It has been a busy month, and it looks like it isn’t slowing down anytime soon.

With the shift in meeting location from the Belconnen Library to the Holy Cross Lutheran Church, the original technical issues were solved but a new one took its place making the online audio difficult to hear. Your council continues to work hard at refining the meeting format to enable a great experience for all.

Last month marked the release of the new territory plan, alongside associated documents, with the new planning system anticipated to be operational starting November 27th. The Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (EPSDD) is offering training sessions ranging from introductory courses to sessions focusing on specific documents. These can be found here.

There remain significant concerns and unanswered questions regarding the new system. These include the lack of clarity on the timeline and scope of the independent governance review, the absence of an evaluation framework to assess the system’s effectiveness, and the oversight of additional infrastructure required to support the influx of new residents in Belconnen. In particular, we assert that the areas of Lake Ginninderra East and West should be entirely exempt from redevelopment considerations.

An inquiry led by Jo Clay MLA is forthcoming, and we welcome the opportunity to submit an EOI to present further evidence at this inquiry.

We were invited to partake in a walkthrough of the ongoing upgrades at the Florey School Oval. Once complete, the facilities will be partially open to the public, providing an opportunity for the community to use and benefit from the enhanced amenities. We look forward to hearing the experience of the community when it is finished.

The Pre-DA consultation for the school in Ginninderry has commenced, with consultation sessions held earlier this month. This marks a significant milestone in the Ginninderry development and we know how keen the community is for educational facilities to serve the growing community.

The consultation report for the Hawker shops was released at the end of the last month. Woolworths has expressed its intention to approach the government for a direct land sale and plans to submit a direct sale application in the forthcoming months. This development will be closely monitored to ensure that it aligns with the community’s interests and needs. The consultation report can be found here.

The Integrated Energy Plan listening report, released earlier this month, underscores the importance of addressing complex buildings in our transition to sustainable energy solutions. The report highlights the administrative, economic, and technical challenges that must be overcome to ensure an equitable transition. It is imperative that we tackle these complexities proactively, especially for our local businesses and apartment complexes, to facilitate a smoother transition to sustainable energy practices. The listening report can be found here.

There was quite a bit of media coverage regarding the University of Canberra’s sale of land for housing development. This development brings to the fore the longstanding need for improved connectivity between the Belconnen Town Centre and the University of Canberra. We must learn from previous developments to ensure adequate parking, green space, and public transport are incorporated into future plans. Enhancing infrastructure, services, and amenities is paramount to accommodating the needs of our growing community.

In terms of infrastructure improvements, GInninderry aim to complete the Spofforth St intersection upgrade before the end of the year, weather and agency performance permitting. Messaging boards will be installed at each approach to the intersection to provide the latest updates, and residents in the vicinity will be informed via letterbox drops, ensuring that the community is kept abreast of the developments.

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 [email protected] or [email protected] for more information.

Lachlan.