Chief Minister Talkback Summary - 4 September 2015


Calls received on air


Directorate: Economic Development

Issue: The Lyneham Master Plan is out of date. Will you commit to a new Master Plan with proper community consultation and block the future development proposal for Brindabella Christian College, and any other private development until the Master Plan is finalised?

Response: The Chief Minister explained there is a consultation process taking place in relation to the current Development Application, which has a way to run. There are very strong views on both sides, which will be aired and a decision reached.

OUTCOME: On 15 September 2015, the Minister for Sport and Recreation, Shane Rattenbury, announced that the ACT Government will not endorse the revised proposal by the Brindabella Christian College (BCC) to build a Sports Pavilion and associated facilities on Lyneham Neighbourhood Oval. Following the community raising concerns about the proposal, the ACT Government undertook a survey to gauge the level of community support for the BCC proposal. The survey closed on 11 September 2015 with 62 per cent of overall respondents not supporting the revised proposal. There is no current proposal to develop a new Lyneham Master Plan.


Directorate: Economic Development

Issue: The sublease that Brindabella Christian College currently has was given in 2009 for 99 years, and then they have asked for another lease. They are paying peppercorn rent. Why have they not been asked to build on the land they already have the lease for?

Response: The Chief Minister said it was anyone’s right to ask for a lease, but it would not necessarily be granted. The Chief Minister explained there are concessional arrangements in place for education facilities, so they do not have to pay full commercial rates, and zoning under the Territory Plan to use for educational purposes. The Chief Minister explained a consultation process was now underway.

OUTCOME: On 15 September 2015, the Minister for Sport and Recreation, Shane Rattenbury, announced that the ACT Government will not endorse the revised proposal by the Brindabella Christian College (BCC) to build a sports pavilion and associated facilities on Lyneham Neighbourhood Oval.

Following the community raising concerns about the proposal, the ACT Government undertook a survey to gauge the level of community support for the BCC proposal. The survey closed on 11 September 2015 with 62 per cent of overall respondents not supporting the revised proposal.


Directorate: TAMS

Issue: Rang two weeks ago and rangers came and fixed the rubble left from installing a bus stop. Thank you. The caller would now like advice on permission to remove a large dying tree (Ironbark) in the back garden. TAMS came to inspect but could not get in to the back yard as the gate was locked and the owner out. A tree surgeon has said the tree is dying.

Response: The Chief Minister said someone would contact the caller to discuss.

OUTCOME: TAMS examined the tree in question earlier in the year following a request for removal. At the time the tree was suffering from a seasonal infestation of lerp which by now should have begun to retreat and signs of new growth will be appearing. At the time the tree was sound. The caller has been provided with information about how to make a fresh application for removal.


Directorate: EPD – Parking Coordination

Issue: The parking spots behind civic pool are marked as 2-hour zones, even at night. Where will patrons from the Canberra Theatre be able to park? It has been impossible to go to the theatre or to restaurants since they dug up the car park for the Constitution Avenue upgrades.

Response: The Chief Minister said the Government had decided to extend pay parking hours in a number of civic car parks in the vicinity of the Canberra Theatre precinct. The Constitution Avenue roadworks are progressing and although not fully complete, much progress has been made and more parking will become available once that disruption is over. The Government is also considering more structured car parking in the city.


Directorate: TAMS

Issue: A green corridor in Evatt runs from the shops, down past the schools and to an underpass to Copland College. Kids use this to walk and ride to school, as do lots of people exercising and walking their dogs. It is a fantastic space but an increasing number of people have their dogs off leash and this is dangerous for kids walking to school. Could there be a way to share the space, perhaps with a small off leash area incorporated and separated off?

Response: The Chief Minister said someone would have a look at the area and see what could be done.

OUTCOME: A TAMS City ranger contacted the caller. As a result of the call, rangers patrolled the area over the ‘walk to school’ period (8:15 to 9:00am). They observed many children using the thoroughfare but did not observe any dogs off leash. Two people were observed entering the grassland with dogs on leash. The caller was informed that rangers would continue to conduct patrols around the school at different times. The caller advised that ‘walking home time’ (15:00 to 15:45pm) would be a better time to patrol than the morning. The ranger also discussed signage options with the caller.


Directorate: TAMS

Issue: Parking and lighting near Canberra theatre. It is pitch black at night with all the lighting out. Wandering around trying to find the pay station and there is still power to the parking machine.

Response: The Chief Minister explained it was a cable fault and TAMS was working on getting this fixed as soon as possible.

OUTCOME: An officer from TAMS contacted the caller and explained that there was an underground cable fault which affected the street lights in the car park. The cable fault was repaired on 5 September 2015 and the caller confirmed that he used the car park that evening and the lights were working.


