WESTON CREEK COMMUNITY COUNCIL
Your local voice
Postal Address: PO Box 3701 Weston Creek ACT 2611
Phone: 6288 8975
Fax: 6288 9179
Monthly Meeting 22nd May 2002
Jeff Carl, Chairperson, WCCC welcomed the WCCC Committee, Mr. Greg Cornwell MLA and residents. Mr. Carl advised the meeting that there were four issues on the agenda; The Inquiry into the size of the ACT Legislative Assembly; Arawang Primary School carpark; the Adolescent Day Unit proposed for Weston Creek Primary School and the re-afforestation of cleared forests in the Weston Creek district. Mr. Carl also encouraged other topics to be discussed by residents.
Helen Cross MLA, Juanita Kerec, David Clinch
Inquiry into the size of the ACT Legislative Assembly
Mr. Carl advised the meeting that the Executive of the WCCC had sent a submission to the Inquiry. Bob Sutherland compiled the submission with input from other members of the Executive and the content was based on opinions and comments made at previous WCCC meetings. Mr. Carl distributed copies of the WCCC submission and called on Mr. Sutherland to address the meeting.
Mr. Sutherland indicted that the submission supported an increase in the number of members of the Assembly. The submission supported an increase to 21 or 25 members, in respectively 3 or 5 equally sized electorates. Mr. Sutherland stated that the concept of aligning electorates with Group / Town centres would disadvantage Weston Creek.
The idea of 5 electorates of unequal size may be workable but a district may have no members, for instance in the current electorate of Molonglo, the district of Gungahlin has no members.
Another issue of concern is that Weston Creek be retained as a complete entity if there were to be a change in the number of members and if electorate boundaries need to be reconsidered. The possible increase in the population of Weston Creek, with infill or new suburbs in the district could affect the number of voters in the electorate. Mr. Sutherland asked the meeting if there were issues which needed to be discussed.
A resident indicated that the cohesion and self identity of Weston Creek was a major positive in the social well being and the feeling of belonging, this compared to other districts which are much larger and disparate. Another commented that the small township environment of Weston Creek was beneficial to the sense of a village environment and people helping in an identifiable community. A resident asked of the size of Weston Creek and the number of voters? - it was thought that census numbers would be available in October.
Mr. Carl asked Mr. Greg Cornwell MLA to comment on the Liberal Party submission. Mr. Cornwell advised the meeting that their submission supported the increase in the number of members. He indicated that the bulk of the work of members who were not Government Ministers was committee work and this work was often unseen by the community. Committees normally had 3 members but the lack of availability of members to meet, because they are on other committees, could contribute to slowing the work of a committee.
The option of 5x5 was a tidy way of approaching a solution. In 1989 the 17 members equated to 10,000 people per member, based on the current population numbers there should already be 21 members. The representation of members to voters was being skewed and committee work was possibly being slowed. Mr. Cornwell commented that it was eminently sensible to retain the Weston Creek district as an entity and even if a 3x7 formula was adopted boundaries may need to be modified.
Mr. Carl thanked all for their comments and contributions to the discussion. He indicated that the WCCC submission would be on the website at www.wccc.com.au
Arawang Primary School Carpark
Mr. Carl indicated that the WCCC had received confirmation that tender documents for a carpark of 28 bays were released. Mr. Carl advised that current information was that at least 50 parking spaces would be needed to meet the current demand.
There was significant concern that the school community, the WCCC and the sporting organisations (which used the adjacent ovals on the weekends) would again be re-visiting the issue as the Government was not addressing current needs. The expansion of the proposed 28 carparking bays would be required.
The safety concerns of on-street parking in front of the school were raised. Nemarang Cres at the school is on a hill, on a curve and constrained by a wide median strip.
Mr. Carl indicated that the WCCC was in the process of arranging another meeting with Simon Corbell Minister for Education and this issue would be raised at that meeting.
Adolescent Day Unit (ADU)
Mr. Carl advised the meeting of information available to the WCCC regarding the proposal to relocate the ADU from Lyneham Primary School to the disused Weston Health Centre adjacent to the Weston Creek Primary School and Weston Pre School.
The ADU has 10 high school students with self-esteem and self worth issues which need addressing. The WCCC has written to the Education Minister, Simon Corbell expressing concerns which Weston parents have raised with the Council.
The discussion of the meeting centred on the need for the ADU to be collocated with an existing school. Perhaps the use of part of the old Holder Primary School (which has CHADS as a part tenant) could be considered as an alternative site or perhaps rooms in the Grant Cameron Centre.
Re-afforestation of cleared forests in the Weston Creek district
The recent debate on the re-afforestation of cleared pine forests in Canberra with natives could have an impact on the Weston Creek district given the area of cleared forest in Weston Creek. The block of land at the corner of Cotter Rd and Streeton Drive was the subject of much debate.
Local landcare groups, conservation groups and Green Corridors Inc have supported the planting of natives on that cleared block.
Generally available information is that the pine timber industry generates significant income for the ACT Government and provides employment for a reasonable number of Canberra families. A possibility, which could be explored, is the commencement of the planting of natives on the blocks which ACT Forests intend returning to the Government as the coop size is too small to be commercially viable.
Any other Business
Mr. Carl asked the meeting for any other business.
Mr. Sutherland advised residents that the Executive of the WCCC was preparing a submission to the forthcoming inquiry on light rail, (popularly known as a Tram). He indicated that the submission would be based on the premise that fixed transport routes concentrate the benefits to a few and spread the financial losses to many.
Another resident indicated that due to the debate on the availability of facilities in Weston Creek, which had arisen in many of the discussions through the evening, that perhaps an inventory of available facilities needs to be undertaken and be publicly available.
Jack White, the Duffy Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) coordinator advised the meeting that there were efforts to revitalise the Chapman NHW Group and that a meeting would be held at Chapman Primary School shortly.
Meeting closed 9.25pm
Wednesday 26th June 2002