Council invites the Weston Creek community to the 29 March 2023 Public Meeting which will focus on the Justice and Community Safety Directorate’s for a combined Emergency Services Centre on Block 2 Section 58 Duffy. You may recall this issue was flagged at the February 2023 meeting and attracted significant commentary. We will also discuss Council’s proposed submission to the Government’s 2023 Budget and an emerging issue from the Planning Review Process.
EVENT: MARCH PUBLIC MEETING.
DATE: WEDNESDAY, 29 MARCH 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 with a further reminder that the Covid_19 virus is still with us; a new vaccine is available, and the medical advice is that we should have a booster vaccination before winter if we can. Last month we discussed 2023 being a year for the delivery of initiatives locally. Well, it has certainly started with:
- The long-awaited Development Application for the former Australian Police Force site on Streeton Drive was approved. We await construction commencing.
- 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. Representatives from the Directorate have accepted an invitation to come to the March 2023 Public Meeting to share with us their plans for this important facility.
- Contracts have been signed for the design and construction of the high-level bridge over the Molonglo River.
- The construction tender for the latest Brierly St upgrade have been released with construction expected to commence from May 2023.
- The Planning Reform process continues, with the Government still considering the many comments it received from the community and industry as well as the Planning Committee’s report. Consultation has closed on the proposed District Strategies and draft Territory Plan, with over 400 submissions received. Council’s submissions can be found on our webpage (Home – Weston Creek Community Council) . Other submissions can be found at: ACT Planning System Review and Reform Project | YourSay ACT
- The Legislative Assembly’s Inquiry into Dangerous Driving is yet to report. Release of the report has been delayed due to the volume of evidence received and the complexity of the task. As you may be aware, Council lodged a submission and appeared at the public hearings. The submission Council lodged was based on feedback received from the community, and we received a good opportunity to present our views.
- The Legislative Assembly has initiated a Select Committee Inquiry into Cost-of-Living Pressures. Your Council lodged a brief submission based on feedback received at our February Public Meeting and other consultation that has occurred over recent months. Our submission will be made available when the Select Committee authorises publication.
- Consultation is currently underway on what may be included in the 2023-24 Territory Budget. Community Council representatives participated in a conversation with the Deputy Under- Treasurer and other senior officials on 2 March 2023. We outlined the key pressures we have been hearing from the Community including the Planning Reform Process, Cost-of Living pressures, Police resourcing and the ongoing gaps in delivery. We also suggested that the data analysis recently released to show future population was immature and needing substantial additional work before it could be relied on to inform decisions. We will be expanding on those themes in a formal letter, which is an agenda item for our March Public Meeting. If you have any suggestions, please either come to the meeting or let us know in a quick email.
Back to the Planning Reforms, Council remains concerned that there is insufficient focus on governance, housing availability and affordability shortages. They also do not acknowledge the character of 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.
Moving onto Council matters, you may have noticed that we have recently published a new social media policy. This was necessary as your Council is bringing its communications in line with current practice in the digital age. The social media policy is available on our website.
We will have our draft constitution available shortly, along with advice to members on how than can vote. This draft reflects the current legislative scheme and has been informed by legal opinion.
A further initiative is that we have arranged for the Weston Creek Community Assocation (the organisation that manages the hall we meet in) to undertake our book-keeping and financial reporting functions on a cost recovery basis, thus reducing the burden for our treasurer.
Following last month’s call for a few extra people to join our committee, one local resident has come forward and has joined the committee. They are very welcome. With a couple of our stalwarts indicating they will be standing down; more volunteers are needed. This really should be a chance for generational change.
So, we again renew our call for volunteers to join your Council to assist with a few tasks. Innovative ideas and skills are valuable and appreciated. Tasks could include moderating social media, setting up meeting facilities, advocacy and engagement, grant application writing 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 contact us.
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.