Belconnen Community Council Chair’s Report May 2022

May has brought some curious federal election promises and some good news for Belconnen folk who use the Bruce Precinct. Additional money for the AIS will hopefully translate to short and long term jobs as the major parties threaten to poor money into this long ignored icon of our district. We still have no further detail on the Ginninderra Project and I’m less confident that we will see any movement in the months after the election to get that land moving. But whoever wins this weekend, I’m looking forward to a better set of conditions for those who live, work and play in our district.

We ran out of time at last month’s meeting to cover off on the Lawson Stage 2 development and the Territory Planning review, but we will get to those this month. Can I let you know that our sub committees are working on these two issues (Active Works & Future Planning and Shops & Sports) and with the Planning Review we are working with the Combined Community Councils to provide direct feedback to Government. The latter provides some troubling proposals, particularly the removal of powers by the Minister and pushing those decisions down to a public servant where community scrutiny and review is limited. The system is complex enough without further restricting mechanisms to make decision making and review transparent; there is much work to be done on this one.

On a brighter note we are about to re-engage with the University of Canberra after the Covid interruption which gives us a chance to strengthen our connection as the improvements to their precinct go through the next stage. As another year starts to accelerate away from us, now is the time to make sure our values continue to align as we welcome back international students to our district; the role they play in our prosperity as a community cannot be undervalued and we are keen to see that relationship continue for many years to come.

The ACT Government has committed around $1.2m to provide upgrading of facilities to group centres, and Kippax will be the recipient of these funds over the next 12 months. Lachlan Butler and I met with Dan Stewart from Purdon Planning (who have been engaged by TCCS to get community feedback) and covered a range of topics, eventually settling on improved lighting and security for the area. With the Shopping Centre likely to commence expansion in the next two years, the long neglected lighting is the best bang for the dollar we can see that will endure past the construction phase. More to come on that.

We also presented our submission to the Assembly Committee Inquiry into the Belconnen Supercell Storm, and today I took the Committee members on a short tour of the Belconnen Magpies Golf Club to see the residual effects of the storm damage. Four months after the event and we still have issues. My thanks to Paul Netting and the team at the BMGC for their assistance in putting this together at short notice.

As always, we look to you for new ideas and thinking. Please reach out if you’d like to help our sub committees in the months ahead as we maintain our Belconnen district as “The Jewel in Canberra’s Crown”.

Glen Hyde

Chair

Belconnen Community Council

17 May 2022

Belconnen Community Council General Meeting

19 April 2022, 7pm

https://us06web.zoom.us/j/87862117953

AGENDA

7pm Welcome

7.05pm Chair’s Report

7.15pm MLA’s update

7.30pm PEET University of Canberra Estate – For information

  • Glen Frew (PEET)
  • Dan Stewart (Purdon)

8pm Belconnen Premier Inn Redevelopment – Part of pre-DA community consultation

  • Marcus Graham (Stewart Architecture) 
  • Dan Stewart (Purdon)

8.30pm General business

  • Umbagong Bridges update from TCCS

9pm Close

Next meeting:  7pm Tuesday 17 May 2022, online via Zoom 

 Belconnen Community Council Chair’s Report April 2022

April has presented us with some interesting options based on the calling of the Federal election. Senator Seselja’s two major announcements for this district while welcome, aren’t front and centre of people’s thinking at the moment. The first announcement about removing blockers for release of more land to be made available for housing centred on the Ginninderra Project (formerly the Ginninderra Field Station), in our view misses the mark about availability and affordability. The major blocker is the lack of progress to bring together the parties (CSIRO, ACT Government and the National Capital Authority) to develop agreements on how the project moves forward from a plan on a page to a going concern. Once this occurs (and it won’t happen until after the Federal Government comes out of caretaker mode) then CSIRO should be able to secure a development partner to progress the project to a basic development application footing.

The second announcement was the long awaited upgrade to the AIS. We wrote to the Federal Sports Minister in 2020 and were assured the money would be forthcoming once the review was completed. Unfortunately, those assurances ran into blockages of their own with the Federal Government blaming the ACT Government for not coming to the party with a share of the upgrades. In our view, that’s akin to a landlord asking their tenant to paint the walls, fix the leaks, plumb the new pipes and make their home liveable under local and national standards; all while asking them to pay additional rent to ensure the landlord doesn’t incur any costs. Similarly, the less than $12m will barely cover the costs of upgrading seating and fire/emergency systems; at this point that money is restricted to the AIS Arena and nowhere else.

