Chief Minister Talkback Summary - 18 March 2016


Calls received on air

Directorate: EPD

Issue: The caller asked about the ongoing debacle with the Giralang shops that has been going on for 12 years now. The caller said the Government had previously supported a 1500 square metre supermarket development in Giralang and asked if the Chief Minister still supported that development. The caller noted that it appears that the appeal in the Supreme Court has now been passed to the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT) and is pending a hearing in the Magistrates Court next Tuesday at 9:30. The caller asked if the Chief Minister could get somebody in the Government to contact the caller and explain what the next step is in the development application.

Response: The Chief Minister advised that he did still support the development of the approved 1500square metre supermarket development. The Chief Minster also advised that the Giralang local centre is still being considered by the ACT Supreme Court of Appeal, so the Government, like the caller and many in the community, is keen to see development progress on the site. For that reason, the then Minister for Planning used the call-in powers to approve the development application (DA). This matter was then held up through what could only be described as a number of protracted legal proceedings, including going all the way to the High Court, which is in the context of an ACT DA is unprecedented. It is clear that all parties involved want to resolve the matter and are hopeful there will be a positive outcome very soon. The Chief Minister advised that he was not in a position to disclose when that will be; it is not in his hands. That there should be development in Giralang is an agreed priority of the Government and the developers. In relation to the specific question about the size of the supermarket, that is ultimately a matter for the developer. The Government set a maximum size (that has been a source of contentious debate over the past years) but the developer is the one who will make the commercial decision in consultation with the operator of the supermarket as to what size it will be. Having gone through all of this process, the Chief Minister was sure they would develop a supermarket that will be the right size for Giralang.  

Directorate: TAMS

Issue: The caller asked about the gate to the Hall Dog Park. The caller advised that they had received follow up from a TAMS official following their request to Chief Minister’s talk back on 4 March 2016 about the gate to the dog park requiring some attention. The caller advised that the gate had been fixed in an open position. Given the length of the grass, once a dog owner enters with a dog there is nothing to prevent the dogs running onto the road. The park connects to Victoria Street which is quite light traffic, however within 200-250 meters is the Barton Highway. The caller is concerned that this could cause a serious accident. The caller was unsure as to why the gate was fixed in the open position, but it is an accident waiting to happen.

Response: The Chief Minister thanked the caller for their call and advised that the issues raised would be looked into.

OUTCOME: The area in question is not a dog park. It is a high conservation value open space that is a dog off-leash area. Owners must be in control of their dogs at all times. The ‘gate’ described by the caller is in fact an unapproved construct comprising wire and rope which was installed by unknown persons. It was installed across the pedestrian access to this area which made the entryway dangerous and prevented free egress. It has now been removed.

Directorate: CMTEDD – Access Canberra

Issue: The caller praised the Government’s efforts regarding the parking issues in Deakin.

The caller wanted to pass on his thanks and those from the residents and workers of west Deakin.

The caller said he gave the deputy director-general of Access Canberra a bit of a beating on the radio with Philip Clarke 10 days ago. The caller would like to thank the Government for getting the issue resolved. Namely the director of Parking Operations was exceptionally professional and alleviated a lot of stress in the area.

Response: The Chief Minister thanked the caller for their call and praise on behalf of the mentioned officials, and for taking the time to acknowledge their prompt and professional response.

Directorate: Economic Development

Issue: The caller asked about the cafe at the Arboretum. The caller advised that they had interstate visitors on the Canberra Day holiday that went to visit the Arboretum and found that the cafeteria was not open. Why was this so?

Response: The Chief Minister advised that the cafe is a private business and it is up to them to determine when they are open, noting he would have thought they would have had a roaring trade on a day like that. The Chief Minister advised that maybe the operators were enjoying a holiday as those in the hospitality industry also need a break every now and then.

Directorate: Health

Issue: The caller asked about the current status of (publically funded) home births in the ACT, noting that the program was moving along swiftly and now appears to have stagnated.

The caller advised that she had an affiliation with the consumers groups that are also interested in it, in the birth centres.