Directorate: Economic Development

Issue: The caller heard the ACT Visitors’ Centre was scheduled to move to Regatta Point. The current position is very convenient for people arriving by the Hume or Federal highways and has adequate parking for caravans and Winnebagos. Any move could lead to a downturn in visitor numbers.

Response: The Chief Minister explained that the current site suited those arriving by the highway but was totally out of the way for any other visitors, especially international visitors. The Regatta Point site has a spectacular outlook that showcases some of Canberra’s major world class tourist attractions and has extensive car parking, including space for tourist coaches and other vehicles. The Chief Minister also explained that increasingly visitors were accessing information online.


Directorate: JACS

Issue: Why don’t kids have to wear seatbelts in school buses, even though they have to wear them in private cars? The caller’s grandchildren would not sit still and had a 40 minute bus journey.

Response: The Chief Minister explained that the current legislation doesn’t require seatbelts on local commuter bus services, as the legislation had to balance a number of concerns.


Directorate: TAMS

Issue: Poor drainage on Mortimer Lewis Drive Greenway – parts of the area between the footpath and the road near the Scout Hall have such bad drainage that several metres of water end up on the road after rain.

Response: The Chief Minister said someone would look at it.

OUTCOME: An officer from TAMS contacted the caller and advised TAMS will investigate the drainage in the area. Investigations will be ongoing as they need to consider the effect of rainfall on the area and subsequent issues.


Directorate: TAMS

Issue: The caller asked about a lack of lighting in Calwell, near the High School and aged care facility – lights were out at night. Also no lights along Johnson to Ashley Drive along near Calwell shops. No lights and lots of kangaroos there.

Response: The Chief Minister said he suspected there were no lights there as houses were only on one side of the road. TAMS know about this and it will be fixed quickly for you.

OUTCOME: An officer from TAMS contacted the caller and explained that there was an underground cable fault that caused the outage on the lights and the cable fault was located under a new driveway at a new Aged Persons Units on Were Street. The officer advised that the fault had now been repaired.


SMS/TEXT

Directorate: CMA

Issue: Why is the CM so insistent on signing contracts and starting work on light rail and reticent to discuss other newer more flexible options. Why not leave this contract signing until after the election which will determine if there is or is not a mandate for his public transport solution.

Response: The Chief Minister stated this was a major issue at the last election and there was no need to take the issue to a further election. The final bids from the two shortlisted consortia are expected today and the Government was getting on with the project.


Directorate: ETD

Issue: Why have principals been explicitly advised by Directorate not to send any correspondence to parents about Preschool days next year. Parents need to book childcare this month and still don't know what days their kids will be in school next year. Hopeless situation this late in the year.

Response: The Chief Minister said the National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access for Early Childhood Education expires at the end of this year. The negotiations for new 2016-17 funding are in final stages, but the government is not yet in a position to confirm hours for 2016, and he understands that is difficult for parents making their arrangements.

OUTCOME: The National Partnership for Universal Access to Early Childhood Education (NP UAECE) supports 15 hours of free preschool in the year before full time school for children enrolled in Canberra public preschools. The current NP UAECE expires in December 2015. On Thursday 17 September 2015, the Minster for Education announced that in lieu of a signed national partnership agreement on universal access to early childhood education for 2016, the ACT would continue to offer 15 hours of free public preschool education in 2016. The ACT Government commitment delivered certainty for families enabling them to finalise child care and schooling arrangements. All schools have contacted families to provide further information on days and session times for preschool in 2016, thereby allowing families to commit to work and care arrangements for next year.

The NP UAECE 2016 and 2017 was received by the Chief Minister for consideration on 12 November 2015. The NPA UAECE 2016 and 2017 will commence on 1 January 2016 or as soon as the Australian Government and one other party (jurisdiction) sign the agreement and expire on 30 June 2018. Funding under the agreement covers service delivery from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2017.


Directorate: Economic Development

Issue: What is happening with the Gungahlin Cinema complex? Nothing has moved forward in regards to building this.

Response: The Chief Minister explained this was a commercial negotiation, with an expression of interest process and that he anticipated it would reach a conclusion soon and that the commercial operator would want to make a public announcement.


Directorate: NCA

Issue: Meter parking has seriously affected numbers enjoying our national library, questacon, art galleries. Would they consider 2hr free parks around lake to encourage Canberrans and tourists to frequent these spots for longer hence bring more money to the institutions?

Response: The Chief Minister explained this was an issue for the National Capital Authority, not the ACT Government. However, he pointed out that at least it is possible to get a park now and access the cultural institutions since pay parking was introduced.


