First BCC Public meeting of 2018 at Kippax Raiders Club on Tuesday 20 Feb

The first public meeting of the Belconnen Community Council for 2018 will be held next Tuesday. This month we are meeting in Kippax at the Canberra Raiders Club, Hardwick Cres, Holt.

The meeting starts at 7pm on Tuesday 20 Feb 2018

7pm Welcome and Chair’s Report
7.15pm MLA’s update
7.30pm TCCS Green Waste Bin update for Belconnen District
7.50pm AMC/Moran Presentation on UC Development
8.15pm Discussion on Kippax Group Centre proposal
9pm Close

All members of the public are welcome to attend

University of Canberra design students ideas about improving Belconnen – prize to be awarded at August BCC Public Meeting

Earlier in 2017, the Belconnen Community Council as part of its Belco50 program, created a competition in conjunction with the University of Canberra’s School of Design with the intention of generating ideas that could be used to benefit Belconnen.

The winner of the competition will be announced at theAugust BCC Public meeting by BCC Chair Elizabeth Hirst.

UC is a vital part of Belconnen and is seeking to improve its engagement with the broader community outside its campus. The BCC felt this was a good opportunity to assist students, strengthen UC ties with the community, and tap their students energy and enthusiasm for improving the built environment.

The BCC Committee decided to award a prize to a team of students enrolled in the Faculty of Arts and Design in a User-Centred Design course. This prize would be for a team that identified a problem through interaction and observation in Belconnen, articulated a design opportunity and prepared a brief outlining a solution that is pertinent to the Belconnen community.

The students were extremely keen to get out and explore Belconnen, with many being new to Canberra and Australia. Working in teams they came up with quite different solutions. In May the students presented their ideas to the BCC Committee and Dr Stephen Trathern of UC’s Faculty of Arts and Design.

As well as being used in their grading, and providing useful field research, the teams that place first and second will be awarded a cash prize, from the Belco50 funds provided by the ACT Government to celebrate Belconnens 50th Birthday.

We encourage the Belconnen public to attend our public meeting in August, view the different ideas, and applaud the teams that win the two prizes being awarded. They range from: improving Emu Bank, a tuk-tuk service, an improved bus interchange, and a Farmers market (there are more ideas!).

All the ideas the BCC Committee have examined are good, and each team has satisfied the brief. It will be very difficult to come up with a winner!

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:

First sod turned on UC Public Hospital in Belconnen

sod turned

Joint Media Release: Chief Minister Andrew Barr and Simon Corbell MLA

In 2012 ACT Labor announced its plan to build a new public hospital. Today Simon Corbell and I turned the first sod to start construction on the $139 million project. We’re delivering on our promise.

The new Hospital is one of the most important projects the ACT Government is undertaking, and will significantly change how we deliver health services here in the ACT.

We are committed to delivering the best health services to Canberrans, and the new facility will help alleviate pressure on our existing hospitals and expand our health facilities in Canberra – ensuring more patients can be treated for a wider range of health issues in the ACT.

In addition to improving health services, the construction of the project will also see more jobs over the coming years, as well as improving economic activity in the Belconnen area. It will help the University of Canberra grow and attract new students and researchers.

This is another great example of how the ACT Government’s reforms are enabling the University of Canberra to provide more community orientated services on the campus.

Mr Corbell said the new hospital would provide a combination of 140 admitted overnight beds and 75 admitted day service places as well as extensive, purpose built ambulatory areas and outpatient services. It would feature a variety of specially designed therapy and support spaces, such as gyms, hydrotherapy pool, kitchens and rehabilitation courtyards.

“This project will benefit our local health system in many ways. A major focus of the Health Infrastructure Program is looking at the future health care needs of our community and how we can best meet them, and including teaching and research opportunities at the new hospital is an important part of that,” Mr Corbell said.

“The day service model is an innovative feature of the new hospital, and will enable some people to complete their rehabilitation while staying in their own home, avoiding a lengthy hospital stay.”

The University of Canberra Public Hospital will also be a teaching hospital, offering valuable real-world training for future health care professionals as well as research opportunities.

“The hospital will incorporate a number of environmentally friendly features, such as solar panel cells on the roof, LED lights, daylight sensing control and dimmable lights in north-facing areas. Bicycle facilities will also be provided to give students, staff and visitors the opportunity to ride their bikes to the hospital where possible,” Mr Corbell said.

