Chair’s Report – September 2023

Congratulations to all the re-elected and newly elected members of the BCC committee for the next 12 months. You can find the list of the new committee here.

Our September meeting trialled a hybrid meeting format. The meeting recording, minutes and presentation slides can be found here. The committee will take the lessons learnt and look at how these can be applied to future meetings.

The BCC would like to thank everyone who took the time to participate in our recent survey on the Hawker Village. Your insights, experiences, and opinions have been invaluable to us, providing us with a clearer understanding of what matters most to our community. Your feedback played an instrumental role in shaping our submission to the Hawker Woolworths consultation, which can be found here.

The survey on Hawker Village indicated a significant consensus on several fronts, such as supporting existing businesses, improving public spaces, and retaining essential services. However, differences were noted in the community’s vision regarding the scale and nature of redevelopment. There was universal agreement that any redevelopment must prioritise community interests. Both Woolworths and the ACT Government are urged to consider the long-term future of the Hawker Shops precinct to maximise community benefit. The BCC remains optimistic about the Hawker Shops’ future, emphasising the need for redevelopment to be community-focused and diligently executed.

A meeting with Minister Berry earlier this month provided an opportunity to discuss education in the Belconnen Town Centre (BTC). The dialogue focused on the demand for a primary school in BTC, the impacts on priority areas for other schools, and parental preferences. Several unsuitable locations were discussed, details of which are included in the below letter. The discussions underscored the importance of early and proactive planning to ensure the long-term prosperity of BTC and maximise infrastructure investment benefits. The BCC is committed to ongoing dialogue with the community and government to advocate for the children of Belconnen.

The Estimates Committee for the ACT Budget 2023-24 made several Belconnen-specific recommendations. These included recommendations that the government undertake collaborative efforts to determine the future of Winchester Police Station, planning a school for the Belconnen Town Centre, and a commitment to delivering a fourth fully-electric bus depot in northside Canberra to improve services.

Our last meeting had a presentation by PTCBR on the Belconnen Transitway proposal. There is agreement across all three political parties on the need for improvement, yet more action from the government is awaited, not only on this transit route but across all of Belconnen.

Since the last meeting, the BCC has made submissions on the Evatt shops upgrades, supporting improvement initiatives and recommending the inclusion of public toilets for community inclusivity. For the Urban Open Space Land Management Plan, the BCC highlighted the need for a clear framework for effective ongoing collaboration across the ACT Government. Cooperation, and clarity on government responsibility for specific outcomes is crucial to getting the best out of our urban open spaces.

2023 Annual General Meeting

The 2023 Annual General Meeting of the Belconnen Community Council (BCC) will be held via Zoom and in the community room at the Belconnen Library from 7.00 pm Tuesday 19 September 2023.

Agenda and zoom link can be found by clicking here.

All committee positions will be declared vacant and nominations for all positions will be, subject to the constitutional provisions of Clause 5.2, accepted from eligible members up to the close of business Tuesday 12 September 2023.

Nominations to join the BCC Committee must be made using this nomination form.

Role descriptions are listed here – see pages 8-10.

You can submit your nomination form in two ways:

  • by email to hello@belcouncil.org.au, or
  • by mail to: Secretary BCC, PO Box1131 Belconnen ACT 2616.

A copy of the Constitution is here.

Please email hello@belcouncil.org.au if you have any questions.

We hope to see you at the meeting!

Summary of our August 2023 meeting

We heard updates on the Indicative Land Release Program and SLA projects, as well as Linq Stage.

Chair’s Report
The BCC’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) is drawing near, scheduled for the 19th of September.  This meeting will trial the introduction of a hybrid format, accommodating both in-person and online participants. All essential details will soon be finalized and disseminated as per the AGM’s regulations. For those members who are eager to play a more active role in the BCC’s future, I encourage you to reach out and discuss potential positions. I’ll be putting my hat in the ring again for the role of Chair. However, I wholeheartedly believe in the principles of democracy and would gladly welcome competition and fresh perspectives.

A significant update concerns the Hawker Woolworths consultation. The BCC conduct a letterbox survey, and despite the hurdles of limited notice and challenging conditions, we’ve successfully managed to garner 150 responses, providing invaluable insights. The resulting submission can be found here.

Regarding the temporary West Belconnen green waste facility, the development application for this facility has been given the green light, with stipulations that emphasize its temporary status, alongside requirements for site remediation and environmental safeguards. This approval is for a span of three years. While this is seen by the government as a grace period for devising a lasting solution, my personal conviction is that we should proactively start the dialogue around a permanent answer now rather than later.