Directorate: Access Canberra – Parking Operations

Issue: Went to dinner at 6.30 pm before theatre wed evening Put $5 in meter - it read 8.35 so came back after dinner to top it up to 10.30 then found in small, small print AM

Response: The Chief Minister explained that some tickets could be bought to take your parking through to the next morning, as this had been asked for by people who wanted to leave their cars overnight.


Directorate: Economic Development

Issue: I see in Brindabella Christian College's leaflet that the government knew several years ago of their wish to get control over Lyneham's urban open space. The local community didn't get to find out about the proposal until late last year. Why were we not informed earlier?

OUTCOME: The caller was contacted and advised that the ACT Government has now announced that it will not endorse a revised proposal from the Brindabella Christian College (BCC) to build a sports pavilion and associated facilities on Lyneham Neighbourhood Oval. The caller advised that they were happy with the ACT Government decision and had no further questions.


Directorate: TAMS

Issue: Why not Park & Ride like UK and Europe

Response: The Chief Minister explained that there are Park and Ride facilities in Canberra, including a number of options not that far from the city, with rapid and frequent transport connections.


Directorate: TAMS

Issue: I am concerned at the lack of public areas in North Bruce where children can kick a footy safely. Currently the closest is Aranda oval but kids have to pass over 3 main roads to access it.

OUTCOME: An officer from TAMS contacted the caller on 17 September 2015 and discussed the issue. The caller was provided information on local areas of public open space.


Directorate: Economic Development

Issue: How about several visitor information booths across the city as well as the Regatta Point venue?

Response: The Chief Minister said there were a couple of information booths across the city. In the past had pop-up ones in Garema Place or Petrie Plaza, or in the Canberra Centre. The government will keep looking at other pop up opportunities.


Directorate: ETD

Issue: Follow-up on preschool issue, why couldn't schools send a letter to parents, confirming the 2 days funding is known for and letting them know an extra day may be added if funding changes. Parents are totally in the dark & don't even know there is a funding issue. Communication is key, try it!!!

Response: The Chief Minister said that information would be getting out to parents as soon as possible and that the problem was the Commonwealth government had made budget cuts of $80 million to Health and Education that will affect services.


Directorate: CMTEDD - IGR

Issue: The Chinese/ Aus FTA states specifically, that in the grant of Temporary Entry, Australia shall NOT, require labour market testing, economic needs testing or other procedures of similar effect as a condition of temporary entry. The question is why is he supporting the FTA without better safeguards for Aus workers.

Response: The Chief Minister explained it would be beneficial for the economy and that there are some protections for Australia. The Chief Minister stated that the current Commonwealth Government was trying to create a political wedge, and that the Chief Minister was calling on both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the opposition to sort it out. Of course these are legitimate issues to raise, but they can and should be resolved to finalise the agreement as it is in the national interest.


Directorate: CMTEDD - Communications

Issue: The Chief Minister has been out in Woden & Phillip this week. What were the positives & negatives &what are the needs to be addressed.

Response: The Chief Minister said there was a strong desire in the Woden community to pull together and respond to the Commonwealth Government pulling so many jobs out of the Town Centre and the government and community were looking at ways to stimulate small business activity. They were also looking at upgrades of public space, including the bus interchange renewal. There were also some parking concerns, some new privately provided parking would be coming on line and in the Philips Service Area they might look at the issue of time limited parking vs all day parking. A business development strategy would include new marketing and promotion opportunities, based on the model in place in the CBD. They did a tour of Canberra Hospital and the major rebuild program including the outpatient building, and a tour of Hughes Primary school for Indigenous Literacy Day and the Great Book Swap Challenge. As part of the two days in Woden ACT Government Ministers also hosted a business forum with local business owners, a community services roundtable with organisations and individuals who provide a community service in the Woden area, and residents were also able to book in for a 15 minute one-on-one meeting with a Minister. Pop-up Cabinet provided people living or working in the Woden area to have their say on the issues that are important to them. This is the first of many Pop-up Cabinets taking place in town centres across Canberra, with the next Pop-up Cabinet scheduled to take place in Belconnen later this year.


Directorate: Economic Development

Issue: When will we get NBN in Lanyon valley?

OUTCOME: In October 2015 nbnTM published its three year construction plan which indicates that by 2018 136,000 ACT premises will be covered by nbn or their coverage will be in the process of construction. The ACT Government has contacted nbnTM for advice regarding future rollout in specific regions across Canberra however at present no further clarification regarding NBN deployment across Canberra is available other than that provided on nbnTM’s website.

http://www.nbnco.com.au/corporate-information/media-centre/media-releases/7-5-million-homes-and-businesses-scheduled-to-start-construction-in-next-three-years.html