BCC Submission to the NCA on NCP DA 86 – CSIRO site in Belconnen

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CSIRO Ginninderra Field Station area at top in pink


The BCC recently made a submission to the National Capital Authority on National Capital Plan Draft Amendment 86 update to the National Capital Plan in respect to the rezoning of the CSIRO Ginninderra Field Station. The BCC support the rezoning proposal.

Since the announcement that the CSIRO would be relocating its research facility to NSW from its Ginninderra Field Station in Belconnen, and would seek to have the site rezoned and developed for residential housing, they have liaised with the community to explain their decision.

At our September public meeting we held a community consultation session where the CSIRO presented its long term proposal for the site, and received feedback from the public. Many questions were asked and answered that night.

The CSIRO held several other public sessions and has liaised extensively with the surrounding community on the proposal.

Several concerns from the community, raised at that meeting, have been picked up in our submission. Other community members have emailed their comments to us and we have also included those concerns in our submission.

While the BCC do not oppose the draft amendment proposal to change the Ginninderra Field Site from ‘Hills Ridges and Buffer Spaces’ to ‘Urban Area’ under National Capital Draft Amendment 86, we feel that there is some work to be done before that can occur.

The BCC propose that:

  • the environmental studies are completed before the rezoning occurs,
  • that buffer zones along the Barton Highway be identified,
  • that the CSIRO and the ACT Government enter into a Memorandum of Understanding in respect to planning controls over the area, and
  • that a Master Plan covering the site be completed with significant community input.

We would urge you to read our submission in full.

The BCC submission on NCP DA 86 is here.

The NCA website on NCP DA 86 is here.

The CSIRO website on the Ginninderra Field Site project is here.

Time capsule in Margaret Timpson Park opened


On 7 April 2001 a time capsule was buried in Margaret Timpson Park in the Belconnen Town Centre. Ten years later – and it wasn’t opened as originally planned.

In 2013 Belconnen Town Centre resident and now BCC Chair Tara Cheyne was walking her whippet Cooper through the park and noticed the plaque. She contacted TAMS and the BCS  to ask if there were any plans to open the time capsule.


It hadn’t been forgotten, but no one could remember how it was buried or how it could be dug up! This BCS news item was all we knew. The BCS and BCC resolved to open it – somehow. Sadly, the Canberra Centenary came and went and the capsule remained buried.

BCS CEO Dira Horne using her persuasive charm recently managed to arrange for TAMS to assist, and on the morning of October 21st 2015 a small team of  onlookers from the Belconnen Community Services, the Belconnen Community Council and actual workers from TAMS assembled for the digging up of the time capsule!


Although a TAMS backhoe was on standby nearby, work commenced with a pair of shovels. It became clear that the plaque and stone were simply resting on a concrete cover.



The covers were carefully prised open and we were confronted with gravel.

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A few shovels of gravel in and a plastic cover was discovered. It looks very much like there are two time capsules! A crowbar was used to lever the plastic lid off – and sadly it was discovered that the first time capsule was not waterproof.



Although the contents were soaked and destroyed, we discovered several video cassettes, camcorder cassettes and photos that were ruined. There was also a CD-Rom that may be salvageable. It was very disappointing. The second time capsule lid was prised open with some trepidation.


To everyones relief and excitement, time capsule two was in perfect condition! There was a video cassette, photos, a large banner and some tshirts.

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The banner held up by BCS and TAMS staff.


These tshirts were in the time capsule

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The damaged waterlogged video cassettes and the cd-rom from the first time capsule. We are going to find out if they can be salvaged.


We really hope this cd-rom is playable.


Daramalan College presents ‘Romeo and Juliet’ from 2000


Bill Stefaniak and school children. We think from Daramalan College. Update: they are from Charnwood Primary.

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We decided to remove the time capsules and think about maybe reusing them. The TAMS gentleman in hi-vis has worked on three time capsule recoveries.


The BCC and BCS are going to try and track down the children in the photos, and see if the damaged items can be recovered. It is possible that the time capsule will be resealed in 2016 for Belconnens 50th birthday.


Kaleen Parties at the Shops, Sat 17 Oct, 10 AM – 2PM · Georgina Crescent, Kaleen

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Celebrating Kaleen’s family vibe with a day of fun including a live Science experiment show by Dr Graham and live music by Ben Drysdale. Big kids and little kids can write letters to Santa and play giant Jenga!

All residents of Belconnen – but especially those in Kaleen and Giralang are invited to come and enjoy this community event.

You can sample a range of tasty treats at a food fair presented by Supabarn, and the Kaleen retailers will be on hand to serve delicious coffee, cakes and lunch all day long.

