Your local voice

Postal Address: PO Box 3701 Weston Creek ACT 2611

Phone: 6288 8975

Fax: 6288 9179

E-mail info@wccc.com.au

Website: www.wccc.com.au


Monthly Meeting

25th July 2001



Jeff Carl welcomed members of the committee and residents. He introduced the guest speaker, the CEO of Planning and Land Management (PALM) Mr Lincoln Hawkins. Mr Carl advised the meeting that the WCCC had been involved in a number of issues involving PALM, these ranged from ACTCode 2, the Significant Tree Register, Master plans for Holder and Rivett Shops and the Neighbourhood Futures Project.

Mr Carl also welcomed the first WCCC chairperson from 1991 Mr Kevin Gill. He advised the meeting that this was the WCCC's 10th birthday and attendees were welcome to remain for the celebration after the meeting.

Mr Carl introduced to the meeting Lincoln Hawkins CEO of Planning and Land Management (PALM).

Lincoln Hawkins (PALM).

Mr Hawkins advised that his aim was to seek the views of the community and ideas for input into policy and planning. The basis is 'Future Canberra' which is a process of involving the community and planners in defining what sort of city they want to live in and how Canberra can grow in the future. The Future Canberra conference on 10 May 2001 was an opportunity to bring it all together as well as celebrate the past.

The next level of planning incorporates Streetscape and residential design and development. The new ACTCode 2 is in the stage of seeking input and comments on possible new approaches to manage the renewal in older suburbs and set benchmarks to obtain acceptable outcomes in new developments. ACTCode 2 is setting the bar higher to achieve a better result for all people in Canberra.

Mr Hawkins also took the opportunity to briefly discuss PALM’s community service initiative this year where PALM staff, as well as developers, builders and the community were invited to join in the Walk for Diabetes Cure on 21st Oct. Details are in the latest PALM newsletter.

In respect of the 'specific policies' relating to service stations there is a need to balance policy intent and the needs of the community. There are however exceptional circumstance provisions in the Government’s Service Station policy.

Mr Hawkins then asked Mr Carl if he could facilitate and he was agreeable to take questions from the floor.

Mr Carl called on Bob Sutherland, Deputy Chair of the WCCC, to provide a brief overview of the issues surrounding the Holder service station and its closure as reflected in his regular columns in the local newspapers (The Valley View and The Chronicle). Mr Sutherland advised the meeting that the series of articles he had written in the local free papers has now brought the issue into focus and this has also been crystallised by a new lessee buying the site. There is a need to do something with the site and an open debate on the options and preferences of the community is what is needed. The continued insistence on the site being a service station to serve the community needs to be re-visited as this may not be required nor wanted by the community. As the economics of petrol distribution change it is not surprising that the site is not viable.

Mr Hawkins concurred with Mr Sutherland's comment regarding 'viability'. What is it and how is it demonstrated? If it's not viable what do we as community and planners do? - redevelop as a park ? residential? Rules and regulations have been introduced to show when a site is not viable and there are due legal processes. Given that there is material on the Holder Service Station site before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) it is not appropriate to re-visit that material in this forum Mr Hawkins said.

Mr Carl called on Colin Stewart, principal of Colin Stewart Architects, who are undertaking work on several local shopping centres for PALM, to speak on the Holder Shopping Centre. Mr Stewart provided the meeting with a brief overview of the outcomes of the survey work undertaken in Holder in regard to resident's preferences on the re-development of the shopping centre. A commercial distributor undertook letterbox deliveries however it was believed that there was not good coverage. There was an approximate 13% return of survey (149) - based on the likely number of households (1124). Many commented that the disused service station contributed to the unsightly condition of the shopping centre. Of the surveys returned, 9% wanted a service station and 19% indicated that the site needed to be re-developed.

Mr Carl then asked Mr Hawkins to explain in a little more detail the exact restrictions of the Government's Service Station Policy. Mr Hawkins indicated that there was a process to show non-viability and there was a time period of 5 years in which holders of a resold lease could not apply for a lease variation for a change of use, eg residential.

Questions and Answers

Mr Carl thanked Mr Hawkins for attending and discussing the issues of concern on the Holder Service Station site; Mr Carl invited Mr Hawkins to stay for the remainder of the meeting.

