The Public Housing Taskforce has identified sites in Holder, Chapman and Wright for public housing. These sites are part of an initiative to ‘pepper and salt’ new public housing through the city with small-scale quality accommodation.
Weston Creek Community Council was only advised formally of these sites on the day of Minister Berry’s media release.
Whilst the community understands the need to house public tenants who require relocation from dwellings which are to be demolished the choice of sites is sometimes questionable. In particular it is noted that the sites chosen are in a Community Facility zone which only allows for supportive housing which has a very specific definition in the Territory Plan. Whilst it is stated in the press release that ‘all dwellings will be adaptable to support tenant’s changing needs and to allow ageing in place’ this does not necessarily meet the definition of supportive housing.
A further concern is that the Chapman site is in a designated bushfire prone zone. According to the Bushfire Management Plan it is not permissible to ‘concentrate members of the community at high risk from bushfire in declared bushfire prone areas’ The site has been previously rejected as a site for an aged care facility. In addition a minimum standard of construction will be required to mitigate bushfire risk.
The Holder site directly abuts existing housing on two sides and comes very close to housing on a third side with access planned off a bend in Stapylton Street. As the site is constricted and also has considerable fall in one area it is puzzling as to why this site has been chosen.
The site in Wright is within an area which already has a number of townhouses so the up to 32 townhouses proposed will increase this density. Many of the residents in the suburb are already concerned about the existing concentration of public housing in both Wright and Coombs which is hardly line with the ‘salt and pepper policy’ espoused by the Housing Taskforce. Potentially this could be repeating the mistakes of the past.
Overall there is much for the community to be concerned about and we urge community members to attend the Weston Creek Community Council meeting on Wednesday 29 March at 7.30 pm at the Raiders Club in Weston. There will also be a drop-in session conducted by the Housing Taskforce on Saturday 8 April from 11a.m. to 1p.m. at the Weston Creek Community Centre adjacent to Cooleman Court.
Information concerning these sites can be obtained at www.act.gov.au/housingrenewal.
Weston Creek Community Council urges the community to inform themselves on this issue and to make comment if they have concerns.