Chief Minister Talkback Summary - 6 February 2015

Calls recieved on air

Directorate:  EPD

Issue: Has anyone considered possibility of building wetlands at Kaleen/Giralang?

Response: The Chief Minister advised that he would raise this with the Environment Minister, Mr Simon Corbell.

OUTCOME: The caller was advised there are no current ACT government plans for new wetlands in Kaleen/Giralang, but the ACT and Commonwealth Governments   through the Basin Priority Project are considering water quality options across 6 priority sub-catchments (which do not include Kaleen/Giralang).  The nearest of the priority sub-catchments is   Riverview-West Belconnen.  The project will also be coordinating with ACT investments which will provide an ACT co-contribution to funding for the overall project.  The officer outlined the successful outcomes of the Sullivans Creek/Inner North Reticulation Network constructed wetlands in providing increased amenity, water quality improvements and reduction in   demand for potable water, as an example of ACT government activities in this regard.  This matter has been brought to the Environment Minister’s attention.

Directorate: TAMS (Roads ACT)

Issue: Carparking around Monash Primary School. New no-stopping signs making this very dangerous area at school pick up and drop off times

Response: The Chief Minister advised this issue was raised previously on talkback and the issue the new signs were designed to resolve was parking across resident driveways. The Chief Minister said he would get Roads ACT to look at this again and see how the new signs were working in practice, noting that it may not be possible to find a solution that pleases everyone.

OUTCOME: An officer from TAMS contacted the caller and advised that changes to parking around Monash Primary were implemented in consultation with the school principal and directly affected residents.  The officer explained that further work is required to educate parents in the use  of the pickup and drop off area on Corlette Crescent, to get it working more effectively.  Additional parking areas may also be identified with information provided to parents about their location and approximate distance. Roads ACT are continuing to work with the school and the education and training directorate to improve safety.

Directorate: CMTEDD (Asbestos   Response Taskforce)

Issue: Concern about hazards of Mr Fluffy houses being demolished  next door and worried about effect on property value

Response: The Chief Minister advised it was open to the caller to  sell his home if he wished. The Chief Minister advised a pilot project was  being undertaken to ensure complete safety throughout demolition process. The Chief Minister advised if the caller wanted more detailed information on property in his street he could contact the Asbestos Taskforce.

OUTCOME: The Asbestos Response Taskforce will be working to inform and educate homeowners who are neighbours as well as broader community as the next phase of the response, being demolition, takes place. This will include through direct contact, forums, media, social media etc.  The important thing to remember is that these houses can be demolished   safely.  At this time, a schedule of demolition works is not available, but will be communicated when determined.

Directorate: TAMS

Issue: Smell over Fadden from Mugga Lane tip since December 2014

Response: The Chief Minister advised the work would be completed shortly and the smell was expected to resolve within a matter of days.

OUTCOME: ACT NOWaste contacted the caller and discussed with her the works undertaken at Mugga. The caller explained she would have liked to have been consulted/ informed of the works prior to commencing, and that they should have been programmed for winter. ACT NOWaste explained that the works were both urgent and essential to the site’s operations.

Directorate: LPP

Issue: Requested that the Government introduce legislation to require landlords to install deadlocks on doors and windows in rental properties to ensure renters could take out insurance. The Caller’s adult children had been unable to take out insurance due to lack of locks in rental property and had been robbed.

Response:  The Chief Minister advised he is reluctant to increase government regulation, especially as this would be difficult to enforce. The Chief Minister also questioned whether all insurance agencies had this requirement. The Chief Minister said he would see whether this could be raised with the tenants union and the Real Estate Institute of Australia to see if a solution could be agreed.

OUTCOME: A JACS Officer contacted the caller. The caller clarified that while her adult children were able to take out insurance and this insurance was honoured in the event of a break-in, there is a concern that many properties in the ACT do not have deadlocks on the door or locks on the window.  The caller also raised the issue of mandatory insulation in rental properties.

The JACS Officer informed the caller that both these issues are being considered as part of the Review of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997. It is not proposed that the Real Estate Institute of Australia or the Tenant’s Union be contacted specifically regarding this issue as this would pre-empt   the outcome of the Review.

Directorate: TAMS/Access   Canberra

Issue: Parking at Lyneham shops – people using this for long stay parking and commuting to the city as parking signs are not enforced.

Response:  The Chief Minister   noted the new Minister for Roads and Parking and that this was fully on the   government agenda. The Chief Minister agreed to look at mix of parking at Lyneham and to bring to attention of Access Canberra and parking inspectors.