“I am pleased to see environmentally friendly design elements being incorporated into our public facilities. Naturally, this has been an important consideration for the University of Canberra Public Hospital.”

“I look forward to seeing construction progress on this important project, and to seeing how it will help advance our health system into the future,” Mr Corbell concluded.

Construction of the hospital is expected to be completed in 2018, with the hospital receiving its first patients that year.

ACT Government gives green light for University of Canberra retail, residential development


BCC Chair Tara Cheyne was interviewed for an ABC Online story about the UC planning changes.

“Ms Cheyne said while some Belconnen retailers had criticised the proposal, commercial development was not the primary motive for the development.”

“What’s more important for the retailers in the technical town centre at the moment is how we can connect UC and the Belconnen Town centre in a better way,” she said.

“Making those retailers even more viable than they already are.

Read the full ABC Online article here.

ACT Government gives green light for University of Canberra retail, residential development


The ACT Government approves plans for the University of Canberra to develop its campus, which could include commercial, retail and residential projects.

Belconnen Community Council chair Tara Cheyne said with students increasingly studying remotely or taking classes online, the university was finding ways to attract people to the campus.

“University of Canberra vice-chancellor Stephen Parker wants to create a precinct where people can live and work,” she told 666 ABC Canberra.

“But probably one of the biggest things, and something that we’ve received quite a lot of questions about, is this proposal for quite a lot of housing on the site.”

Ms Cheyne said while some Belconnen retailers had criticised the proposal, commercial development was not the primary motive for the development.

“What’s more important for the retailers in the technical town centre at the moment is how we can connect UC and the Belconnen Town centre in a better way,” she said.

“Making those retailers even more viable than they already are.”

read the ABC Online article here

BCC Chair Tara Cheyne talks to ABC radio about UC development proposals

BCC Chair Tara Cheyne spoke to Genevieve Jacobs on ABC 666 radio today about the recently approved University of Canberra development plans.

UC and the BCC will continue to liaise as the development moves from planning to fruition, with the aim that UC and Belconnen Town Centre mutually benefit from the multi-decade development.

Diversifying the ACT economy is important, and increasing employment through making UC a precinct where students and faculty can live and work, will benefit all of Belconnen.

The interview is online here.

Belconnens own radio station UCFM 87.8


Jordan AbelaTeam Coordinator of UCFM, tells us about Belconnens own radio station broadcast from the University of Canberra.

UCFM is a volunteer & student-run, community broadcasting, completely independent radio station. It broadcasts on the FM band at 87.8

We have very little to no revenue, and our service costs are (mostly) funded by the UC union. But, we’ve been quietly running as a freewave advertisement-free station for a niche, local audience for the past 20 years.

UCFM is listed as a club and business independent from the union, run only by the students of the University of Canberra, but with some financial support from the union.

Our listenership is open, and we never ask for any membership or donations (but donations are always appreciated).

Around 1992, professors handed UCFM over to the student body. The university union couldn’t manage it due to the niche field, so they relinquished it to our now overseers, Mitch and Joffy.
Since then we’ve been moved into a smaller studio (pictured was once a janitor’s storage), and all is well. I should point out – we don’t run off the Telstra Tower like most radio stations as it costs several thousand dollars a year to maintain the broadcast (and that’s not even the licensing costs!) We have a custom-made antenna built on the top of the UC Library, which is rare for a radio station.

As the name implies, our main listenership is UC. But, that doesn’t mean we only cater to them. We pride ourselves on being a casual, advertisement free student-run frequency that anyone can listen to. The majority of our tracks are popular music, but we’ve always kept it interesting.
On weekends, you’ll hear a lot more indie/alternative music, particularly in the afternoons.

On Friday nights, we have our 90s, naughties and now segment, where we give a huge spotlight to artists of the past decades.

We have two overseers for our best show In The Hub on Thursday night (currently on hiatus for the student break). Then myself – who manages the ground level and trains volunteers. Two people on Wednesday night for The Hump. We have a regular indie/new music show submitted in called Passport Approved, and that’s it. The rest is automatic. We’re thinking of organising a show for Thursday or Friday lunch/afternoon called The Lounge (with myself and a new recruit), so maybe we can get that on air too!

For our Thursday show In The Hub, we do a minor promotion with the bar next door to us. They give us a bar tab for the night, and we critique the beer on air. And then we’ve got a live DJ on at the same time. The small studio gets packed! We made a lot of great memories in there. One time Joffy suggested (on-air) that the beer in question would go well with ‘a meaty… meat… McMeat pizza!’ And then a new special appeared on the pizza board at that bar the next day: Meaty Meat McMeat Pizza. Great fun.

