November 2021 Newsletter

Do you recall the smoke during the 2019-20 Bushfire season? Did the seemingly endless smoke concern you or impact on your well-being. Did being home during the lock-down periods change your thinking? Council has heard many concerns from community members about what the Government is doing to provide us with early warning of future smoke events. Council representatives participated in Government listening sessions as it formulated its air quality strategy. The revised Air Quality Strategy has been recently released and Environment Minister Ms Rebecca Vasserotti MLA will be attending our November Public Meeting to explain the strategy. Are you attending?

EVENT: NOVEMBER PUBLIC MEETING.
DATE: WEDNESDAY, 24 NOVEMBER 2021. TIME: 7:30 PM
LOCATION: WESTON CREEK COMMUNITY CENTRE off PARKINSON STREET

The meeting will be webcast live via our Facebook pages, and the video recording will remain available for viewing later, on these pages. We will try our hardest to have questions that we receive through the Facebook pages presented to the speakers. Please let us know your questions through the comments field.

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. Over the past year as a Council, we have been able to:
• Progressively transition to the digital environment, including webcasting of Council public meetings with a range of interesting and informative guests.
• Provide information on many topics through the WCCC Facebook.
• Provide regular surveys so residents can let us know what they want, for example we surveyed the community on the Brierly Street upgrade.
• For a second year, provide some fun and colour during the Covid_19 closedown with the planting of the Floriade pop-up at Chapman and the engagement with MLA Dr Marisa Paterson on a scarecrow competition.
• Support the Weston Creek area with two successful ACAT proceedings.
• Inform Government about Weston Creek priorities including Budget letter submission and consultations such as Duffy Shops, and the Canberra Hospital upgrade.
• Actively participate in the Government’s review of the Planning Laws.
• Advocate for you and the Weston Creek district on local issues.

SAVE COOLO PARK:
We continue to support the community with their request to have the affectionately named Coolo Park rezoned to green open space. The Government, most unfortunately, quietly included the land in the indicative land release program (ie future land sales). Council will be discussing a way forward with the residents most likely to be impacted and our representative MLAs.

BRIERLY STREET UPGRADE CONSULTATION
Thank you to everyone who contributed to the consultation on the Brierly St Upgrade. The Government is using the feedback to inform the designs. At this stage, the Government has indicated it is not going to close Brierly St.

Council will be watching to ensure the input is accurately reflected when the plans are released.

TOPICS FOR FUTURE PUBLIC MEETINGS

Looking forward to the 2022 year Council would like to better use the monthly Public Meetings as a real forum to discuss topical current issues from a Weston Creek perspective. If you have a topic you would like to see discussed with subject experts, please let us know and we will work towards provide the forum.

ISSUES FOR 2022 YEAR

The next year is already looking to be quite a busy year with the Government moving to a post-lockdown environment and implement many of its election and Budget promises. Key among Council’s thinking are:

• Light Rail Stage 2 Implementation: Council is listed as a community stakeholder in documentation we have seen so far. Our objective will be to ensure the project minimises disruption for Weston Creek residents during the construction phase, while also ensuring the best possible transport outcome once completed. Yes, the community is divided on light rail, but with both major political parties already committed it will be proceeding.
• Brierly St Upgrade: Council will be seeking residents’ views on the plans when they are released. Council’s view is that the funds committed will not be sufficient to provide a quality upgrade.
• Improved policing services: The Government tells us policing services are improving. But, are the improvement enough? We will continue to lobby Government for a permanent local presence.
• Development pressures: We anticipate a series of development proposals will emerge in the coming year that will seek to intensify land use around the area. We will work to facilitate good, early community engagement to identify reasonable concerns. We need to strike a reasonable balance on measures, seeking to preserve the character of the area.
• Census 2021: We will be analysing the 2021 Census data when it becomes available, looking for local trends and service delivery gaps.
• Federal Election 2022: There will be a Federal Election in 2022. While the date is unknown at present, Council will be positioning to host a Candidate’s Forum at a suitable time. Council will also be seeking written responses from candidates on key local issues with a Commonwealth influence.
• Air Quality: Council will continue to lobby Government to ensure a coherent air quality strategy is implemented.

COUNCIL’S 2021-22 COMMITTEE

Council’s 2021-22 Committee is now in place. At the first meeting, topics discussed included the conduct of the November Public meeting, the budget, setting a workplan for 2021-22, succession planning and how to obtain better information about the community’s concerns and aspirations. The Council website has been updated with the new Committee’s details. I must say am really looking forward to working with this talented group of people over the current year.

There remains a vacancy on the Committee, perhaps you may have a little bit of time to contribute to the future of your Community. Alternatively, do you have a skill or interest that could help Council with a particular task. The success of your Council really relies on your input.

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