OUTCOME: An officer from TAMS contacted the caller and advised that there is currently a consultation of the traders at the shops proposing   changes to times and providing additional timed parking.  Changes will be implemented pending the   outcome of the consultation.  The officer also advised the caller that to be effective the parking areas and   signage must be enforced.  A request   will be sent to Parking Operations for enforcement.

Directorate: TAMS

Issue: Request for a dedicated cycle lane through Ainslie, Reid and Braddon, and towards war memorial, either on or off road

Response:  The Chief Minister advised the difficulty of constructing an offroad cycle lane similar to Dickson in terms of land availability but there may be more scope for shared path or on-road. The Chief Minister agreed to look into feasibility.

OUTCOME: A feasibility study has recently been completed by TAMS in response to the issue of a lack of active travel facilities in the suburbs of Ainslie, Hackett, Watson and Downer. This study identifies a number of improvements to the network which are being considered for delivery in future capital works programs.

Directorate: TAMS

Issue: Queanbeyan Ellerton Drive Extension and flow-on effect of needing to upgrade/duplicate roads around the airport to handle increased traffic

Response:  The Chief Minister noted the need for ACT/NSW/Commonwealth collaboration in this area. The Chief Minister noted there were no immediate plans to upgrade/duplicate these roads but he would be happy to consider it further.

OUTCOME: The Chief Minister noted the caller’s concerns.

Directorate: TAMS

Issue: Million paws walk and problem of cyclists riding across bridges through the middle of the event

Response: The Chief Minister advised that better signage could be provided for events and the government could work with event organisers

OUTCOME: An officer from TAMS contacted the caller to explain that the Commonwealth Avenue bridge is the responsibility of the National Capital Authority (NCA).  Roads ACT will work with the NCA to provide additional signage that maybe used for this event and similar events to  encourage cyclists to use the alternative footpath or walk across the bridge when events are in progress.

Directorate: TAMS

Issue: Unsafe roads/driving around Trinity Christian School in Tuggeranong at school drop off and pick up times

Response:  The Chief Minister acknowledged the issue for many schools and noted the importance of active travel modes of walking and cycling to address these issues.

OUTCOME: An officer  from TAMS contacted the caller and advised that Roads ACT is currently working with the School to develop options to improve traffic flow past the   school on McBryde Crescent.   The   officer and caller discussed issues with parents’ behaviour parking illegally  and putting other road users at risk, these issues have been raised by the   school.  Options for improvement will  be progressed subject to consultation with stakeholders.

Directorate: TAMS

Issue: Big sign announcing ‘Crace supermarket opening soon’ has now  become billboard advertising and should be removed

Response:  The Chief Minister advised the government would follow up with the developer and have the sign  removed.

OUTCOME: An officer from TAMS contacted the caller and advised the  matter is being investigated by the City Rangers.

Directorate: TAMS

Issue: Nasty weeds (cat’s head, khaki weeds) becoming common around Canberra

OUTCOME: An officer from TAMS contacted the caller. The issue was two new weed species appearing in Canberra. The officer informed the caller that  TAMS are aware of these new species and are monitoring the spread and that  our weed specialist is programming a removal strategy. The next step is to  consider declaring these plants weeds in the ACT and adding them to the weed  removal program annually, dependant on funding.


Directorate:   TAMS

Issue:  Kambah village shops such a mess

OUTCOME: An officer  from TAMS spoke to the caller on 17 February 2015. The caller says the shops feel dirty and unsafe. The eucalypts are large, create a lot of leaf litter and leave sap marks everywhere. There is also damaged paving. TAMS advised they will attend the site and ensure our cleaning obligations are being undertaken. This may involve steam cleaning the area. A job has been logged with the tree unit to inspect the safety of the trees in the area and also with roads to repair the damaged paving.

Directorate:   TAMS

Issue:  Any chance of activating Floriade bus stops to give public transport access to pop up container village on lakeshore?

OUTCOME: An officer from TAMS contacted the caller and advised that Public Transport is currently investigating the Regatta Point stops for full time use in conjunction with the traffic lights on Commonwealth Avenue.

Directorate:   TAMS

Issue:  We try to cycle but all the cars parking   and driving across grass and footpaths makes cycling very dangerous

OUTCOME: An officer  from TAMS contacted the caller to discuss issues in relation to people parking illegally and putting pedestrians and cyclists at risk at school pick  up time.  The officer advised the caller that Parking Operations would be asked to visit the school.  Information would also be provided to the   school to circulate to parents regarding the behaviour.  The caller also raised the issue about the pedestrian crossing on Brigalow Street about persons not stopping.  ACT Policing will be requested to respond.

Directorate:   EPD

Issue: Why does Government now require a building certifier as well as an approved asbestos  removalist for every minor renovation? Nanny state.