Response: The Chief Minister advised that the trial of an ACT publically funded home birth service is currently being proposed for consideration by Government by mid this year. The Chief Minister advised it was a matter that has been dealt with by the Minister for Health and it had not been raised with him in recent times and that he will seek further information on the topic today.

OUTCOME: A service framework and discussion paper on the introduction of a publicly funded home birth service has been prepared for formal consideration by Government in May 2016.  

Directorate: 1) JACS 2) Economic Development

Issue: 1) The caller asked about when the judicial commission was going to be created. Noting that the Assembly had passed the applicable legislation for the creation of the Commission, it appears that it hasn’t been implemented yet. Are you able to advise when the Judicial Commission will come into effect?

2) The caller also advised that he was a keen runner and that the athletic track at Woden always seems to be closed and is unusable. The caller said if it is going to be there it should be open and even if there were a person charging a fee at least it would get some use out of it. It is currently a wasted recourse.

Response: 1) The Chief Minister said he was unable to advise when the judicial commission would come into effect, noting that there will be associated resourcing implications and there are many competing priorities at this time for Government resources. The Chief Minster advised that he was familiar with the work and that there is a proposal and it will be looked at in the context of the budget this year.

2) The Chief Minister noted that there is an opportunity for greater community use of the Woden Athletics Track as a training venue as opposed to a competition venue, but that access and security issues needed to be considered. The Chief Minister said perhaps a booking capacity with a fee for use may be a way to overcome the particular issue the caller raised. Sport and Recreation Services could consider that option.

OUTCOME: An officer from Sport and Recreation Services contacted the caller and advised that it has been working with the relevant peak bodies (Athletics ACT, Little Athletics ACT) to optimise the use of Woden Park in such a manner that does not compromise the safety for participants and protects the security of the asset, including all of the athletics equipment stored at Woden Park. The caller indicated that he would like the ACT Government to implement a system that is similar to what is in place for the AIS Athletics Track where a dedicated resource is allocated to supervise the use of the facility throughout the day and in the evenings. The officer explained that it was not feasible (due to insufficient resources) for the ACT Government to introduce such a model as it directly manages approximately 300 hectares of sportsgrounds across Canberra. Sport and Recreation Services continues to work closely with Athletics ACT to introduce options that will assist in optimising the use of the facility, including the delivery of “open community sessions” where members can purchase tickets to enter and utilise the facility. The caller indicated that he disagreed with the government’s approach and is of the opinion that the facility should be made available throughout the day without the need for an individual or small groups to hire (pay) for use of the facility.

Directorate: TAMS

Issue: The caller asked about the possibility for lights on the intersection of Eggleston Crescent and Hindmarsh drive. The caller advised that they had been a resident of the area for the past 24 years and the traffic coming from the Weston creek end of Hindmarsh drive is quite heavy. The caller said irrespective of what time of the day it is, it is impossible to get through the intersection. The caller said she now has to go all the way down to Melrose drive where there are lights. The new suburb that has been put at the end of Hindmarsh drive will impact the traffic even further. The caller asked if the Government will consider installing lights at the intersection.

Response: The Chief Minister advised the Government would consider installing lights at the intersection.

OUTCOME: An officer from TAMS contacted the caller on 22 March 2016 and explained that improvements to this intersection, and the Launceston Street / Hindmarsh Drive intersection, were currently being investigated. With a view to providing traffic signals (or other suitable improvements) to allow safe access through these intersections. Subject to finding a suitable solution, a future capital works bid would be submitted to seek construction funding.

Directorate: TAMS

Issue: The caller asked about the possibility of having a slip lane installed on Kurringal Drive northbound with the intersection with William Webb Drive that comes out at Spence. For many years the road there has been quite a bottle neck, with cars are turning right, as there isn’t a slip lane for cars to go around like on many other intersection in Canberra. A T-intersection usually has two lanes, but on this one for nearly 40 years it has been one. After today’s weather the dirt on the side of the road becomes quite slushy and the drop from the hard pavement into the mud is quite deep. The caller advised that he had raised this issue with Minister Berry 12 months ago and the issue is yet to be addressed.

