Kippax Fair propose turning a community oval into a shopping centre, instead of using one of the government owned carparks

Kippax Group Centre Master Plan consultation close 16 March 2018

Kippax Fair propose turning a community oval into a shopping centre, instead of using one of the government owned carparks

Kippax Fair propose turning a community oval into a shopping centre, instead of using one of the government owned carparks

The Kippax Group Centre Master Plan Community Panel Outcomes Report and the final stage of community engagement on revisions to the draft master plan were released on Saturday 23 December 2017.

This period of engagement will run until Friday 16 March 2018. This particular engagement will be longer as it runs over the school holidays which we are unable to count as part of the engagement period.

This link will take you to the Your Say page with details of the engagement.

https://yoursay.act.gov.au/kippax-group-centre-master-plan-2

The BCC have prepared this presentation on the negative impacts of surrendering an oval to become a shopping centre, when better options exist.

The community oval is much loved and highly valued. The government owned carparks and old buildings in Kippax could be used to provide more retail space, or the owners of Kippax Fair could redevelop their building. Turning an oval into a shopping centre is not the best option.

We encourage all Belconnen residents to express their opinion on this master plan at the link above.

GEOCON parking in completed Republic development

GEOCON have provided the Belconnen Community Council with a document containing details of car parking in the completed Republic development.

That document can be found here.

The BCC should note that the Development Application lodged by GEOCON is for Stage 1 only.

A special meeting will be held at the Community Room above the Belconnen Library on June 13 at 7-9PM for members of the public to view the GEOCON DA and ask questions of the architects.

Belconnen and the ACT Budget

The ACT Budget was handed down this week and it appears to be a safe and steady budget, with a focus on services. Investment will be focused on schools, hospitals, roads and parks. Oddly for an election year, little pork barreling seems to have occurred anywhere in Canberra.
The biggest single investment in Belconnen is for the University of Canberra Public Hospital currently being constructed on the corner of Aikman and Ginninderra Drive. The investment in that facility from this budget is $212 million dollars, and will benefit all of Canberra, not just Belconnen residents. As well as much needed health facilities it will provide jobs and become part of the integration of UC with the town centre.
Some budget announcements that directly benefited Belconnen were the announcement of the duplication of Aikman Drive and upgrades to local shopping centres at Charnwood and Spence.Belconnen schools will receive upgrades, such as an early learning space to be built at Maribyrnong Primary in Kaleen and the CIT in Bruce will receive 1.7M dollars  towards upgrades.

Local playgrounds in Florey and Evatt will be also be provided with finds for upgrades and improvements.

The 9.8M dollar Aikman Drive duplication announcement is an important step in smoothing traffic through the town centre, especially with a growing population accessing town centre services, such as the UC Public Hospital that is being built right now. As well as the road duplication, a cycle path and footpath will be constructed.

Other heavily used arterial roads in the area require attention, such as Kuringa Drive and William Slim Drive, and the BCC will continue to lobby for those upgrades.

The ACT Treasury has prepared a Belconnen specific budget breakdown (available from this link). As your community council we would like to ask you:

  • What do you think of this budget?
  • Where can the government invest our money and improve Belconnen?
  • What specific improvements do you think are needed?
Please email us at: hello@belcouncil.org.au

National Capital Plan Amendment 86 – Revised National Capital Plan

The BCC received the following communication from the National Capital Authority on 11 May 2016.

“I am writing in relation to your submissions on both National Capital Plan Draft Amendment 85 – West Belconnen Urban Development and Draft Amendment 86 – Revised National Capital Plan.

On 5 May 2016, the Minister for Major Projects, Territories and Local Government, the Hon. Paul Fletcher, approved Amendment 86 – Revised National Capital Plan. Amendment 86 incorporates the changes to the Plan proposed by Draft Amendment 85 – West Belconnen Urban Development, and varies the land use policy for the West Belconnen area from ‘Hills, Ridges and Buffer Spaces’ to ‘Urban Areas’. To simplify the approvals process the National Capital Authority (NCA) elected to combine the two proposals. Amendment 86 took effect on 6 May 2016.

The Minister’s decision to approve the revised Plan introduces a range of changes to the land use planning framework of the ACT. Among these are:

*   Expansion of land available for urban development in West
Belconnen, Mitchell, Kenny and Ginninderra.
*   Removal of Special Requirements for significant portions of

Territory Land (Namadgi National Park and the Murrumbidgee and
Molonglo River Corridors)
*   Adjustment of the Designated Areas to include land between

London Circuit and Coranderrk Street on the northern side of
Constitution Avenue (with the exception of Block 14 Section 65 City
being the National Convention Centre site), the Mint, the Australian
Institute of Sport, and the Defence Housing Authority’s Academy Close site.
*   Changes to land use provisions in a number of designated areas,

including those for East Block, West Block and Anzac Park East and
West.