Kaleen Parties at the Shops,

Sat 17 Oct, 10 AM – 2PM

Georgina Crescent, Kaleen



Local organisations that will have a presence

  • Maribyrnong Primary School
  • St Michael’s Primary
  • Giralang and Kaleen Men’s Shed
  • Turnbull Martial Arts Academy
  • Crossroads Christian Church
  • Supabarn
  • Butts and Brews
  • Belconnen Community Services
  • LJ Hooker
  • Dance Northside
  • Estia Boutique Hair Salon
  • Aquatots
  • Belconnen Community Council
  • Eat Me Drink Me
  • Family Fast Food
  • Bendigo Bank
  • Capital Metro
  • The Asbestos Taskforce


  • Ben Drysdale
  • Dr Graham Walker (Science show-offs)
  • Roy de Vocce
  • Turnbull Martial Arts Academy





DSCF7398  DSCF7404 DSCF7410  DSCF7415DSCF7414Parties at the Shops is produced by Devil Moon and proudly supported by the Land Development Agency, Events ACT, Bendigo Bank and Capital Metro

Belconnen Community Council is a sponsor of this event.


Immigration Department likely to remain in Belconnen – Community council celebrates dumping of plans

Read the full ABC Online Story here.

ABC Online reported on October 3 2015 that the headquarters for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection will likely remain in Belconnen in Canberra’s north after the Federal Government cancelled its tender for a new office building.

bcc imm belcoBelconnen Community Council member Damien Haas said the decision delivered certainty and relief to town centre businesses and residents.

“It was an enormous issue. That department has been there for 30 years,” he said.

“People have built their lives, life, around where they work and where they live.

“Uprooting 4,000 people and moving them somewhere else … that’s about a third of the Belconnen Town Centre’s workforce. So many local businesses would have been really impacted.”

Mr Haas praised strong bi-partisan lobbying for the backflip.

“Senator Zed Seselja has worked very hard. Andrew Leigh has been absolutely dogged in trying to hold the Government to account on the decision,” he said.

“At Senate estimates Katy Gallagher asked some very probing questions which meant that the department knew that this wasn’t an issue that was just going to be, you know ticked off and the department would move.”

Northside Junior Softball / Teeball / Diamond Ball starts 17 October


The Northside Junior Softball competition starts Saturday, 17 October in Hawker! Kids aged from Preschool to Year 6 will have a ball playing Diamond Ball, Teeball or Softball.

Join the competition at Hawker International Softball Centre on Walhallow Street. You must be registered in a team to play (registrations required ASAP). Find our more information at the website or e-mail nsjnrsoftball@gmail.com before 17 October. Get in quick for your kids to have a great time in these team sports!

BCC welcomes news that Department of Immigration is to stay in Belconnen


The Belconnen Community Council welcomed the Department of Finance announcement on Friday 2 October that the Department of Immigration employees working in the main Belconnen office would not be relocated to another part of Canberra.

Belconnen Community Council Committee member Damien Haas said:

“This announcement is an enormous relief to the 4000 employees and the local businesses in the Town Centre that would have faced an uncertain future with many thousands of customers leaving.”

The Belconnen Community Council has played a leading role in coordinating local organisations and businesses and liaising with elected representatives to ensure that community views on the possible move were made known to decision makers.

“As well as writing to all the politicians and bureaucrats, we organised a community forum so people could actually have a say in the process. Senator Zed Seselja and MP Andrew Leigh spoke to local residents, business people and immigration department employees about their concerns, the process, and what they were doing to see that the department did not relocate from Belconnen.“

Mr Haas added:

“Senator Seselja and MP Andrew Leigh certainly took the message away that the move would devastate local businesses. “

“The disruption to the employees lives would have been tremendous. Many employees live in Belconnen suburbs and have children in local schools. Adding an hour a day to travel times to and from the airport, and high airport parking fees, would add considerable costs to the employees. These very real impacts on people were something we didn’t feel the Department was concerned about.“

Since the possible relocation was announced, the BCC has worked hard behind the scenes with Territory and Commonwealth politicians on strategies to keep the employees in the Belconnen Town Centre.

“The ACT Government has been very supportive, and rightly so. Many of their urban renewal policies have brought about a rise in commercial and residential development, and the whole Belconnen town centre has a real vibe today that didn’t exist five years ago.”

Mr Haas added that the Assembly took the impacts of the move very seriously, noting that all the Ginninderra electorate Assembly members except Alistair Coe attended the public forum to listen to peoples concerns.

“Moving the Department from the Belconnen town centre would be very damaging. It would be frustrating to see hard work on urban renewal and transport policies start to take effect and then a Commonwealth Department head decides to move closer to Parliament House, and take 4000 people with him. The move is an option that never should have been considered.’ Mr Haas said.

The Belconnen Community Council is relieved that there is now some certainty and people can start to plan their lives. Coming on top of a merger where many jobs were lost, the whole process has been quite stressful for local residents and business. On a more positive note, Mr Haas added that he would welcome the relocation of the Departments employees from Civic to Belconnen, saying that “there is ample commercial space in Belconnen, and developers have indicated they are keen to construct new accommodation.”