I’ve been asked why we aren’t running a candidates forum for this election and I can say our Committee has been consistent for a number of years on this. We are funded by the ACT Government under terms that provide us with some flexibility around political activities, but no money flows to us from the Commonwealth to conduct any activities on their behalf. While we welcome the Member for Fenner and our two ACT Senators to our monthly meetings to provide updates on how they are working with the ACT Government to deliver infrastructure and services, there is no remit to provide an election forum for them and other candidates to promote themselves and their policies. But what we have done this time is offer incumbents and candidates 30 minute briefings on what is important to our community; for those who live, work and play in our district. There are plenty of opportunities for the candidates and community members  to interact, and our monthly meetings have always been targeted to meet those expectations; we don’t want to encourage one off forums every three years. What we do want is for that conversation to happen every month at our meetings, to see and hear from our federal representatives every four weeks from February to November each year; to make their efforts felt across the whole electoral cycle. With that in mind, we have started the conversation with our ACT MLAs in Ginninderra on a three monthly basis, meeting online to keep abreast of issues and matters of importance to our community. The first meeting happened just before our March meeting (and our thanks to Jo Clay and her office for making it happen), our next will be in early June once the Federal election circus has moved on.

As always, we look to you for new ideas and thinking. Please reach out if you’d like to help our sub committees in the months ahead as we maintain our Belconnen district as “The Jewel in Canberra’s Crown”.

Glen Hyde

Chair

Belconnen Community Council

19 April 2022

Community Meeting- Tuesday 15 March, 7pm

Our March community meeting is Tuesday 15 March at 7pm. Can you join us?
Here’s the agenda:

Belconnen Community Council General Meeting

15 March 2022, 7pm via Zoom https://us06web.zoom.us/j/87862117953

AGENDA

7pm        Welcome

7.05pm    Chair’s Report

7.15pm    MLA’s update

7.30pm    TCCS – Dockless shared e-scooters linking Belconnen and Central Canberra through the Bruce precinct 

8pm    Icon Water/Diona re Belconnen Trunk Sewer 

8.30pm    General business

  • Umbagong Bridges update
  • New Lawson roundabout – Letter to residents

9pm        Close

Belconnen Community Council Chair’s Report February 2022

2022 has certainly started with a bang and on the back of our Special December meeting, the inclusion of an update on the Umbagong Park Bridges really pushed this issue back into everyone’s conscience. Lots of radio and a front page on the Canberra Times has ensured we aren’t being re-prioritised down and thanks to our Ginninderra MLAs for re-engaging with our community on this critical issue. There’s a further update tonight from the TCCS team and we will keep this issue on the agenda as a standing item until we have an agreed solution.

We have made great strides in harmonising our consultation and communication channels on the major infrastructure projects (William Hovell & Drake-Brockman Drives, Umbagong Park and the proposed replacement green waste site) and in providing submissions on a number of issues. This has been because of your input as community members who want and expect better levels of information on the issues that affect you directly; we thank you for helping us stay on top of things over the last year.

On the back of that, your BCC Committee has formed four important sub committees to target, track and report on issues in more transparent way. The four sub committees are:

  • Roads and Infrastructure
  • Shops
  • Active Works and Future Planning
  • Environment

Initially, the committee will put some structure around these groups but we do intend to call on interested community members to join us to progress matters and use the subject matter experts within our district.

We note that the great work by community members at Melba with the SMILES initiative has failed to secure funding from the ACT Government. While this is disappointing, it’s not the end of the road. We will work with Tim and Hector, our Ginninderra MLAs and the directorates to keep this initiative alive. Huge thanks to everyone who has contributed to this very important project to date and stay tuned.

We made a submission on Policing Arrangements in January, consistent with previous views expressed to us over the last two years, but now with an important focus on getting a permanent presence at Kippax to reduce wait times for response. There is an increasing reliance on information and data services in a community policing space (this has impacted on some services now being reported online), but also on preventative measures. The ACT Government are partnering with Deloittes to capture the feedback of every community council and I participated in the first workshop last week; I’m confident our concerns were heard and captured appropriately. And on the subject of policing, my family were the recipients of a great act of community policing last Sunday when my granddaughter had an accident on her bike. I’ve been in contact with the local Belconnen Command, Neighbourhood Watch and the Minister’s Office to convey our thanks. We often complain that “police are never around when you need the,” (the last few weeks in chief because of the protest activities), but in our case they were not just there but present in every way. Our thanks to the two constables involved who stayed with us until the ambulance arrived and provided us with safety and comfort throughout; you are certainly our heroes!

Glen Hyde

Chair

Belconnen Community Council

15 February 2022

Proposed new green waste facility for Belconnen

 
The ACT Government has been exploring options for the relocation of the green waste drop off which is currently located on Parkwood Road. Several sites were investigated to determine the most appropriate location for this service to continue in West Belconnen. At the conclusion of this work, a suitable site was identified on Stockdill Drive (location indicated below and attached).   This site offers the ability to establish a long-term solution for processing green waste and could also accommodate the co-location of a landscaping supply business. The proposed site is just over 3km from the existing facility and will offer great access to the residents of Belconnen and North Canberra. An important consideration of any site is the requirement that it be located at least 1km from residential premises and have the appropriate environmental controls in place, which this proposed site would provide. The final location of the facility is subject to further consideration by Government including the outcome of a proposed development application process. Prior to the development application process, we are seeking to engage with the community now to ensure the site can meet the needs of all users. 
 