The BCC recently received media attention due to our stance on the Belconnen Town Centre Primary School, an initiative stemming from the ACT government’s 2019 infrastructure plan. This school project found a mention in our budget proposal. However, a recent ambiguity arose during estimates, hinting at the possibility of this plan not coming to fruition. Given this, we are advocating for immediate planning, especially given the broader choice in land selection currently available. There are currently (conservatively) over 300 primary school aged children in the Belconnen Town Centre, and the ACT Government population predictions have this hitting more than 500 students by the 2026.

An update on William Hovell Drive (WHDD) has been provided. Our communications with Chris Steel have been around tracking the progression of WHDD and ensuring transparent communication. We have been advised that the 2023-24 ACT Budget has allocated additional funds to fast-track this project with the objective of ensuring a seamless transition into the construction phase immediately after all requisite approvals. As of now, it is still in the environmental approvals stage. The pace might seem slow but is a consequence of the sensitive nature of the area, nestled between two nature reserves and close to residential homes. The anticipated timeline for releasing the construction tender is the fourth quarter of 2023. For our members keen on staying updated, I’d recommend bookmarking the project page on the City Services website which will be reviewed monthly.

Lastly, in our efforts to keep communication clear and engaging, we’ve changed our meeting notice email. This revamped format will include a more detailed message from me and incorporate relevant ‘yoursay’ links. This change is a direct result of the invaluable feedback we’ve received from our members a few months back. I’m always eager to hear from our members, so if there are any thoughts, suggestions, or topics you’d like to see addressed, please reach out.

In closing, I’d like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all our members for their unwavering support and active participation. Looking ahead, I’m optimistic about the milestones the BCC can achieve together in the coming year.

Lachlan.


Below is a link to the meeting recording, with timestamps for each agenda item.

View the meeting recording here!
Passcode: jc5.L=sZ

Timestamps and notes:

00:00:00 Welcome / Chair’s Report

00:08:00 MLA Updates
00:24:00 Update on the Indicative Land Release Program and Suburban Land Agency projects
00:44:00 Presentation of Linq Stage 2 Redevelopment – Block 14 Section 45 Belconnen
01:11:45 General business

Questions taken on notice:

  1. Regarding the former Water Police site: While SLA has completed the second stage of the land release process and evaluated submitted tenders, this is an on-going sales process and SLA will be able to announce the successful tenderer after performance negotiations are concluded. For more details, please visit: https://suburbanland.act.gov.au/en/belconnen.
  2. Regarding timelines for Lawson Stage 2B: Community engagement is being planned for October/November this year and we would be delighted to come back with an update in September/October.

Hawker Woolworths

The BCC would like to thank each and every one of you who took the time to participate in our recent survey on the Hawker Village. Your insights, experiences, and opinions have been invaluable to us, providing us with a clearer understanding of what matters most to our community.

Your feedback played an instrumental role in shaping the below submission to the Hawker Woolworths consultation, ensuring that it represents the our diverse community.

Our survey indicates that while there is considerable consensus on several fronts (supporting existing businesses, improved public spaces, and retention of essential services), there are also differences in the community’s vision for the future of Hawker Village, mainly regarding the scale and nature of redevelopment. There is universal consensus among respondents that any redevelopment must be community-focused.

Woolworths and the ACT Government must consider the longer-term future for the entire Hawker Shops precinct to ensure any redevelopment maximises the community benefit.

This submission attempts to capture the varied perspectives of the community members in response to potential redevelopment in Hawker Village, with a pronounced call for thoughtful and community-oriented development. The BCC’s survey, its responses and submission have provided high-level commentary with more specific feedback only possible when more information is available; it is essential for further community consultation to encourage this feedback from the community.

The BCC is optimistic for the future of the Hawker Shops but acknowledges that redevelopment needs to be done right, and put the community first. We look forward to further engaging with relevant stakeholders of this project to promote the best outcome for the community.

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 chair@belcouncil.org.au or hello@belcouncil.org.au for more information.

Lachlan Butler
Chair

Summary of our July 2023 meeting

We heard updates on Macnamara Neighbourhood 2, Belconnen Village on Walder, and the Hawker Woolworths consultation.

Below is a link to the meeting recording, with timestamps for each agenda item.

View the meeting recording here!
Passcode: EaEa*?8J

Timestamps:

00:00:00 Welcome / Chair’s Report

00:08:00 MLA Updates

00:22:00 Presentation on Macnamara Neighbourhood 2: EDP and Offsite Works.
Presented by Rennae Sillett, Tait Network

00:30:00 Presentation on Belconnen Village on Walder (Block 5, Section 22, Belconnen).
Presented by Marcus Graham and Igor Kochovski, Stewart Architecture

01:03:00 Presentation on Hawker Woolworths consultation.
Presented by Tony Pratt, Woolworths

01:31:00 General Business:

  • Petition to build and maintain Canberra’s cycle network – Pedal Power

Review of Traffic Management at the intersection of Ibbott Lane and Lathlain Street, Belconnen

The Belconnen Community Council wrote to Minister Steel regarding concerns about the traffic management arrangements at the intersection of Ibbott Lane and Lathlain Street in Belconnen. We highlighted safety and traffic flow issues at this highly trafficked intersection and emphasizes the need for short-term and long-term solutions for this intersection and the Belconnen Town Centre more generally.