Response: The Chief Minster said, following the caller raising this issue with Minster Berry, some preliminary work and investigation on the issue has commenced. The Chief Minister thanked the caller for bringing this to attention again and advised that the forward works program will be updated for the upcoming fiscal year in the not so distant future and we will look to look at this specific issue and see what can be done to resolve the issue.

OUTCOME: An officer of TAMS contacted the caller on 22 March 2016 and advised that concerns about this intersection have been raised with Roads ACT. Roads ACT is monitoring the condition of the shoulders and carries out necessary maintenance as required. An investigation in relation to potential upgrades is underway with potential to include improvements in the future Capital Works program.

Directorate: Treasury

Issue: The caller asked about heating and cooling rebates. The caller advised that on 25/2/12 former Disability Minister Joy Burch put out a press release noting that energy rebates for heating and cooling were extended to cover Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson’s Disease patients. Why is this rebate being denied to those who do not have a healthcare card? The caller advised that her husband has MS and is ageing; they are not eligible for the rebate.  The caller said she had just received their electricity bill which indicated their usage was 20 kilowatt hours over the average for a household of three, which the caller’s is. The caller wanted to make the point that people with MS are extremely sensitive to heat and cold and they require the additional heating and cooling in winter and in summer regardless of their income. The caller thinks it is unfair that it is judged on access to a healthcare card or your income; it is about a rebate to help disease sufferers and their need for heating and cooling. It also saves the healthcare system a lot of money. This year it has been very hot and the caller’s husband has needed to stay inside. The caller thinks it is unfair and wants the rebate to be extended to all MS and Parkinson’s sufferers.

Response: The Chief Minister thanked the caller for the call and advised that the issues raised would be looked into. The Chief Minister noted the general principles around concessions are that they are targeted to those who need them most and are on the lowest incomes. However, there are obviously circumstances that would arise where you would move beyond that broad policy approach and the caller had presented one such case. The Chief Minister questioned at what point concessions should be phased out, using an extreme example of someone earning $10 million a year. The Chief Minister said he was unable to give a blanket position that would provide a taxpayer subsidy regardless of income, however there is a legitimate question around when access to such concessions would taper out.   

OUTCOME: An ACT Revenue Office officer contacted the caller to discuss the heating and cooling concession. The ACT Revenue Office officer explained that the ACT Concession Program is currently being reviewed to improve the sustainability, fairness and targeting of the concessions. As part of the review, the ACT Government had sought feedback by the general public through the Time to Talk website. The ACT Revenue Office officer explained that the outcome of the review has not been finalised, and until then there are no changes being made to the Concessions Program.

Directorate: Economic Development

Issue: The caller thanked the Chief Minister for how he responds to every question; giving everyone consideration regardless of the nature of the question and that it is exceptional.  The caller advised that he was a resident of southwest ACT and frequents the Cooleman court shopping centre. With all the development in the southwest of the city (including Molonglo), that shopping centre has become completely over subscribed to the point it is very difficult to get a car park. When is the commercial sector of that development going to be built? Is there any consideration to when it would phase in to not over subscribe existing facilities?

Response: The Chief Minister thanked the caller for the call and advised he recently discussed these issues with the Land Development Agency, noting he was aware of the increased demand at Cooleman court. The Chief Minister said the Government was looking at ways to ensure there are short term convenient shopping opportunities, and also looking at how to bring forward the group centre facilities associated with the Molonglo valley. The Chief Minster advised that he didn’t have an answer today on an exact date, but he has asked for some further work to be done to expedite this as there is pressure on Weston Creek at the moment. From a trader’s perspective, they are probably not upset that there are extra customers, however it does place pressure on centres. There are certainly plans for both group centres and local centres in Molonglo. 

Directorate: Health

Issue: The caller wanted to commend and thank the medical teams at the Canberra Hospital and wanted to raise a couple of issues. Firstly, the multistorey car park and the queuing that occurs with cars entering and leaving. One day the caller had to drive away as she just couldn’t get a park. Secondly, the patient discharge process. The caller advised that when picking up a relative she was instructed to be there 10am. She arrived at 11am and was sent with the patient to the discharge lounge. With no complaints against the staff, both the doctor and the pharmacist saw the patient but were very busy. The caller was unable to leave until about 3:30pm, which was a long time. The caller asked if the health services people could look at a better patient discharge system, noting the care that was received was top class and wonderful.