To be honest, the last five years have been quiet. I won’t beat around the bush – radio is a dying industry, and although there’s still demand for it, it’s slipping. Community radio, especially student-run radio is no exception.

However, we’re kicking along just fine. I’d like to think we’re going through a stage of resurrection at this point. Taking in student volunteers, performing training, working with the UC Press Club and the Audio Journalism students. Baby steps for now, but if we could get back to the glory days of 10, 15 years ago, it’d be fantastic.
The largest challenge is the resurrection ahead. How do you bring a slow station through a dying industry? Aren’t we fine just being quiet, but serving to a small listenership? We’re breaking even, we’re kicking along fine, but nothing is happening. We need to bring UCFM back into the spotlight of the community. Broadcasting live concerts, announcing for the university, supporting even more local bands. Getting involved.

But for now, the small community that we have, we love it dearly. And as long as we have their support, UCFM will do just fine.

Jordan Abela – Team Coordinator
87.8 FM Canberra’s Alternative

You can listen to UCFM on 87.8 on your FM band.

Their website is at:
Their Facebook page is at:

Belconnen Community Council newsletter July 2015

The next Belconnen Community Council public meeting will be held on:

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

7.30pm in the Community Room

Upstairs at the Belconnen Library, Chandler Street

A short agenda is:

7.30-7.35pm    Welcome and apologies; Chair’s report

7.35-7.50pm    Presentation from Kasparek Architects on the proposed development on Aikman Drive (Block 18, section 87)

7.50-8.30pm    Presentation from University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen Parker AO on vision for UC

8.30-8.40pm    Brief break

8.40-9.15pm    Presentation from the Speaker of the Assembly and member for Ginninderra MLA Vicki Dunne on The people of Belconnen: their frustrations, needs and vision

BCC membership

Under our new constitution, our mailing lists will not change and anyone can participate in Belconnen Community Council activities or events. However, if you wish to vote in a BCC Special General Meeting or Annual General Meeting (currently scheduled for November), you are required to become a member of the BCC. Membership is free and the membership form is straightforward. Membership continues until your association with Belconnen ceases (ie there is no need for renewal). I strongly encourage anyone with a connection to Belconnen to become a member. The form can be downloaded from our website.

Belconnen in the news

Belconnen has recently had a large number of newspaper features. Among these include two articles about the future of the Department of Immigration in Belconnen, and a feature article about the growth and success of the Belconnen Town Centre.

Westfield Belconnen makes pitch for Immigration to stay

New hope Immigration department will stay in Belconnen

Belconnen set to fly high

Belconnen: Portraits of a Place exhibition


Last week was the final week of our Belconnen: Portraits of a Place exhibition. We have been particularly grateful for the support of Westfield Belconnen in hosting the exhibition for seven months and have received excellent feedback. The photos have also been used in our updated branding and promotional material, and will feature on our new website which we expect to launch in coming weeks. You can view more of photographer David Burke’s work on Flickr.

Hockey ACT proposal

Hockey ACT is proposing the refurbishment and additional site use of its sites in Lyneham and Tuggeranong. Given a significant proportion of people who use the Lyneham facilities are Belconnen residents, this is of particular interest to the BCC. Hockey ACT is consulting with the community before submitting its development application. The proposed additional site use is the establishment of childcare centres to help make the facilities more sustainable into the future. For more information visit our website. If you have any comments or views, please contact us at

Proposed new childcare centre in Holt

A small block of land betwen the Kippax Fair shopping centre and Southern Cross Drive in Holt has been proposed for a 122 space childcare facility by the Krnc family company. The BCC has some concerns about parking provisions and access to the site. More information can be found on our website. Again, if you have comments or views, please contact us at

Demolition of Higgins Primary School

Comment on the development application for the demolition of the Higgins Primary School is open until 24 July 2015. Once the demolition is approved, future uses of the site will be determined. More information can be found here.

Vale Eric Traise

The BCC Committee were very saddened to learn of the passing of Tuggeranong Community Council President Eric Traise this week. Eric was a tireless campaigner for his community and our thoughts are with his family at this time.

As always, if you have any queries or concerns, please contact me at

Warm regards



Tara Cheyne

Belconnen Community Council