Minister Steel’s response is below and included the following actions.

Roads ACT is presently reviewing the operation of traffic signals at these intersections to determine if any improvements can be made to traffic conditions in this general area in the short term. I have also asked Roads ACT to conduct a study to determine whether any feasible upgrade options to the road network and these intersections can be identified for future consideration.

We appreciate the Minister requesting this review and study, but we will continue to follow up on the progress of these and advocate for action on effective solutions that alleviate traffic congestion and enhance road safety.

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 chair@belcouncil.org.au or hello@belcouncil.org.au for more information.

Lachlan Butler
Chair

Belconnen Community Survey

📣 **We Want Your Voice! Take Our Community Survey**

Hey Belconnen community! 🌟 Your opinions matter, and the Belconnen Community Council wants to hear from YOU! We’ve created a survey to gather your valuable insights and perspectives on how we can better serve our community.

🗺️ Share Your Vision: Let us know what you see as the role of the Belconnen Community Council. Your input will shape our future initiatives and guide our decision-making process.

🤝Meeting Preferences: We want to make our meetings as accessible and engaging as possible. Tell us how you would prefer we conduct our meetings. Your feedback will help us create an inclusive environment that encourages participation and collaboration.

🏡 Local Matters: What matters most to you in your local area? We’re eager to understand the issues that are important to our community members. Your responses will help us prioritize and advocate for the matters closest to your hearts.

📋 Take the Survey: Click the link below to access the survey and make your voice heard. It only takes a few minutes, but your impact will be long-lasting!

https://docs.google.com/…/1FAIpQLSc4Sq1GaS2…/viewform…

Your opinions are crucial to our community’s growth and development. Let’s work together to create a vibrant and inclusive Belconnen that we can all be proud of! 🤝💚

Community Announcement: Planning Act Amendments and Community Engagement

With the passage of the new Planning Act last week, the Belconnen Community Council was glad to see the inclusion of key amendments that we lobbied for. These amendments addressed our concerns about community consultation and pre-DA consultation. These changes prioritized the voices of our community in the planning process, and we are grateful for this significant step forward compared to the draft bill.

However, while we appreciate the amendments, we acknowledge that concerns remain regarding the outcomes-based system and how it will impact Belconnen residents. In this vein, we support the built-in review mechanism to evaluate the system’s effectiveness and the potential need for further reforms. The government should be proactive and consider a continuous evaluation and review process of the planning system. We believe in ensuring active community participation in shaping the planning outcomes that impact our neighborhoods.

Additionally, we are disappointed that governance arrangements were not prioritized from the beginning. However, we welcome the amendment requiring an independent review of the governance arrangements within 12 months of the Planning Act’s passage. This review should examine the effectiveness of the independent planning body and explore the potential of local design panels, both of which we advocated for in our submission on the draft Bill. These measures will contribute to a more inclusive and community-centric planning framework.

We express our gratitude to the ACT Government, the Opposition and all stakeholders involved for their efforts in addressing our concerns and taking meaningful steps towards creating a more consultative and inclusive planning framework.

However our work is not yet done, we will keep advocating for the best planning outcomes for our community and if you are interested in helping out, we would love to hear from you.

The BCC remains committed to advocating for genuine and transparent community engagement in planning, and for a fit-for-purpose territory plan, district strategy, and design guides that deliver for the Belconnen community while delivering the housing our city needs.

Together, let’s shape the future of our community! 🌍✨

BCC June Public Meeting Recording

Please follow the link below to access the recording of the June BCC public meeting!

https://us06web.zoom.us/rec/share/UCk_dOn7l80sj6lW77y8PgkjAdHQ47rOozZHoUIXrpqYrGUjSiTjWDnliGgPwbxd.PEW-apxrQMfdFhSs
Passcode: 2dBQE6#Q

Agenda

7:00pm Welcome
7:05pmChair’s Report
7:20pmMLA Updates
7:26pmTCCS Presentation on the draft Urban Open Space
Land Management Plan – Daniel Iglesias
7:46pmIcon Water Presentation on the Lower Molonglo Water
Quality Control Centre in Holt – Patty Chier
8:06pmGeneral Business:
– Discussion on the William Hovell Drive Duplication Project
8:30pmMeeting End

There were some questions taken on notice by our presenters and MLAs.

Further information on whether lighting was included in the Lake Ginninderra upgrades was requested.

The ACT Government is upgrading paths around Lake Ginninderra with $3 million invested to fund Stage 1 of works improve connections to the many playgrounds, picnic areas and parks located around the lake edge.