BCC at the ‘Our Place’ Belco 50 festival – Attractions

In the first of three posts about the ‘Our Place’ festival on Sep 19th at the Belconnen Arts Centre, we focussed mainly on ‘people’. In this post we will look at the stalls and attractions on the day. The third post will be on the entertainment that started at 4 and went until 8PM.

A range of stallholders provided crafts and food for people to enjoy on the beautiful sunny afternoon by the lake, while we were entertained by musicians inside the Belconnen Arts Centre, and on a stage on the lake edge.

As well as delicious hot food like kebabs and sates, there were also gelato filled donuts, milkshakes and cupcakes.

After the sun went down, the fire drums kept people warm, while projections were shone on to the BAC wall, and local musicians played and entertained people.

If you see yourself in these photos, please share it on facebook and drop us an email!


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BCC at the ‘Our Place’ Belco 50 festival – People

2016 will be the 50th birthday for our beautiful Belconnen, and several community organisations have banded together under the Belco 50 banner to celebrate that occasion.

The Belconnen Arts Centre held the ‘Our Place’ festival on Saturday Sep 19th from 4pm to 8PM to kick celebrations off.

Naturally the Belconnen Community Council had a presence there, with a stall carrying information about our community, and some contemporary and historical photographs and publications for people to look at.

As well as local MLA’s, the Chief Minister Andrew Barr dropped by!

If you see yourself in these photos – feel free to post it on your facebook page and drop us an email!

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BAC Director Daniel Ballantyne and Chief Minister Andrew Barr

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Some Chief Ministerial love for the BCC!


BCC Committee members Chander and Tim at the BCC stall


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The lovely girls from Heathers House of Cupcakes

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Hanna from 54 Benjamin


BCC Deputy Chair Matt Watts and Belconnen Community Services CEO Dira HorneDSCF7575

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BCC Committee Member Charles Thomas and Deputy Chair Matt WattsDSCF7467

BCC Committee Member/Treasurer Tim Bogie





Drop in sessions for CSIRO Ginninderra field station site

The CSIRO are holding two drop in sessions for local residents with questions about the future of the CSIRO Ginninderra Field Research site. They will be at teh Evatt Scout Hall on 17 September and Gold Creek Village on 19 September.

The BCC hosted the CSIRO at its 15 September public meeting, and will continue to liaise with the CSIRO on this important issue.


BCC Newsletter September 2015

It’s a big month for the Belconnen Community Council. We’re very pleased to launch our new website which you can still find at the usual address: www.belcouncil.org.au. While we’re still tinkering around the edges, we’re very proud of it and love that we’re still able to show off David Burke’s fantastic photography. Please check it out.

New contact email address for BCC

We’ve also updated the way our e-mails work. The old e-mail address belcouncil@yahoo.com.au is no longer in use. If you wish to contact us, please use hello@belcouncil.org.au or chair@belcouncil.org.au.

BCC September public meeting

The next BCC public meeting is next Tuesday, 15 September 2015 at the Community Room, upstairs from the Belconnen Library on Chandler Street.
A short agenda is:
7.30-7.35pm  Welcome and apologies; Chair’s report
7.35-7.45pm  Presentation and Q&A potential future uses of Fassifern
7.45-8.25pm  Presentation and Q&A on CSIRO Ginninderra Field Station
8.25-8.30pm  Short break
8.30-9.00pm  Q&A with Minister and Ginninderra MLA Yvette Berry

CSIRO site sale

CSIRO has flagged the possible sale of its 700 hectare Ginninderra Field Station. We look forward to the presentation and learning more at the September meeting. For further information, read the Canberra Times article.

The Amazing Race!

The Belconnen Community Service Belco Amazing Race is this Saturday, 12 September. Solve clues and raise money for BCS’s 10/10 project. More info here.

5T7Iu0jZC84ydeg-3njuJoAku-8fKdguEfpHCG-FvdYsbtKeEhTMCxDpHgMM1Vwa1dfLtTwPCWRbT5BG9EH-lHWl-Swt3gO2EJrPZUvVJMHGE7Cc7E_he75ibPbsT5Q4NQoRF92F6E3E8ArVoz5QA3SyLAOcfCzke-SKB7Y=s0-d-e1-ftCelebrate the launch of Belconnen’s 50th birthday (2016!) at the Belconnen Arts Centre at 4pm-8pm on Saturday, 19 September. Read more about the family friendly Our Place event here. Check out our community-run Belco50 Facebook page celebrating Belconnen’s past, present and future here.

11403487_680939342036212_2180343147701942_nSAVE THE DATE! The Kaleen Parties at the Shops will be held on Saturday, 17 October.

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