role I have now done for seven years or so. I believe that this is too long for one person to have the job and we would benefit from the infusion of new ideas and greater energy. However, I am willing to keep working for the Community Council in some lower capacity.

MOTION: Accept the Chairmanís Report Moved Bob Sutherland; seconded Jeff Carl

Secretary's Report 99/00

The 99/00 financial year has been one of the busiest non-election years for the WCCC.

Amongst the many events of the year the relocation of our volunteer website manager interstate due to his job required the committee to significantly upgrade their skills and manage the website on our own. We believe that the website is critically important in providing information to residents. The e-mail has also proved to be a major means of communication with the WCCC. The purchase of a scanner has allowed us to post to the website replies to our submissions.

All forms for the continuing registration of the WCCC as an Association have been lodged in the Financial Year and no returns to the Registrar of Associations are outstanding. We are also in keeping with our Grant Agreement with the Chief Minister's Department.

Other major advances in administration include entering all attendees to our meetings on a database; which allows us to print mailing lists and undertake targeted mail outs as needed.

The scanner also allows us to scan incoming correspondence and discard huge amounts of paperwork (for which we have no storage space). Recent virus activity has also meant we needed to buy some anti virus software to protect our documentation.

We have also managed to maintain a flyer to all Weston Creek households on a quarterly basis. The WCCC has had advertising magnets produced and these are widely circulated. The WCCC membership form is now on the website.

The WCCC has continued to encourage open communication between different groups to achieve outcomes an example being the Recreation/Skateboard Park.

There has been increasing demand on the members of the Committee to attend an increasing number of meetings to represent Weston Creek.

The recognition of the WCCC in London Circuit has improved our access to politicians and their advisers when needed.

Finally, not only has the number of submissions made by the WCCC increased but also the level of complexity has increased significantly, eg. Review of the ACT Land Act.

MOTION: Accept the Secretary's Report Moved Alan Henderson; seconded Gary Caitcheon

Treasurer's Report 99/00

In the 98/99 financial year the WCCC received a grant of $3,000 in November 1998. The costs between 1 July and the receipt of the cheque in November were covered from volunteers. The funds received in 98/99 could be used for 12 months from receipt of the funds. Therefore at 30 June 99 the bank balance was $1,856.83

By 27 November 1999 the bank balance was down to $10.16

The 99/00 grant of $3,000 was received on 6 Dec 1999 and needs to be expended in full by 30 June 2000 (7 months) before the GST comes into being. This is an instruction from the Chief Minister's Dept. The WCCC budget was discussed at the March 2000 meeting as to how we expend the funds. More than half of this financial yearís budget of the WCCC will cover the costs of advertising meetings on behalf of Streeton Drive residents in regard to the Defence Housing Authority proposal ($1,856.56).

Minister Brendan Smyth is likely to attend in June 2000 and a flyer to all Weston Creek residents will need to have funds set aside ($746 included above) also a phone and fax bill are due by the end of the FY ($110). The current committee has followed past practise and the emphasis of expenditure has been on information dissemination and ease of contact with the WCCC. Therefore the website; the printing and delivery of flyers and phone/fax rent are our greatest costs. Approval is sought at a monthly meeting or an executive meeting before funds are spent.

The WCCC has applied for and now has an ABN from the ATO. Although our Auditor has left Weston Creek and relocated, she will continue until a replacement is found. Copies of the accounts and annual returns of the WCCC are available.

MOTION: Accept the Treasurer's Report Moved Alan Henderson; seconded Gary Caitcheon.

Auditor

Mr Henderson advised that Sue Galvin had undertaken the audit for the 97/98 and 98/99 financial years. Although Sue has moved interstate it is proposed that Sue undertake the 99/00 FY audit and she has agreed to do this in absentia until a new honorary auditor is found.

Election of Office bearers

Bob Sutherland and committee members stepped down and the meeting was presided over by Detective Superintendent Chris Lines as the returning officer. All positions were declared open and vacant. A nomination and voting process was undertaken and the outcome was:

POSITION

PERSON

MOVED

SECONDED

 

 

 

 

Chair

Jeff Carl

Bob Sutherland

M Willoughby-Thomas

Deputy Chair

Bob Sutherland

Stan Menezes

Jeff Carl

Sec/Treasurer

Alan Henderson

Jeff Carl

Gary Caitcheon

Public Officer

Gary Caitcheon

Bob Sutherland

Alan Henderson

Bob Sutherland indicated in the Chairmanís report that he wished to continue in a much-reduced capacity and continue to assist the WCCC in a small way. Mr Stan Menezes forcefully suggested that Mr Sutherland be the deputy chair to assist Jeff Carl in a transition period. Mr Sutherland agreed.

