Woden Town Centre

Edison Pond

Canberra Urban Parks and Places (CUPPS) are carrying out investigations into the water management of Eddison Park pond and as part of this will be holding a public meeting to discuss options for ongoing management of the pond. The details of the meeting are as follows:[teaserbreak]

Date: Saturday 27 November 2004

Time: 10.00am – 11.30am

Location: Eddison Park pond, enter from Launceston Street opposite Canberra College Woden campus.

(In case of wet weather, the venue will change to Woden Youth Centre, on Callum Street opposite the Bus Interchange.)

Woden Valley Community Council values the amenity of this pond in Eddison Park . It provides an extra dimension and an extra amenity in a lovely park. Woden has a paucity of water features and the Council considers that any diminution of the pond would be regrettable.

Eddison Park Pond has been allowed to dry up over the last couple of years because drinking water, which was used in the past to top it up, has not been readily available after recent drought and fires. The ducks, water birds, fish and aquatic life have disappeared and we have been left with a muddy depression. WVCC thinks there may be other options, apart from drinking water, to allow it to be retained at least at its current size. For example, water from the concrete drain to the east of Eddison Park might be used to fill and generally maintain the water level in the pond. A relatively straight forward ‘fill and cut-off’ mechanism could be installed as part of this underground pipe system from the concrete drain to the east. The pond might also be deepened or extended to counter the impact of evaporation between periods of rain.

The community will have other suggestions, and we encourage as many as possible to bring their ideas and concerns to this meeting

Maybe the Eddison Park Pond matter should be considered together with the issue of the ‘naturalisation’ of Yarralumla Creek which was flagged with the release of the Woden Town Centre Master Plan. This may avoid a possible piece-meal approach to Woden’s water features.

We would encourage people to come to this CUPPS meeting to discuss these issues further.

Edison Park

First a reminder about two of our Council’s upcoming special events.

On 7 July, 7.30pm in the Aegean Room, upstairs at the Hellenic Club, Woden, we are hosting a special Public Forum on Canberra ‘s Social Plan with a broad range of community advocates. We hope to see many of you there.[teaserbreak]

WVCC’s Annual Art Show: “Woden – Up Close and Personal” will open on 30 July at the Woden Library. Details of the show including conditions of

entry and an entry form are available at the web-site

http://www.sutherland-studios.com.au/artshow/ or by phoning the convenor, Denise Sutherland on 6288-1418.

Now to a new community issue. Over the past year or so our Council has become increasingly concerned about the derelict state of the Eddison Park water feature. For a long time now it has been a dry mud feature! The ducks, gulls, water fowls and fish naturally disappear with the water.

Woden Town Centre does not have much in terms of water features, and it seems unfortunate that no solution has yet been found to this. We are informed that because drinking quality water was, in the past, used to keep the pond full, it can no longer be justified.

This may be so. There are however millions of litres of water that pass by relatively closely every time we have some reasonable rain. The two major concrete storm water ‘drains’ carry very considerable amounts of water; and it would not seem a difficult engineering task to divert a very small amount of that, and return pond overflow water back to the drains.

Our Council looks forward to consultation and a good community outcome on this matter.

Woden parks & places

At our May 5 public forum, Ian Baird, Manager of Policy and Planning for Canberra Urban Parks and Places (CUPPS) and Rod Baxter, ACTPLA Project Officer for the Woden Town Centre made presentations on their respective roles and responsibilities in relation to our public places, parks, ovals and open spaces, giving us examples of strategic plans of management regarding such matters as graffiti and memorials, and how Canberra Urban Parks undertakes social surveys about our public places and how they ‘bench mark’ their performance in relation to maintaining our public places.[teaserbreak]

Considerable discussion followed about Eddison Park and it’s pond, dying trees in Woden Town Square and other public places, abuse of verges and open spaces by builders etc, lack of oval maintenance, and what seems to be a strategy of management by responding to complaints about dying trees etc instead of a strategy of regularly maintaining these public assets. The issue of managing contractors who manage our public parks and places was also discussed. A water saving study being undertaken by CSIRO for CUPPS was also explained.

Our Council sincerely thanks these officers for giving us the presentations and increasing our understanding of who is responsible for what, and how their management strategies work and are reviewed. We encourage readers who are interested in these matters to contact Urban Parks and Places on 62072500 or log onto www.parksandplaces.act.gov.au

At our July public forum we will be discussing Woden’s cultural and community facilities as measured against the recently released Canberra Social Plan. Our special guests will be Dawn Casey, Chair, ACT Cultural Council and recently appointed member to the Community Inclusion Board, and Robin Brown, President of the ACT Council of Social Service and recently appointed member to the Community Inclusion Board. We hope to see many of you at that meeting on 7 July, in the Orpheus Room upstairs at the Hellenic Club, 7.30pm.

Woden Valley ‘s Phillip Oval

The Woden Valley Community Council welcomes Planning Minister Simon Corbell’s announcement that Football Park – Phillip Oval – will remain as a full-size Australian Rules playing surface. We have reflected community opinion that ACTAFL not be permitted to profiteer by ‘selling’ the concessional lease – which they have enjoyed for many years – to private interests. Rather, if they wish to relinquish the lease, it must be returned to the ACT Government with an objective assessment of fair and reasonable compensation for the value of the improvements.

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•  the Oval provides a good central location which is readily accessible from any part of the city by both private and public transport.

•  residential infill occuring around Woden will also increase walking patronage to this oval; while it’s night lighting can be retained.

•  it has very good vehicle parking availability – especially on weekends.

•  it has good provision for bus layover facilities for private buses. (In this context it is noted that the ACT government and the ACT tourism industry are actively encouraging bus loads of people from interstate to attend ACT events.)

•  it has extensive supporting infrastructure, being part of the Woden Town Centre.

•  it is close to major club and motel facilities.

•  Woden is geographically central in Canberra , and with possible infill occurring in some of the fire-affected areas, this centrality would increase. (In Melbourne , three major AFL facilities are within walking distance of the CBD.)

•  Phillip Oval is clearly the best located sporting venue in the ACT.

We accept that there is room for improvement and development and believe this should be in the context of a sub-Master Plan for this northern Entertainment and Recreation area of the Woden Town Centre, and not on any ad hoc basis.

The Woden Valley Community Council will be hosting a public meeting upstairs at the Hellenic Club Woden, starting at 7.30pm on Wednesday 3 rd of September 2003 on the recently released report by the Non-Urban Study Team chaired by Sandy Holloway. Issues to be discussed will include ACT Forests and Plantation Industry; Tourism Opportunities; Rural Settlements and Villages; and Reducing Fire Risk. All welcome.

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