With the path network connecting these facilities, improvements include new connections, wider paths, better drainage, more lighting and seating. The first stage of the works will start near Emu Bank, following feasibility and consultation work which occurred in 2021.

The following questions were asked by Jo Clay MLA to the Minister for Water about the Lower Molonglo Water Quality Control Centre in Question Time addressing some of the questions raised in our meeting.

  1. What are the existing water treatment methods in use at the Lower Molonglo Water Quality Control Centre?
  2. What is the new water treatment method proposed for use in future?

https://broadcast.parliament.act.gov.au/vod/player/05f5428c210ac2fe327e2325d2178d24?i=f1720a9af55b4900848ef4c5cee93cf9-47

BCC May Public Meeting

Please follow the link below to access the recording of the May BCC public meeting!

https://us06web.zoom.us/rec/share/FeyQ8IKmri2WSq-mwOEHF8kPCr58PXLJso3bIlfVdi1o5tXBuze6amEIF7WS6vun.271AIhrvDBu5WSKB
Passcode: *.?0MP9a

Agenda

7:00pmWelcome
7:05pmChair’s Report
7:15pmMLA updates
7:30pmProposed Higgins’ Rain Garden update (ACT Healthy Waterways & Ginninderra Catchment Group)
7:50pmDrake Brockman Drive upgrade update (Ginninderry)
8:10pmGeneral Business
8:30pmClose

Summary of our February Meeting

Below is a summary of the February meeting.

There were some images and language used during the meeting that was not sanctioned by the BCC, and has been to the best of our knowledge edited from the recording.

Questions taken on notice regarding the Swanson Street Belconnen development can be found by clicking here.

View the meeting record by clicking here.

00:00:00 Chair’s Report
00:06:10 MLA Updates
00:27:00 Presentation on the Swanson Street Belconnen development.
00:53:45 Presentation on Umbagong bridges
01:03:45 Draft District Strategy and the draft Territory Plan – BCC survey and submission
01:25:30 General business

BCC Community Consultation Survey – The draft District Strategy and the draft Territory Plan.

Update: The Belconnen Community Council submitted its submission on the 3rd of March.

This submission can be found here: http://www.belcouncil.org.au/documents/draft-territory-plan-and-belconnen-district-strategy-submission/


The Belconnen Community Council is interested to hear the opinion of members of the Belconnen community about the draft District Strategy and the draft Territory Plan (As part of the ACT Planning System Review and Reform Project). The new planning system will shape the future of our city.

The community feedback received through this survey will inform Belconnen Community Council’s submission to the ACT Government on this proposal.

Full details about the ACT Planning System Review and Reform Project :
Draft Belconnen District Strategy (Summary) : shorturl.at/lCSV7
Draft Belconnen District Strategy (Full Document) : shorturl.at/lxNT2
Draft Territory Plan : shorturl.at/jHYZ6

Thank you for your interest in this community consultation – this survey will close on the 24th of February.

BCC Survey: closed

February General Meeting – Casual Vacancies

The next general meeting of the Belconnen Community Council (BCC) will be held via Zoom from 7.00 pm Tuesday 21 February 2023.

There are several positions that are currently vacant on the BCC Committee. As per section 5.3.3 of the constitution, members shall be invited to submit nominations and an election will be conducted at an Ordinary General Meeting. This will be conducted at our February meeting on 21 February 2023.

A person is eligible for appointment or election to the Committee if the person is a member of the BCC who has attended and registered their attendance at a minimum of three general meetings of the BCC during the twelve months preceding the nomination.

In the filling of casual vacancies, ineligible members may only be appointed if there are no eligible members available to fill the position.

Nominations for the following vacant positions will be, subject to the constitutional provisions of Clause 5.2, accepted from eligible members up until the close of business Tuesday 14 February 2023.

  • 1x Secretary
  • 4x Committee Members.

Nominations must be made using this nomination form (pdf version) or this editable Word version.

The position description for Secretary can be found here.

The position description for Committee Members can be found here.

The Constitution can be found here.

You can submit your nomination form by:

  • email to hello@belcouncil.org.au
  • mail to: Secretary BCC, PO Box1131 Belconnen ACT 2616

This page will be updated with the agenda and zoom link closer to the meeting.

Questions?

Please email hello@belcouncil.org.au if you have any questions.

We hope to see you at the meeting!

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

Belconnen Community Council General Meeting February 2022

15 February 2022, 7pm

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

AGENDA

7pm                Welcome

7.05pm          Chair’s Report

7.15pm          MLA’s update

7.30pm          Lawson development update from Suburban Land Agency 

8pm                Umbagong Bridges upgrade update from Transport Canberra & City Services (TCCS) 

8.30pm          CSG Green Waste Update

8.45pm          General business

9pm                Close

Next meeting:  7pm Tuesday 15 March 2022, online via Zoom