It has been a truly eventful year, with the devastating impacts of the summer bushfires and Covid-19 continuing to ripple through society and through the inner north community.
The shutdown of public gatherings has meant that, for the foreseeable future, NCCC Public Meetings will not be able to go ahead. However, while much of normal life has been frozen, many other aspects of life continue to roll on, in particular the progression of new planning proposals and development applications in the inner north.
In light of these circumstances and the need to keep the community informed of these ongoing developments, the NCCC has decided to commence a monthly e-newsletter in lieu of the monthly General Meetings. In addition to providing updates on planning issues, we also hope this newsletter will help keep the inner north community connected during this very isolating time.
Over the last month, the NCCC has made contributions on a number of local planning issues.
- Draft Variation – 368 City and Gateway (DV368): This proposal includes a number of significant changes to the Territory Plan, including creating a new Northbourne Corridor Precinct Code.DV368 was released on 12 December 2019 for consultation but, given the huge disruptions of the summer bushfires and the subsequent Covid crisis, there has been limited opportunity for residents to engage with the complex changes.In its Submission, the NCCC advised that further consultation with affected residents and resolution of concerns around heritage, planning and sustainability impacts is necessary before DV368 can proceed to the Committee stage. Written submissions on DV368 can be submitted by 8 May 2020 (link).
- Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act): The NCCC provided a submission on the statutory review of the EPBC Act which cited the importance of reducing biodiversity loss through placing areas relevant to matters of national significance within legislated reserves or national parks to prevent encroachment and development.The NCCC Submission also noted the issues with environmental ‘offset’ programs, which have been used to to facilitate the destruction of grassy woodland in areas across the inner north, including North Watson.
- Dickson “Common Grounds” development: The NCCC wrote to the ACT Government advising that the consultation timeframe for this development application (closes Friday 24 April) is insufficient for engaging with the huge amount of documents provided as part of the DA, particularly considering the logistical limitations on the community due to the Covid-19 crisis.NCCC concerns around this development include its remote location from Dickson shops, medical services and public transport and the absence of a broader precinct plan. You can submit your views on the Development Application here.
You can find out more about new Development Applications in your area, including information on how to lodge a submission, by accessing this ACT Government website.
Local news and updates
- Mutual Aid groups in the inner north: Over the last month, a number of Mutual Aid networks have sprung up across Canberra with the objective of providing a way at the local level for people to connect and support each other during the Covid-19 crisis. You can find more details about the Mutual Aid group in your area, whether to seek assistance or to offer support, either by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or check out this webpage to find your local Facebook group.
- Hackett Community Association (HCA) update: The HCA is pleased to announce that its new website is up and running (developed by Gaffer Designs). The new website includes:
- key events, list of street names and street trees in Hackett;
- details about the HCA including a list of committee members and minutes of meetings going back to the inaugural meeting, and highlights from the outcomes of the HCA’s work;
- a list, with links to websites or Facebook pages, of Hackett community organisations and businesses, schools, and community organisations in neighbouring suburbs; and
- a forum page through which residents can share their ideas on issues relevant to the suburb.
- The HCA book about the suburb “Hackett – 50 years plus, Story of a North Canberra suburb“, is available for $20 at the Hackett IGA – ask for a copy at the checkout.
- Delays to new bus network timetable: Transport Canberra has advised that, due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, the new bus network that was due to be rolled out from the beginning of Term 2 will be delayed until further notice.
- Dickson Community Health Centre undergoing refurbishment: The facilities are being upgraded to include a new Walk-in Centre and additional capacity. This will be the fifth Walk-in Centre to be built in Canberra and will expand access to free primary health care treatment and health advice for a range of minor injuries and illnesses. Construction works are expected to be finalised by June 2020.Find out more about the Nurse-Led Walk-in Centres here.
The NCCC Committee authorised a forward expenditure plan at its meeting in February. Since then, the Council has funded a range of initiatives including:
- materials for the Dickson Library 50th Anniversary exhibition;
- a PA system to be used by the Downer Community Association at its public events;
- printing costs for flyers for the Watson/Hackett Mutual Aid (to publicise support available during COVID-19);
- printing costs for the History of Campbell (sponsored by the Campbell Community Association); and
- website development and maintenance.
The Committee is currently revising its expenditure plan to take account of the cancellation of public events (which may involve earmarking funds for events which will be postponed into 2020-21).
North Canberra Community Council
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