Media Releases

Woden Speaks Out and launches its own local newspaper

Woden is going through an unprecedented period of growth. Recent Commonwealth and ACT government policies are bringing in thousands of new workers, residents and shoppers to the Town Centre and surrounding area. In addition the development of North Weston and Southern Molonglo and will very significantly increase the number of people using the Town Centre over the next few years. Despite this, the ACT government has failed to supply the additional services and facilities to support this growing community and has also acted to allow a reduction in sport and recreation opportunities in the Town Centre.

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Concessional leases – Abbeyfield 2004

The Woden Valley Community Council has included the following points in it’s submission to the ACT government in relation to community Concessional Leases which are generally issued to clubs, churches, and sporting organisations at discounted rates.[teaserbreak]

•  The terms of a concessional lease should always allow the ACT Government to resume a lease or that part of the lease no longer required for its original purpose.

•  Concessional lessees should not be permitted to exploit the community, but they should not be unduly penalised if they no longer require the land.

•  As a last resort, the government should withdraw the lease or acquire the property and use or sell it for another use.

•  Variations to concessional leases, which change the original purpose, should, in the view of the WVCC, extinguish the original lease. A new lease should be allowed only after an examination ensuring community needs criteria are met.

•  The concessional lessee should not have the power to on-sell the lease, even to those with “similar” interests. This power should always reside with the ACT Government.

At our next Council meeting we will be briefed by the ACT Land Development Agency in relation to an application from The Abbeyfield Society Disability (ACT) Inc for the direct sale of Block 1 Section 77 Curtin ( 31 Throssell St. Curtin).

The proposed house would provide ten young adults with mild intellect or physical

disability, with the opportunity to gain independence from the parental home and manage their own lives within a supportive tenancy model. Other Abbeyfield houses are located in Garran and Ainslie.

The Land Use Policy for Block 1 Section 77 Curtin is Community Facility.

The proposal comes under the Territory Plan definition of Residential Care

Accommodation, which is a permissible use under the Community Facility Land

Use Policy.

We invite anyone with an interest in this to attend our next public meeting between 7.30 and 8.00pm when this matter will be discussed. The meeting will be on Wed 7 April 2004 at the Hellenic Club, Orpheus Room.

Concessional leases – Abbeyfield

Canberra Water Issues 2003

Water is an issue on many of our minds in this region. Many possibly believe that we currently have a water shortage in Canberra ; but with three full dams in the mountains and a half-full Googong there is no water shortage. There is however concern about the amount of clean water that is available. This is a land management issue resulting from the very hot recent fires. Any new dams in the mountains will not remedy these land management issues.

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This is no argument for us not to change our ways with water.

From statistics recently published in reports by Environment ACT we can deduce, with some calculation – and checking of ABS stats, that we use overall some 570 litres per capita per day. It also seems that we use in excess of 400 litres per detached house per day on our gardens; 68.4 litres per person per day in our bathrooms; 61.6 litres per person per day in our toilets. If these figures are any where near accurate, should we be proud of them.

It would be good to have some comparative statistics from comparable cities in Australia and overseas in the Environment ACT reports. I understand that Sydney people use overall 300 – 400 litres per capita per day.

There must be many ways for us to do better.

In the past Canberra householders were encouraged to plant water hungry gardens to enhance the garden city environment.

Public agencies need to make smarter use of water without compromising the quality of our urban environment. This is particularly so with respect to our public parks, playing fields and roadside plantings.

The ACT Government does not require a water efficiency audit in the buildings it leases. This policy should change.

Consideration should be given to raising the kl price with rising demand. Currently, with the front loading of the water and sewerage supply charge on water and sewerage accounts, those residents who are low water users pay a higher net kl price than heavier users.

The impartiality of ACTEW in contributing to our water policy debate should be questioned. It is a corporation which has a monopoly on Canberra ‘s water storage and supply and, logically, an interest in increasing revenue from the sale of water.

WVCC will be hosting a public meeting at the Hellenic Club, Orpheus Room, 7.30pm Wed 3 rd March 2004 re Woden roads, cycle paths, road signs, stop lights etc. All welcome.

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