General Business

The 22nd August 2001 meeting will have Damian Wall of Environment ACT as the speaker on the sub-catchment planning for Weston Creek. The 26th September 2001 meeting will be a 'Meet the Candidates'. All politicians and would-be politicians in our audience tonight are welcome at that meeting, Mr Carl said.

Mr Carl also asked the meeting that if attendees had changed their email address to please advise so that you can continue to receive the electronic newsletter. There are membership forms here tonight if you wish to join as a member of the WCCC, membership is free.

Any Other Business

A resident from Duffy asked of the installation of rumble strips adjacent to the Duffy Primary School to calm traffic. The meeting was advised that the WCCC had written to the Minister for Education, Mr Bill Stefaniak, requesting raised pedestrian crossings and flashing lights at Duffy Primary on Burrinjuck Cres, Weston Primary on Hilder Street and Chapman Primary on Streeton Drive. The WCCC approach was in response to news that the Lyons Primary School was to receive such traffic calming attention as part of the Launceston Street Traffic Management proposal. The WCCC would continue to lobby for such traffic calming treatment at Weston Creek schools on major arterial roads.

An attendee asked of the problem with rubbish at the Waramanga Playing Fields and the adverse impact that this was having on the adjacent Weston Creek Veterinary Hospital. There was also the suggestion that considerable effort was needed to manage the carparking situation on Saturday mornings for the soccer fields.

The meeting was advised that the WCCC had approached Department of Urban Services on exactly this issue for the Arawang Netball Courts. The outcome was that line marking in the existing carpark was provided however any additional work, such as off-street car parking on empty land, would only be considered after the Defence Housing Authority Estate was completed and the impact could be quantified.

As regards the Waramanga Playing Fields, the meeting was advised that the temporary carpark adjacent to the Arawang Primary School had been brought to the attention of the WCCC by Arawang P&C Assn. The P&C Assn advised that the school has a bitumen carpark for its original capacity of teacher parking. However with school amalgamations a new extended carpark was in the plans; this was dropped without notice and staff are parking on the dirt paddock. Several Occupation and Safety issues have arisen because of the very uneven surface that teachers and parents are walking on. The WCCC has indicated to Arawang Primary its support for an extended bitumen carpark. This new carpark, if of substantial size, could contribute significantly to the overflow carparking to accommodate Saturday morning soccer games.

It was also noted that the existing small carpark near the Parks and Gardens Depot could be better utilised if it were joined with the Stromlo High School carpark to improve traffic flow. The Weston Creek Soccer Club is also making continuing representations to the Minister to have access to those depot buildings, which are currently believed to house Archive material. The WCCC is supporting the Soccer Club having use of these buildings.

It is also noted that there are no rubbish bins adjacent to the playing fields. At the June 2000 meeting attended by Minister Brendan Smyth this was debated at length. The contractor is not paid to empty bins therefore they are not provided.

10th Birthday Celebrations

Mr Carl called on Mr Sutherland, who has organised the arrangements, to address the meeting. Mr Sutherland thanked so many people for coming out on a wet windy night to continue to support the Council and hear our guest speaker Lincoln Hawkins. Mr Sutherland re-called for the meeting the early days of the WCCC and the efforts of so many. Mr Kevin Gill, the first Chairperson, was introduced. Mr Gill indicated that he was pleasantly surprised to see a range of politicians, Kerrie Tucker and Greg Cornwell and candidates for the up-coming election in the audience. The WCCC had grown from strength to strength and the fact that a voluntary community group was in such good condition was a tribute to the people who supported the organisation. Mr Gill recalled that the closure of the podiatrist in the Health Centre and the Holder High School closure were issues which brought the community together to form a Council to lobby to retain and gain services. He wished the residents and Council well in the future.

Mr Sutherland invited Mr Gill to cut the birthday cake; all were invited to the celebration.


Gary Humphries, Jacqui Burke, Derek Jordan, Lynn McKee, Chris Hunter, Marion Kossatz.

The minutes of the WCCC are on our website at www.wccc.com.au and our e-mail is info@wccc.com.au If any attendees had changed their ISP could they please advise the WCCC.


Meeting closed 9.45pm

Next Meeting:

Wednesday 22nd August 2001