Action: The Chief Minister thanked the caller for the feedback and that the issues raised will be looked into. The Chief Minister also advised that the Government is currently trialling a free onsite courtesy bus service to assist with transportation around the Canberra Hospital Campus. There is that large multi storey car park, but in total there are around 1250 vehicle spaces available to the general public across the campus - concentrated in that tower, but also in other locations. The Chief Minister advised the Government is looking at making it easier for people to access the campus through these services. Regarding the second issue, ACT Health will have a look into it.

OUTCOME: Canberra Hospital and Health Services have spoken to the constituent and discussed the initiatives that are looking into discharge delays for patients in the discharge lounge (such as delays in getting discharge medication arranged).

Directorate: Economic Development

Issue: The caller rang regarding land prices in Throsby. The caller advised that during the week Jon Stanhope made comments about the recent Throsby land sales and how over-priced they were. The caller asked how does that work? Is it acceptable that land prices are that high in Canberra, as they have been for a while and should the ACT Government be accepting that level of extra money that is being paid for land prices? And what are the social implications of that in terms of stress on people in terms of mortgages and the local economy in terms of how much money is taken out of the economy due to people having to service those excessive mortgages?

Response: The Chief Minister advised that he hadn’t seen Jon Stanhope’s comments in detail. The Chief Minister advised that the price of land will be due to an interaction of supply and demand. The ACT has been through a period of significant boost to supply and a period going back a couple of years where the bottom fell out of the market on the demand side associated with the significant cuts to the Commonwealth public service. The Chief Minister noted that is starting to turn around and the labour market has started to recover and the ACT has been able to locally grow our economy in other areas and see many of those jobs return. However, the ACT is still seeing a net outflow, although it is small, in terms of interstate migration, but population growth is increasing now as a result of a significant number of births exceeding deaths. The ACT is also seeing a reasonably steady increase in annual intake of international migrants. In terms of new land coming onto the market, the ACT Government has released a number of sites to private developers, as well as to private developers and joint venture markets. For example, land in the Molonglo Valley including the new suburb of Denman Prospect, the Riverview Development, the joint venture in west Belconnen. Regarding Throsby itself, it is quite a desirable location so understandably people want to live there. The Chief Minister took the note that more supply is needed. The Government seeks to significantly boost land supply and new dwellings and opportunities. This isn’t always supported in localised areas in the city. Not everyone wants to live in Greenfield estates on the suburban fringe, but many people do. The ACT Government needs to strike a balance, in the context of new land release and new infill developments in each of the town centres. The Government is discussing a new suburb adjacent to the Tuggeranong town centre, the south key development in the Tuggeranong town centre, and there are significant opportunities in Woden, the  Molonglo Valley, the Yarralumla Development, more at the Kingston foreshore, and there are opportunities in the CBD. The Chief Minister said he would like to see thousands of new dwellings built in the CBD and see that population increase over the next 10-15 years; the entire Northbourne Corridor project; new suburbs still to come in Gungahlin; Belconnen town centre; west Belconnen developments – there are about 30 different development fronts, together with about 400 potential infill sites right across the city to accommodate new housing. The Chief Minister advised he appreciated the point that we needed to do more and we will continue to do so.  

Directorate: TAMS

Issue: The caller asked about the underpass connecting Page with Belconnen and this is goes under Coulter Drive. The caller was concerned as there are no lights but there are many students and young people returning around 9pm or returning late at night.

Response: The Chief Minister advised that this will be looked into.

OUTCOME: Roads ACT will investigate whether there is a need to light this underpass, as not every underpass is lit, and in some cases power may not be available at particular locations.

Calls not answered on air but followed up 

Directorate: TAMS

Issue: Roundabout on Oakes Estate Road

OUTCOME: An officer of TAMS contacted the caller on 22 March 2016 and explained that as part of the Federal Black Spot program the intersection of Pialligo/Oakes Estate is going to have traffic lights installed. Roads ACT is also working on options to secure funding in the future for more infrastructure upgrades for Pialligo Avenue.Works on the intersection of Pialligo / Oakes Estate Road have commenced.