If you have any feedback please email communityengagement@act.gov.au by Friday 4 February 2022. Please note that any feedback you may wish to provide now does not prevent you making any submissions during the development application process as well. It is expected the development application process will commence in late-February/early March 2022. 
In the meantime, the green waste drop off will continue at the current Parkwood Road location until the new facility is operational.

BCC Special General Meeting – William Hovell Drive Duplication Update – Tuesday 14 December at 7pm

Belconnen Community Council Inc.

Special General Meeting

via Zoom

https://us06web.zoom.us/j/81386396514

14 December 2021

7pm

AGENDA

7pm                 Welcome and COVID-19 Update from ACT

7.05pm            Chair’s Report

7.15pm            MLAs update

7.25pm            William Hovell Drive Duplication Update – TCCS

8.30pm            Close

Next meeting:  7pm Tuesday 15 February 2022

In person: Holy Cross Church Emu Bank Belconnen

Online: via Zoom

Belconnen Community Council Inc.

General Meeting

In person: Holy Cross Church Emu Bank Belconnen

Online: via Zoom

https://us06web.zoom.us/j/83109118569

16 November 2021

7pm

AGENDA

7pm                 Welcome and COVID-19 Update from ACT

7.05pm            Chair’s Report

7.15pm            MLAs update

7.25pm            Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) trial

8pm                 Ginninderry update

8.30pm            General business

9pm                 Close

Next meeting:  7pm Tuesday 15 February 2022

In person: Holy Cross Church Emu Bank Belconnen

Online: via Zoom

Belconnen Community Council General Meeting October 2021 – Agenda

Belconnen Community Council Inc.

General Meeting

via Zoom

https://us06web.zoom.us/j/83109118569

19 October 2021

7pm

AGENDA

7pm                 Welcome and COVID-19 Update from ACT

7.05pm            Chair’s Report

7.15pm            MLAs update

7.25pm            William Hovell Drive Duplication community discussion

8.15pm            General Business

8.30pm            Close

Next meeting:  7pm Tuesday 16 November 2021

In person: Holy Cross Church Emu Bank Belconnen

Online: via Zoom

BCC AGM – Chair’s Report and sign in requirement

As this year’s Annual General Meeting is being held online, we can’t actually capture signatures to meet the sign in requirements. However, we will use the sign in function on Zoom to record attendees; that means we can’t admit people to the meeting who use group identifiers rather than use their own names. If this proves problematic for members and visitors, then you will be able to view the recording of the meeting on Wednesday morning via this website. We appreciate your understanding.

Belconnen Community Council Chair’s Report AGM September 2021

We have had quite a year in the Belconnen District and across the territory. COVID-19 is by far the biggest drain on our people; the continuing health and economic crisis impacts us all in ways many of us have never experienced before. We are an incredibly resilient community but unlike every other natural disaster that’s befallen us, we cannot come together in the usual ways to offer support and assistance to those doing it tough. To that end it’s been tough on all of us and is likely to be so in the weeks and months ahead, but I know we are a well informed and sensible community who have always played by the rules and will continue to do so until this pandemic breaks. So please, get vaccinated if you can and do it as soon as you can.

There have been a few silver linings on the pandemic cloud this year; although somewhat rare they have been a statement by this community that we are passionate and intend to participate at every level possible.

Our ongoing battle over the Kippax Centre redevelopment has seen some movement but the overall loss of the green space has been a difficult pill to swallow. On balance, we have an opportunity to continue to influence the conversation on design, construction and amelioration lost open spaces in the future, with the pre-DA consultation process still some months away. As always, we will continue to bring all the parties together whenever we can to ensure the community’s voice is heard and our expectations recorded for decision makers to genuinely consider.

We were able to bring many voices together at Melba to amplify the conversation on the SMILES initiative to deliver an inclusive playground for the families of Belconnen. It was a wonderful day and saw many voluntary organisations come together to support this neighbourhood in their push to repurpose a neglected area to be converted into a source of community pride. Congratulations to Tim Korsopp and Hector Contreras for the wonderful work they did to bring our Ginninderra MLAs together to provide political support for the project and for daring to dream of a worthy initiative that SMILES is.

This was certainly the case with the other major win for our community; Parkwood’s Green Waste centre. While a decision as difficult as this one was to make by the Minister, it was an even more bitter pill for the community to swallow. We have always actively participated in any waste management solution given to us; recycling is a way of life in this district and one we’ve always taken very seriously. As a community we came together from all sides to save this important resource and so it was no surprise that with the help of our local MLAs, an 11th hour solution was secured. This is what we do best in the Belconnen district and it was great to see that respected and rewarded by Minister Steel.

The next 12 months will be just as challenging and can I thank my wonderful committee for another solid year in very trying circumstances. Thanks to our Ginninderra & Yerrabi MLAs who have supported our work so enthusiastically and of course to the wonderful people who live, work and play in our district.

Glen Hyde

Chair

Belconnen Community Council

21 September 2021