While the recent announcement of funding under the ACT Government’s latest budget is very welcome, there are some significant gaps that we see aren’t consistent with us being the largest and most populous district. It is good to see the promised spending on upgrades to Umbagong Park are now enshrined; this community resource and biodiverse environment should always be a high priority and the lessons learned from over a quarter of a century of data from the Jarramlee Project should help us keep the balance right.
We also have the funding confirmed for the proposed new Green Waste facility at Strathnairn, but I am disappointed by some in our community who have taken the “Not In My Back Yard” approach to this important community resource. Some of the stories that have been doing the rounds are extremely uninformed and in some cases, deliberately misleading; those who attended our meetings at the end of last year and beginning of this one will know what was being proposed and some of the early considerations. The question I have for everyone is: if not here, then where? Values of properties don’t generally go down because a government funded service is being provided nearby, but enjoyment due to environmental effect (smell) is real and the planning around location, prevailing winds and amelioration are things that can be better explored through consultation processes. Please keep an open mind about how we all as a community play a part in providing broader comfort to other parts of our district and beyond; a small amount of sacrifice often delivers the best result for everyone if we do it right!
The ongoing loss of an inclusive play space for our district continues to grate at me. We’ve had the SMILES initiative in Melba on the burner for two years but the support we garnered for a space in our district has been pushed further back, and as the largest district by volume it seems totally inconceivable that we wouldn’t be at the top of that list. No disrespect to our Inner North friends, but how do they qualify above us for this priority? I’ll write to Minister Steel and see what answers we can get by way of his office and the TCCS Directorate.
There are plenty of other issues doing the rounds as well: William Hovell Drive Duplication works, Drake-Brockman Drive/Pro Hart Avenue works, schools and play spaces, the enduring story that is Kippax Group Centre (and the upgrade to this area), as well as Giralang Shops and the proposed facility for Aranda. All are on our radar, but the one issue from the recent Federal election campaign that has fallen off is the Ginninderra Field Station site. There needs to be a process where this land can be re-purposed correctly to provide a safe environment for people, flora and fauna and that’s where we need the focus to be. Not on politics or popularity, but good outcomes for everyone.
As always we rely on you to provide us with information and issues from across the district. We are always looking for help to stay on top of the workload, so if you would like to get involved we’d love to hear from you. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for more information.
Belconnen Community Council
Tuesday, 19 July 2022