Directorate: TAMS

Issue: Traffic lights on the way to Fyshwick to Queanbeyan – thinks that there’s an extra traffic light that shouldn’t be there – on the road into Harman.

OUTCOME: An officer of TAMS contacted the caller on 22 March 2016. The caller stated that they believe traffic on Canberra Avenue, heading to Queanbeyan, should not have to stop when traffic is turning right out of HAMS Harman. The caller says there is an acceleration lane for this traffic onto Canberra Avenue, which was used before the lights were installed, and could be made use of in a similar way to the arrangement at Yamba Drive and Long Gully Road. The officer advised these lights were installed 12 years ago.  The lights were requested and paid for by the Department of Defence who engaged the consultant who prepared the design.  They specifically did not want the type of arrangement the caller is suggesting because they believed it was not the safest arrangement.  Construction of the current arrangement has involved removal of part of the acceleration lane and so the caller’s suggestion could not be implemented unless it was reinstated.  Given that the Department of Defence did not want such an arrangement, and they paid for the lights, it is unlikely to support the change.

Directorate: JACS

Issue: The Privacy Act 2011– The caller advised that his employer had installed cameras in the workplace without notice and wanted to know who the appropriate body was with which to lodge a formal complaint.

OUTCOME: An officer in JACS informed the caller that the relevant body for prosecution of offences under the Workplace Privacy Act 2011 is currently the ACT Police. The officer advised the caller of pending changes to the Workplace Privacy Act 2011, noting that WorkSafe ACT would be given authority to prosecute offences under the Act later this year. The officer called a second time to suggest that the caller bring the non-compliance to his employer’s attention. The caller reported that he had done so, but that this had been ignored. Noting that the pending changes would have delayed commencement, the officer gave the caller the appropriate number to make a complaint to the police (131 444).

Directorate: TAMS and Access Canberra – Parking Ops

Issue: Walked on Kent Street from Hughes to Garran and footpath on right hand side is ‘disgusting’ and a lot of cars parked on that strip.

OUTCOME: Parking inspectors patrolled Kent Street on Tuesday 22 March 2016 but no vehicles were parked illegally. Access Canberra will continue to monitor the area as resources permit.

An officer from TAMS advised the footpath defects have already been identified by Roads ACT and the works are expected to be completed by the end of December 2016.

Directorate: CMTEDD – WSIR

Issue: The Government consulting with industry on CFMEU.

Action: Contact caller

OUTCOME: Royal Commissions are Commonwealth bodies, with limited participation from the States and Territories. Any submissions made to the Royal Commission are best addressed by that body and its processes.

SMS/Text

Directorate: CMA

Issue: A Canberra Times letter writer suggested single rather than double track up Northbourne Avenue would handle the volume for 20+ years, cost less and require the removal of lesser trees have you considered this option?

Response: The Chief Minister advised that all of these issues have been extensively considered.

Directorate: CMA

Issue: If we the tax payers pay these businesses who are inconvenienced by light rail construction then we should also get them to pay for the added benefits once the light rail is built.

Response: The Chief Minister advised that that is a valid consideration and that the Government is not in the business of making payments in that context,  and the Government has not said that it is doing that. 

Directorate: CMA

Issue: If all options have been considered on light rail then why isn’t there publically available information on why the single rail option was rejected?

Response: The Chief Minister said that there was detailed information in the business case and in the range of assessments that have been undertaken on this issue extensively. I don’t have a specific web link in front of me but if there is information that we can provide to that individual we are happy to do so. 

OUTCOME: The information can be found at http://www.capitalmetro.act.gov.au/the-case-for-light-rail/the-business-case andhttp://www.capitalmetro.act.gov.au/home

Directorate: TAMS

Issue: I saw an injured swan by the lake, rang Canberra Connect and asked for a ranger to help. I was told that only volunteers deal with birds and to ring them. It is a shameful state of affairs. The volunteers advised of a terrible attempt to rescue a pelican the previous day all by volunteers in canoes. This is the bush capital the Government is happy to market it as such why it doesn’t take responsibility for wildlife seriously and employ enough wildlife handlers or rangers.

