February 2022 Newsletter

February 2022 Newsletter

It has been anything but a typical quiet summer for North Canberra – from the peak of the Omicron wave and the return of Summernats in January to the more recent phenomena of the thousands anti-vax protesters based at Exhibition Park, near Watson. Despite their claims of coming here to confront the elite establishment, it often seemed they were more preoccupied with harassing retail staff across the local shopping centres and IGAs.

It was also a momentous start to 2022 in local development news, with the bulldozers moving into the foot of Mount Ainslie at the old CSIRO site near Campbell High, which was described by one local Indigenous elder as an act of ‘cultural vandalism’.

We look forward to seeing members at the first NCCC General meeting of 2022, which will be held on Wednesday 16 March. The meeting will feature a presentation from the Ainslie Football Club on their proposed redevelopment of the Ainslie Football Club site, which the NCCC is concerned will result in a significant loss of sport and recreation zoned land to be replaced by privatised commercial and residential accommodation

NCCC updates

  • February Committee Meeting: The NCCC was joined at its February Committee Meeting by the ACT Independent candidate for the Federal Senate, Kim Rubenstein. During the meeting, members raised with Ms Rubenstein some of the key issues that have been facing the NCCC over the past year. These issues include the ad hoc and inconsistent approach to planning and development, the lack of preparation on a local level for future climate change impacts (an issue that has been brought into sharp focus by the recent east coast floods) and the lack of an integrated and committed approach to social housing.

    Ms Rubenstein explained that the prospect of a tight balanced Federal Senate following the next election meant that, if she were elected, she would be well placed to advocate across many of these issues where they touched on Commonwealth jurisdiction.

  • Doma development – As the bulldozers move in, the Doma development at the former CSIRO headquarters on Limestone Avenue continues to be a source of consternation for NCCC members and local residents who have written to the NCCC to express their concerns. In addition to the heritage issues raised by local Indigenous Elder Shane Mortimer, the Campbell and Reid Residents Associations have highlighted some of the major planning and environmental concerns including:
    • The heights of the proposed towers on Limestone Avenue and overshadowing;
    • clear felling of all vegetation over the section which does include endangered species; and
    • lack of attention to the intention and requirements of the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

You can find out about new DAs in your area, including information on how to lodge a submission, by accessing this ACT Government website or by visiting the NCCC website.

Local news and updates

  • E-petition to upgrade Braddon Park: a sub-group of the Braddon Collective, the Friends of Braddon Parks, has an e-Petition with the Legislative Assembly to urge the ACT Government to upgrade Braddon Park.

    This park is a pocket park in Lowanna Street (behind what was formerly known as Fenner Hall). The neglected and outdated playground in this park is the only playground in Braddon. The link to the e-Petition can be found here.

  • inquiry into the Residential Land Supply and Release: In recent news from the ACT Legislative Assembly, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts has announced it will be undertaking an inquiry into the Auditor-General’s Report, which can be accessed here.
    Written submissions from interested organisations and individuals are sought by COB 24 March 2022 (details on how to lodge can be found here).
  • Watson Section 76 – The ACT Government has recently released more detail on the proposed development of Section 76 (which is near the Federal Highway), via the YourSay page. The draft Territory Plan variation for Section 76 has commenced, with the ACT Government seeking to provide 200 new dwellings on the site as well as a neighbourhood park.
  • 96th Anniversary of Air Disaster– NCCC Deputy Chair Jane Goffman recently commemorated the 96th anniversary of the air disaster that claimed the lives of two RAAF when their biplane crashed at Canberra Aerodrome in 1926, at St John’s Church with a small event.
    As a result of the heritage research and related walking tours and lectures that have happened in the last 5 years to highlight the event, a headstone has now been installed for the pilot in Queanbeyan for the first time and a ceremony is being organised there later this year.

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