A copy of the revised National Capital Plan and the Consultation
Report is available on the National Capital Authority’s website at
www.nationalcapital.gov.au


Thank you for your interest in changes to the National Capital Plan.

For further advice regarding the above, please contact Rebecca
Sorensen on 02 6271 2851 or email
Rebecca.Sorensen@natcap.gov.au

Ginninderra electoral district 2016

Are you still enrolled to vote in Belconnen?

Ginninderra electoral district 2016

Ginninderra electoral district 2016

In 2015 the Australian Electoral Commission changed the boundaries for Canberra’s Assembly seats. The ACT went from three seats and 17 MLA’s to five seats and 25 MLA’s, from the 2016 Assembly election.

How does this affect you?

Prior to 2016 all residents of Belconnen were in the Assembly seat of Ginninderra.  You may now live in Belconnen, but now vote in the predominantly Gungahlin seat of Yerrabi. The map above shows where the electoral boundaries of Ginninderra are in 2016.

The changed boundaries affect the voters of Evatt, Mackellar, Lawson, Giralang and Kaleen.

If you are enrolled to vote you will not have to do anything except be aware of which seat you are now in. If you were keen on a particular candidate, you may no longer be able to vote for them!

Be mindful of where you are enrolled and ensure the policies you are voting are ones you support, ask your local candidates questions about issues that matter to you. Although much of Belconnen is in Ginninderra, the residents of Belconnen in Yerrabi deserve the same priority as Gungahlin residents.

Voting and ensuring you are enrolled

If you are over 18 and an Australian citizen you must enroll to vote. You can ensure your details are up to date by checking with the Australian Electoral commission at this link.

If you are not enrolled you can download a form here or visit the AEC site here.

You can change your enrollment details and update your address here.

Voting is important and keeps our democracy strong and relevant.

Community consultation on Age friendly active travel and Solar Access

Age friendly active travel in Kaleen

The ACT Government is committed to enabling a healthy, active and productive community environment that is accessible and inclusive to people at all stages of their lives and, in particular, our older residents.

The Age Friendly Suburbs project aims to improve infrastructure and facilities to make it easier for older residents to move in and around their local community. Kaleen and Monash have been selected for improvements as part of the project, selected based on their demographic profile.

Community consultation is underway to seek community feedback on the issues in these two suburbs that impede active travel by older residents. Although the project is focused on improving access for older residents, the whole community will benefit from these improvements.

More info at the link here
Consultation closes on March 18

New Draft Variation on Solar Access (DV 346)
The ACT Government is proposing changes to the solar access rules to simplify them and meet community requests for changes.

New residential solar access provisions were introduced in July 2013 as part of Territory Plan Variation 306.  The government undertook to closely monitor the impact and effectiveness of the provisions to ensure they were achieving the desired outcomes of improving solar access.  Certain elements of the residential solar access provisions were identified as requiring adjustment.

Draft Variation 346 proposes to amend the residential solar access provisions in the Single Dwelling Housing Development Code, Multi-Unit Housing Development Code and Coombs and Wright Concept Plan.

More info at the link here.
Consultation closes on 7 April

Have your say on these and other issues at timetotalk.act.gov.au

Letter to EPD from the BCC on development applications no longer being notified in the Canberra Times

A letter from the BCC to that ACT Governments Environment and Planning Direcotorate asking questions about the recent decision to cease publishing Development Applications in the Canberra Times can be found here.

While we are always happy to see new methods of access to government information made available, the BCC Committee have several questions regarding access and have requested that the decision be reconsidered.

Aranda residents – Bindubi St lane closures 11 to 29 Jan

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Temporary lane closures will be in place on Bindubi St, Aranda from 11 to 29 January 2016.

A new co-located Ambulance and Fire & Rescue station is being built at Bardi Place, Aranda. Construction is due for completion by early June 2016.  The site for Aranda is just off Bindubi Street, near the intersection with Belconnen Way, opposite Canberra High School.

As part of the building works, a water main must be connected to the site from the western side of Bindubi Street across both carriageways.  Whilst these water main works are underway the required modifications to the median strip, to allow emergency vehicle access to and from the station, will also be undertaken.

These works are scheduled to be undertaken between 11 January 2016 and 29 January 2016.  Whilst Bindubi St will remain open throughout, the works will intermittently require temporary lane closures.  Traffic management arrangements will be in place to minimise disruption for the community.

The works will be undertaken in three phases as follows:
1) eastern side verge works;
2) central median works and finally; and
3) western side verge works.

Appropriate warning signs, reduced speed limits and barriers will be in place to ensure the safety of both motorists and workers.