Response: The Chief Minister advised that there is a large team of rangers, noting it is one of those interesting questions. That is certainly a priority for that particular caller, but other people might want to have more nurses, teachers, fire fighters, ambulance officers or police, but most people do not want to pay more tax. 

Directorate: CMA

Issue: Good morning. The government has given us information on the cost of the first stage of light rail. Will we be given an estimate before the election of the cost taxpayers will be up for if the project is cancelled, so we can make an informed decision?

Response: The Chief Minister advised that we will reach financial close at which point the Government will release information on the nature of that. The specific financial information that people will be interested in will also be contained in the budget, which will be released on 2 June 2016.

Directorate: EPD

Issue: Dear Chief Minister. Were there really plans to make the city part of Northbourne Avenue which is, as you say Canberra's most contested road 4 lanes or something similar? Are those plans still in place?

Response: The Chief Minister advised that those plans are not in place and that they may have been a bit of an urban myth.

Directorate: ACT Policing

Issue: Could you guys take a moment to remind drivers to tum on their headlights and also that the new Majura Pkyway limit is 100 not 110-120, especially in the wet. Big thanks & keep up the good work

Response: The Chief Minister made a general recommendation that all Canberra drivers should be driving to the speed limit.

Directorate: TAMS

Issue: There is a dire need for a bike path along Sulwood Drive in Kambah/Wanniassa and a dedicated parking area and roundabout at the intersection of Mannheim street /Sulwood Drive. The area is used for joggers, walkers etc using Mt Taylor for exercise, but it is a dangerous space with cars crossing double lines to access the area without any consideration for pedestrians or local residents’ safety. They also brake in 80km/hr traffic flow to do so. Could the chief minister please look into changing this to a dedicated car park, bike path and single entry point from a roundabout at this already difficult Intersection?

Response: The Chief Minister thanked the caller for raising the issue advising that it will be looked into.

OUTCOME: An officer of TAMS attempted to contact the caller on 22 March 2016. The caller was not available, the officer left a voicemail message which explained the provision of a car park area for Mt Taylor, and shared use path, are subject to the availability of funding. Both items are being investigated and will be prioritised for future capital works funding. The intersection of Manheim Street and Sulwood Drive has been reviewed recently with minor improvements undertaken to address crashes related to vehicles entering the intersection at an inappropriate speed and losing control, not related to the Mt Taylor Parking area.  Based on the intersection performance improvements including the provision of a roundabout would have a low priority at this time. Roads ACT has contacted ACT Policing about the dangerous driving behaviour that has been reported.

Directorate: TAMS

Issue: Wakefield Ave and Wattle St upgrade of footpaths. When is it happening? The tender closed a while ago, please let me know.

Response: The Chief Minister advised that he will seek some information on that tender for the caller.

OUTCOME: An officer from TAMS contacted the caller on 22 March 2016 and advised works are scheduled to begin in early April on Wakefield Avenue with both roads to be completed in May 2016. The officer also explained that the northern verge of Wakefield Avenue by Ainslie Football Club will be temporarily closed to facilitate these works.

Directorate: Access Canberra – Parking Ops/ TAMS (re signs)

Issue: There is a taxi/drivers doing "hand over" on Murranji Street Hawker, leaving their cars, all day/night, very close to the stop signs onto Springvale Drive. I've called Canberra cabs numerous times as an accident has nearly happened, very dangerous, but they keep leaving their cars there. Perhaps a no parking sign might be needed. The taxi is TX493, thank you.

Response: The Chief Minister advised that those issues will be referred to the appropriate areas.

OUTCOME: Access Canberra contacted the caller who noted that they had left a polite letter on the vehicle in question. Access Canberra parking inspectors attended to this complaint on 22 March 2016 but no vehicles were parked on location. Access Canberra will continue to monitor the area and issue warnings, in the first instance, to illegally parked vehicles. The caller was provided the direct contact number for Access Canberra Parking Operations to enable the caller to notify inspectors of illegally parked vehicles at the time.

