Council invites the Weston Creek community to the 31 May 2023 Public Meeting. This meeting will focus on housing options, with the Vice President of Cohousing Canberra (and respected former Murrumbidgee MLA Caroline Le Couteur) leading a presentation on Co-Housing. Caroline will also be available to answer questions. We also plan to discuss the latest developments with the Planning Reform Process and hope our Murrumbidgee MLA representatives will be able to contribute.
EVENT: MAY PUBLIC MEETING.
DATE: WEDNESDAY, 31 MAY 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.
It has certainly been an interesting and diverse Month for your Community Council.
To start with a positive, a number of Council’s Committee members attended the “Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea Event” hosted by the Community Centre staff last Friday. The event raised $550, an amount which was matched by the organisers, meaning the Cancer Council received a donation of $1100. The event received assistance from Mirvac (big shout out to the Cooleman Court Management Team), Sakeena’s café and Baker’s Delight. We understand planning is underway to do even better next year.
From a Council perspective, the Morning Tea provided a chance to talk to a few people about local issues that we could raise with the Government. The two biggest issues being raised is how the new Planning System will help people seeking to downsize and remain living in Weston Creek – a very noble aim, and the perennial issue of parking around Cooleman Court. It is always good for community advocates to listen to the normally silent members of the community.
On the interaction between the Planning system and people seeking to downsize, Council has made suggestions to Government about some things that could be done. Debate on the Planning Bill is likely to commence next week. We hope to see some amendments reflecting the needs of Weston Creek Citizens. More on this later.
On the parking upgrades, they will be carried out as part of the Brierly St upgrades. What is to be done is covered in the presentation by Mr Jeff Davidson from TCCS at our August 2022 meeting – the video is available on our You Tube channel (see https://youtu.be/fmTjWYweC38). Our understanding is the work will be commencing soon after the intersection upgrade at Hindmarsh Dr and Brierly St is completed. Over the coming weeks we will be seeking clarification on planned progress with both the Brierly St upgrade and the parking improvements
Council is regularly asked to support sport and active infrastructure projects in Weston Creek. The requests have included seeking inclusion for projects in Budget letters, being referees for grant applications and supporting bids for access to public land. To date, we have supported all bids, except where competing priorities may have existed. We have recently been asked by the Government to complete a survey of Sport and Active Infrastructure requirements for the district, and to provide a priority ranking for projects. Presumably this is to inform a forward infrastructure plan, as was discussed in the Legislative Assembly recently. In our response, we provided a supportive note for each suggested project, but declined to prioritise because each project has significant merit. We look forward to seeing the Government’s future planning in this area.
Back to the Planning debate. The Planning Reform process is at a critical point, with the Bill due to be debated in the Assembly from next week. Just this week, the “listening report” on the consultations conducted by the Government between March and November 2022 was released. Council has written to the Communications Area of the Planning Directorate requesting that it be withdrawn because it does not accurately reflect the views of Weston Creek residents, who took time out of their busy days to provide their views in good faith. In addition, it contains inaccurate information about the consultations.
We have now seen the Government’s response to the Standing Committee on Planning’s report on the Bill and have been left underwhelmed. The Opposition and Cross-Bench have flagged they will be seeking to amend the Bill. We will be reviewing progress and have already made suggestions that reflect Weston Creek’s needs, because nobody else is likely to be our advocates. There has also been significant media interest in the Bill, as well as the new Territory Plan and District Strategies, and we have been trying to get Weston Creek’s view into this hotly contested space. All important documents are being progressively loaded onto Council’s website.
Council is also working on providing comments on the draft “Managing our Open Space Land Management Plan” and the “Preventing Chronic Disease in the ACT Preventative Action Plan” and would appreciate input from the community.
Two other issues that are heating up at present are the debate around the Northside hospital proposal and the Light Rail Stages 2a and 2b. Our position on the Northside hospital will be to ensure the Weston Creek Community receives good quality, and wide ranging, health care services. Interminable delays and interstate travel for specialist treatment need to be addressed as a matter of urgency as the city grows. On light rail, Council has long held the position that we will seek the best transport outcomes for Weston Creek residents travelling to other parts of the Territory; be it Civic, the Parliamentary Triangle and beyond. This includes travel during any construction periods. We have remained agnostic on mode. We have been invited to, and accepted an invitation to join the Government’s Light Rail Consultation Group and are also negotiating with their Light Rail team to attend a future public meeting and engage from a Weston Creek perspective.
It is rare, but always good to get something for free, especially from the Government. The ACT Government has advised that it is supporting Daana, Indian Restaurant to run a series of FREE induction cooktop classes to help the community learn about the benefits of cooking with induction over gas. The full list of class dates are available on Daana’s website. Book your free spot today, visit https://daana.com.au/daanas-cooking-classes/ . Maybe this is something you would like to do with a few friends?
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. 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.