Committee members are:

Jocelyn Murphy

Gary Caitcheon

John Logue

 

Jeff Carl assumed the position of Chairperson of the WCCC and the meeting was invited to discuss any other business.

Any Other Business

Cotter Road

The ACT budget identified $100,000 in next FY and $2M in the following FY to duplicate the Cotter Road from Streeton Drive to the Parkway. The WCCC has lobbied the ACT Government for some years to have this road duplicated and is pleased to see the commitment being made. The fact that it will be 2 financial years before it is completed, and the Defence Staff College entry roundabout will be finished shortly, is a major concern. This can be discussed with Minister Brendan Smyth at the next monthly meeting in June.

Streeton Drive, Rivett Traffic

There was continued discussion, from the previous monthly meeting on the problems with the design of the traffic calming measures. The debate centred on alternate arrangements to achieve an acceptable outcome for the residents and also the ACT Roads and Traffic section. Roundabouts at the intersections with Darwinia Tce and Bangalay Cres were considered to be a better approach than speed humps. The status of the concrete pedestrian islands is still unclear.

Defence Housing Authority Proposal

Michelle Holmes and Chris Hunter from Streeton Drive both indicated their personal concern regarding the housing on the particular parcel of land. Ms Hunter indicated that she had no objections if the housing matched the surrounding style and quality of housing in Rivett. Both mentioned that a petition has been circulating and had nearly 400 signatures. The PALM decision, they advised, was to be handed down on 13th June.

Influence and outcomes of the WCCC

Ms Hunter asked the Executive to elaborate on the success of the WCCC in achieving outcomes for residents. Bob Sutherland responded by indicating that the WCCC was originally set up as a means of communicating with politicians and putting all views of local residents forward to those in London Circuit. This practice has continued and although we talk at length to the politicians, their advisers and bureaucrats there is probably no definitive measure of our success although we believe that we have influenced more than a few decisions.

When asked of the formation of the WCCC Bob Sutherland advised that in its current form it was established in 1991 in response to the closure of Holder High School. Another attendee indicated that there was an organisation on Weston Creek in the late 1970ís, which disbanded. Also in the 1980ís there was a group opposed to the Long Stay Caravan Park in Duffy - when this group demised they gave their leftover funds to the WCCC ($286.15).

Jeff Carl indicated that the WCCC was extremely careful not to be heavy-handed in dealing with the politicians and their advisers and to take a cooperative approach. He indicated that there were some community and lobby groups in Canberra who, because of their practises, could not gain access to Ministers to discuss issues. The WCCC, not being a single-issue organisation, needed to consider the impact of the approach and the desired outcomes so as not to alienate the WCCC from any future consultative processes.

In regard to achievements for the residents of Weston Creek; which the efforts of the WCCC may or may not have had an effect; Mr Henderson cited:

The meeting was also advised that the WCCC assisted numerous callers and senders of faxes and e-mails with regard to problems and issues directly affecting them (eg footpaths, street lighting, long grass, car wrecks on lawns, etc).

Recreation Skate Park

Mr Jon McIntyre, a youth worker, indicated to the meeting that he may be able to assist with any issues concerning the youth at the Skateboard Park. He also asked that the area be considered to be zoned as alcohol free. Detective Superintendent Lines indicated that this would need some consideration although there were possibilities. Mr McIntyre also asked that drinking water and a toilet be provided. It was advised to the meeting that the WCCC has already begun lobbying relevant Ministers for a drinking fountain.

Letterbox drop by WCCC

A resident from Streeton Drive indicated that she and several of her neighbours had not received the Feb 2000 flyer distributed to all Weston Creek households. It was explained that a commercial printing and distribution company was used for the task as Australia Post costs were far in excess of the WCCC budget. We believed that we had a 70-80% success rate and the additional coverage for a lot more money was probably not warranted.

Community Councils

Jeff Carl indicated that a review of Community Councils and their role was being undertaken and all Community Councils were being asked to elaborate on how they were working. Jeff asked for comments from the meeting. In the ensuing discussion the main points which arose were;

Mr Carl indicated that this information would be used in the WCCC response to the review.

As there was no further business the incoming chair Jeff Carl declared the AGM closed.

Meeting finished 9.20pm

Next meeting 28th June 2000 (Minister Brendan Smyth).