Directorate: TAMS

Issue: Thank you for the new Majura Parkway. However, there is a problem at the Federal Highway off ramp. I ride down this ramp and at the lights a bike won’t trigger the lights to turn green to turn right on to Horse Park Drive. Could a pedestrian button please be installed to assist cyclists? Thank you.

Response: The Chief Minister advised that this issue will be looked into.

OUTCOME: An officer from TAMS contacted the caller on 22 March 2016 and explained that they were not actually using a formalised bike lane when approaching the right turn at the Majura Parkway traffic lights and therefore there are no detector loops installed to the left of the edge line. A Roads ACT officer informed the caller that it is perfectly acceptable for him to occupy the adjacent vehicle lane where the detector loops are located. Investigations are being made into formalising the space to the left of the edge line as a cycle lane.

Directorate: TAMS

Issue: When will the public toilets at Lyneham be replaced. Worst in Canberra.

Response: The Chief Minister noted that the facilities were probably of an age and it will be looked into.

OUTCOME: An officer from the Place Management team contacted the caller. The caller was advised that there is no funding available for a full upgrade of the toilets in 2016-17. However, these toilets are high priority for minor works if funding becomes available. Regular maintenance will be ongoing.

Directorate: TAMS

Issue: Re the Aranda shops site, it is still looking derelict as a result of neglect over past 20 years. The carpark has deep potholes & the owners have illegally dumped unsightly building rubble in front of the building. I reported the rubble to TAMS in mid- December 2015 & January, but nothing has happened.

OUTCOME: An officer from TAMS contacted the caller on 24 March 2016 and advised the shops at Aranda are a private lease and Roads ACT is unable to undertake works on the private car park. The poor condition of the leased land, rubble and a dangerous car park can be reported to Access Canberra as it is in close proximity to a school. 

Directorate: EPD

Issue: Hello, I understand Woolworths in Hawker has bought the old TAB site in the shops. Are there plans to sell the Hawker shops car park to Woolworths for re-development? Thank you

OUTCOME: An official contacted the caller and advised that there is no Development Application for Woolworths at the site, and gave general planning advice and navigation tips within ACTMAPi.

Directorate: TAMS

Issue: Could ACTION please put a bus stop for Blue Rapid on Athllon Drive between Kambah Wanniassa as there are no bus stops between Torrens & Greenway?

OUTCOME: An officer from TAMS contacted the caller on 24 March 2016 and discussed the distance between stops on the Blue Rapid, particularly around Wanniassa. The officer advised that Public Transport is investigating the feasibility of providing a Park and Ride, with associated stops, for Athllon Drive near Wanniassa as part of future planning. The officer also advised the caller of the existing services from the Wanniassa Shops on Langdon Avenue that provides a 15 minute frequency to Woden with connections to the Blue Rapid to the City. They also discussed the bus services available from Fincham Circuit Wanniassa to Woden.

Directorate: EPD

Issue: Will the ACT Government provide an estimate to the Canberra community on the full cost of a city wide light rail network and out of respect for residents living In Tuggeranong, Woden and Belconnen when each section will be built.

OUTCOME: The draft Light Rail Network has been developed consistent with the National Guidelines for Transport System management and Infrastructure Australia’s investment framework which establishes the work to be completed through its development stages. The draft Light Rail Network is at Stage 1B of its development which requires consideration of transport objectives and targets. Cost estimates are required when the work progresses to Stages 3 and 4 (options generation and assessment and business cases). The delivery of future stages of light rail are subject to government decision making.

Directorate: CMA

Issue: Re setting up the light rail on Northbourne. For the getting it done time, could you please tell me what plans have been made for the people travelling along those roads & living there in the management of the following: To get the required 168,000 tons of concrete & steel in to lay the base & tracks will require; One 30 ton truck every 35mins, eight hours a day for TWO YEARS. Those numbers are from Metro & do not include the Trucks needed to take the old stuff away. I think this will require very careful management & I would appreciate some detailed information.

OUTCOME: An officer from the Capital Metro Agency (CMA) contacted the caller and provided clarity on various topics including:

  • the approximate volumes of concrete and steel in the light rail track;
  • increased number of trucks using the road network during construction (haul route strategy explained);
  • total cost of the project which, includes all utility and asset modifications;
  • concerns about intersection operations during construction and beyond (traffic light priority explained); and concerns that trams are an outdated form of public transport.