Further information is at the ESA website here.

Light Rail to Belconnen? BCC ask for Stage Two to go to Kippax via the Belconnen Town Centre

Kippax to Belconnen Town Centre to Civic light rail route proposal

In late 2015 the ACT Government released the Light Rail Network Plan for community consultation. The Network Plan contained a proposal for a Belconnen light rail route. The BCC do not have a view on Capital Metro Stage One, as it is not a Belconnen project. Individual committee members do have views however no consensus has been agreed upon in the BCC Committee on the issue.

At the final BCC Committee meeting for 2015, in November, discussion on a BCC submission to the Light Rail Network Plan occurred. It was felt that despite not having a BCC position on Capital Metro Stage One, that if Capital Metro Stage Two was built that the BCC Committee would like to see it built to Belconnen, to provide better public transport options for Belconnen residents.

The Light Rail Network Plan contains several maps, one shows a light rail route running from Civic to the Belconnen Town Centre and then to Kippax. The BCC Committee support this route, acknowledging that it is largely conceptual and that fine tuning of any actual route location and stops would be determined if a business case was prepared for the Belconnen route.

Following the BCC Committees majority vote for a submission, it was prepared by BCC Committee Members Glenn Hyde and Chander Khera and submitted by the BCC Secretary Chander Khera following editing and endorsement by other BCC Committee members.

The BCC Submission is as follows:

Response to LIGHT RAIL Network PLAN 2015

The Belconnen Community Council (BCC) is pleased to present its feedback on the ACT Government’s Light Rail Network Plan 2015. We ask that if a second stage of Capital Metro is constructed, that the government proceed with the proposed Civic to Kippax light rail link.

The principle of providing a heavy lift corridor that services community/business areas and centres of excellence is best realised with a Kippax to Civic via Belconnen Town Centre light rail. Access to Calvary Hospital, the AIS, the University of Canberra and CISAC would provide all day patronage.

As the largest town centre, Belconnen is the perfect option for the next stage of Capital Metro. The broad expanse and wide medians of Ginninderra Drive, Belconnen Way/Barry Drive and Southern Cross Drive, provide a fit for purpose infrastructure base regardless of the route selected.

Greater access to transport options is a key aspect to reducing traffic congestion, increasing productivity and opening up business opportunities. Light rail would open up access to residents of new and existing suburbs to the town centre, local businesses, community areas, hospitals and education facilities. Light rail could encourage large employers to remain in the town centre.

A Kippax light rail terminus integrated with Park and Ride and more frequent local bus services, provides a strong alternative to the private car for residents of existing and new areas of West Belconnen. The Kippax Draft Master Plan identifies increased public transport demand from Riverview and West Macgregor expansion increasing population. The Belconnen Town Centre Master Plan also identifies residential growth in the Town Centre. This increase in people, housing and road traffic over the next 25 years places extraordinary pressure on infrastructure, particularly in the Town Centre and the Kippax precinct. Light rail is best placed to meet this demand.

The BCC believe that the opportunities for our community to participate in jobs (through construction of light rail), better business options, access to services and centres of activity are key attractions in delivering Stage Two to Belconnen. The fact we are the largest town centre and the jewel in Canberra’s crown should be the clincher in expanding the Light Rail network to Belconnen.

Stage Two of Capital Metro from Civic to Kippax via the Belconnen Town Centre, would support the community’s desire for the long term viability and enjoyment of our town centre, and ease current and future transport pressures in our outer suburbs. It would also ensure the town centres continuing viability as an attractive employment and economic centre.

If Capital Metro Stage Two is built, the BCC look forward to further discussing with Government, our support for light rail being built to Kippax.

The BCC submission on the Light Rail Network Plan can be downloaded here.

(Disclosure: Acting BCC Chair Damien Haas is also the Chair of ACT Light Rail, but stresses that all decisions made by the BCC are Committee decisions and he has never prevented or promoted discussion on Capital Metro Stage One. The committee vote on the BCC submission on the Light Rail Network Plan was made prior to Mr Haas becoming BCC Acting Chair).

Committee farewells BCC Chair Tara Cheyne

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The Belconnen Community Council farewelled its recently returned Chair Tara Cheyne last night at the final Committee Meeting for the year.

Tara formally resigned as Chair at the end of the Committee Meeting, handing over to Deputy Chair Damien Haas who will act as Chair until early 2016, when the position will be filled (along with a Committee member position) at a special general meeting.

Tara has resigned as she has been pre-selected to run as an MLA in the 2016 Assembly elections. Good luck Tara Cheyne – Labor for Ginninderra!

The Committee presented her with a box of locally made and elaborately whimsically decorated biscuits.