Council invites the Weston Creek community to the 30 August 2023 Public Meeting. This meeting will focus on St Athanasius Jacobite Syrian Orthodox community of Canberra proposed Development Application for a new church building in Rivett. The scheduled presentation by Major Projects Canberra will now be held during the September meeting.
EVENT: AUGUST 2023 PUBLIC MEETING.
DATE: WEDNESDAY, 30 AUGUST 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 are looking forward to the presentation by the St Athanasius Jacobite Syrian Orthodox community about their proposed church for Rivett. This community has raised funds and chosen a block of land in Rivett for their future site, which they will be purchasing from the ACT Government should their plans be approved. They are attending our meeting in good faith and are looking forward to a positive conversation with Community members.
Even though the Planning Act 2023 has now passed the Assembly, a few consequential actions need to be completed. The Assembly will now move towards considering the District Strategies and the District Plans, which we expect to be released shortly. This will be occurring in the context of the Commonwealth Government pressure and financial incentives for increasing the range of housing available to address the shortages that have been building up over the last decade or so. Your Council has already provided detailed comments on what the Weston Creek Community would expect to see, based on the feedback received from the community. Thank you for this commentary and feedback.
A further item of work to be considered is the Planning Governance Review that was committed during negotiations over the final form of the Law. The Government committed to a review to be managed by the Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate to be completed within 12 months. At the time, Council expressed concern that this review could go the way of many of the other undertakings Government makes and be allowed to slip (for example, the independent planning advisory service agreed in the Parliamentary and Governing Agreement). At the time of writing, our requests for a progress report or input into the terms of reference have been ignored. Our view is the current Governance arrangement is akin to putting the “fox in charge of the henhouse”. Why take such a risk when the Territory now has the Integrity Commission ready to inquire into untoward dealings?
The Government recently announced that wood heaters would be phased out in the ACT by 2045. It has excluded firepits and smokers from the announcement. We are seeking further information about the policy and how it will be implemented. We do note with some alarm the absence of information about measurement of air quality, so it is unclear how the Government will gather objective evidence of how air quality has changed over time.
You may have noticed the traffic lights at the corner of Hindmarsh Drive and Brierly St have been activated and the traffic seems to be flowing smoothly. With some irony the new bitumen road surface was subject to a burnout soon after opening, showing the new anti-hooning road rules do not seem to have reached this side of the Tuggeranong Parkway yet, probably understandable due to the refusal to allocate a permanent police presence. Work has now commenced on the Brierly St upgrade. Progress is slow, but the pace should pick up shortly so the December 2023 completion expectation is met.
Transport Canberra and City Services has lodged a Development Application for an upgrade of the Duffy Terminus and you may have noticed Council’s comments about the lost opportunity this presents in local media. Council will be lodging a short submission suggesting a bus terminus might have greater utility if it catered for passengers. The submission will be available on the website soon after it is lodged.
Council has scheduled a Special General Meeting for 19 September 2023, at 7.30 pm to seek to ratify a revised Constitution. This meeting will be held via Zoom, to avoid disruption to busy lives. Proxy voting will be permitted. All eligible members will be advised of the proposed amendments and voting procedures shortly.
You may notice a bit of media attention to the future of Community Councils as a way for the Government and Community to engage. A statement summarising our position has been placed on Council’s website. In short, the current model seems unsustainable.
So, it is in the above context we provide early advice that Council’s 2022-23 Annual General Meeting will coincide with the October 2023 Public Meeting. All Committee positions will be declared vacant at this meeting with eligible members being invited to nominate. This will be the time for the Weston Creek Community to decide if it wants to be represented by a Community Council or not, noting the new Planning Laws taking effect, the Commonwealth’s Housing initiatives and subsequent Territory action occurring, and a Territory Election scheduled for later in 2024. Should anyone wish to take up a role, retiring Committee members will be available to ensure orderly transition. For the avoidance of any doubt, without new nominations/faces Weston Creek Community Council will surely fold.
A closing tip we received from a Council member the other day. We are all seeing our energy costs steadily rising. This member suggests there are lower cost energy plans available that are only offered when one contacts their energy provider and insists on a better deal. We must encourage people to make that call and perhaps save quite a few dollars in their household budget. Thank you to our contributor.
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. We really need volunteers to join your Council to assist with a few tasks. Please consider nomination for an executive role at the Annual General Meeting.