Directorate: TAMS

Issue: All bins anywhere near the Weston skate park have been removed. There is now ongoing build up of rubbish & glass, right next to kids playground, including rubbish being shoved into water fountain. Why have all the bins been removed from the skate park AND the BBQ area at Hilder St children's park.

OUTCOME: An officer from TAMS contacted the caller and advised that the bins were removed from the area due to repeated vandalism. TAMS officers attend the site on a daily basis to remove litter. TAMS will be installing fire proof bins in the area in April. The officer said that TAMS staff will further investigate the site and remove any broken glass. The officer further confirmed that the bubbler is broken and is being used to collect rubbish. TAMS will repair the bubbler.

Directorate: TAMS

Issue: Would It be possible to change speed from 80 to 60 on Baldwin drive in lower Giralang. A lot of people live here & it’s positively scary

OUTCOME: An officer from TAMS contacted the caller on 22 March 2016 and explained that Baldwin Drive is an arterial road and the current speed limits have been assessed against Australian Standards and deemed suitable. Roads ACT will inspect the line of sight at the intersection of Baldwin Drive and Gum Street to ensure sufficient sight distance is provided for vehicles coming out of Gum St.

Directorate: TAMS

Issue: Good morning there are a number of temporary signs along Hindmarsh Drive heading north between Dalrymple St and Jerrabomberra Ave. Are they legal?

Response: The Chief Minister said there are guidelines around temporary signage, its location and how long before and after an event it can be in place. There is a mixture of views on its appearance. Some people like to be informed, as it is certainly a way for a number of very worthwhile causes to be promoted or for Canberrans to be made aware of events that are occurring in the city. The Chief Minister said you can find a balance, as you wouldn’t want to live in a city or society where no one can promote anything because a small number of people find it unsightly. Equally, we don’t need to have excessive neon signs. When you look at Canberra compared to any other Australian city we have less signage, but the Chief Minister thought we strike the right balance.

OUTCOME: An officer from TAMS Licensing and Compliance area contacted the caller. The caller identified several signs advertising events around the Canberra district at that time. The caller noted that the signs have now been removed as the events are over. Advice was provided to the caller about the ‘Movable Signs Code of Practice’ which provides guidance for community group, schools and charities to display signs to advertise temporary events. The caller acknowledged community groups need to promote local activities. 

Directorate: TAMS

Issue: Hi would the chief minister please consider extending the Ashley drive duplication the extra 500m to Johnson drive surely it would be better to do it now than later

OUTCOME: An officer from TAMS contacted the caller on 22 March 2016 and explained that the separation of the last section of Ashley Drive(Stage 3 - from Ellerston Avenue to Johnson Drive), was based upon the fact that this section of Ashley Drive is not currently at capacity and has a lower accident record than other sections. Therefore, a decision had to be made based upon the cost savings of delivering a scheme (that wasn’t required yet) against spending the funding elsewhere on higher priority projects. 

Directorate: Health

Issue: He should have the home birth info. It was all going ahead. Someone got into someone's ear and then it was stopped

Response: The Chief Minister advised that the Minister for Health will be able to provide further information noting that there are a million possible issues that could be raised that are not in front of him and he didn’t want to provide inaccurate information. 

OUTCOME: A service framework and discussion paper on the introduction of a publicly funded home birth service has been prepared for formal consideration by Government in May 2016.

Directorate: ACT Policing

Issue: As the AFP contract local policing to ACT government, are unions entitled to read the home addresses of all AFP officers or only those who police in the ACT?

OUTCOME: The Community Police Liaison Officer contacted the caller and explained that the Purchase Agreement and Policing Arrangement is an agreement between the AFP, ACT Policing and the ACT Government and that personal details of police officers are not provided as part of that agreement.

Directorate: Economic Development

Issue: Baby boomers plus are constantly being told to downsize but it is almost impossible to find quality single level townhouses in small complexes in nice areas - Tuggeranong area anyway. Is this likely to be addressed?

OUTCOME: An officer from Economic Development contacted the caller and undertook to provide additional information.