OUTCOME: An officer from EPD spoke to the constituent in response to his question about the need to engage multiple professionals for minor renovations.  The constituent stated that he made the call to Chief Minister’s talkback after the Chief   Minister had made the statement that he doesn’t like regulation. The caller expressed his dismay at the need to have to engage three separate individuals to undertake the removal of 16m2 of asbestos from his bathroom (Building Certifier, Asbestos Assessor and Asbestos Removalist).

The officer acknowledged the caller’s concerns, but explained that the safe removal of  asbestos currently required the engagement of those individuals under the Territory’s building laws.  The officer explained to the constituent that there had been recent changes to the requirements relating to asbestos and that further reforms in this area would be likely.  The officer advised that the government had been undertaking a review of the building laws in the ACT and that a discussion paper would soon be released for public   comment.  The officer suggested to the constituent that he may wish to   engage in the process.  The officer advised that constituent that the discussion paper would be published on the ACTGovernment planning website  and that public submissions would be welcome.  In addition, the officer advised the constituent that from a policy perspective the review would look at making better regulation rather than focussing on more/less regulation.

Directorate:   TAMS

Issue:  Both bridges have two sides. A few signs to   redirect traffic wouldn’t require too much imagination? (re million paws   walk)

OUTCOME: An officer from TAMS provided the following information to the caller via voicemail: Commonwealth  Avenue bridge is the responsibility of the National Capital Authority (NCA).  Roads ACT will work with the  NCA to provide additional signage that maybe used for this event and similar events to encourage cyclists to use the alternative footpath or walk across  the bridge when events are in progress.

Directorate:   TAMS

Issue:  Kambah Village shops are very run down. Tiles on the ground broken, a big seat near the carpark too dirty to sit on   and lots of leaf litter. Needs a cleanup

OUTCOME: An officer from TAMS contacted the caller to discuss the general cleanliness of the Kambah Village Shops area. A seat needs cleaning and the leaf litter in the area is starting to build up. The caller was informed that a job has been logged for TAMS to attend the site and rectify problems.

Directorate:   CMA/Treasury?

Issue:  Will the Chief Minister assure the  community, especially those in the South who will receive no benefit from the  tramway, that there will be no rate increase associated with the project now  or into the future.

OUTCOME: The Chief  Minister’s Office advised that rates rise every year to fund the wide range  of services Canberra needs, including schools, hospitals and roads. Capital Metro will create jobs and economic activity – which will create benefits  right across Canberra. 

Directorate:   CMTEDD

Issue:  John Faine does the same thing with the  Victorian Premier in Melbourne, although not as regularly as Canberra does  (ie Talkback).

OUTCOME: The Chief Minister noted the caller’s message.

Directorate:   Asbestos Response Taskforce

Issue:  If I sell my house which is surrounded by Mr Fluffy houses will the strata titling being allowed for the Mr Fluffy   blocks be able to be done on my adjacent non-Mr Fluffy block? If not then the value is greatly diminished but that would still leave me surrounded by 6 or 8 houses, with me on a single block. Just after the same dual occupancy rules as Mr Fluffy.

OUTCOME: Any  variations to zoning would be applicable to only those blocks which are surrendered to the Government as part of the ACT Government’s “Mr Fluffy”  Buyback Program.

Directorate:   TAMS

Issue:  I’m a parent at Monash primary school and I understand the need for no stopping signs along one side of the street and   think it makes it all far less congested. However there are not enough car parking spots

OUTCOME: An officer of TAMS contacted the caller and advised that Roads ACT had met with the Principal and that they were working to get the pickup and set down area operating more effectively and also put some information together for parents   to identify alternative locations to park. 

Directorate:   CMTEDD

Issue:  Among all the complaints, I want to thank  Mr Barr for continuing with Chief Minister Talkback. Nowhere else in Australia do people get such  access to their head of state

OUTCOME: The Chief Minister noted the caller’s message.

Directorate:   EDD

Issue:  Build another huge ugly sports stadium at Bruce

OUTCOME: The Chief Minister noted the caller’s message.

Directorate:   EPD

Issue:  I’ve heard there are noise complaints around vibrant areas in New Acton and Braddon. These areas are bringing fantastic life and colour to the inner north and encouraging new Canberrans to stay here. How can we keep areas vibrant like this?

OUTCOME: An Environment Protection Officer, contacted the caller concerning their comments. The caller advised their comment was provided as a text message acknowledging the good work done to revitalise areas of inner Canberra and the person was concerned noise complaints would reverse the trend.

The officer clarified   the noise zone standards and hierarchy for residential and city centres that apply and advised the Environment Protection Authority had prepared Fact Sheets on Sound in the City which was aimed at educating persons moving into City and Town Centres.