Chief Minister Talkback Summary - 25 August 2017

Calls received on air

Directorate: Health

Issue: I rang up in May because I was due a six-monthly appointment and they said then that they were still trying to get in patients who were meant to be seen in January. I rang them back a couple of days ago to see how they were progressing and they were still trying to get in those patients.

Outcome: The service sees a high volume of patients which unfortunately means that not everyone can be seen in the recommended timeframe. We use a waitlist to ensure that everyone is seen in order of turn for follow up appointments.

Directorate: ESA

Issue: My question is about the South Tuggeranong Fire and Rescue station. I've been past a number of times on different occasion and it appears to be empty. Is that still being used?

Outcome: Yes. The South Tuggeranong Fire and Rescue Station was opened in March 2015 and is still in use.

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: I've used, fixing my street couple of time, and the first occasion I've had people come out and talk to me and look at the problem, which is to do with people parking in Mortimer Lewis Dr on the Verge which is unsealed and creating big holes when we've got weather. People came out to see me and said it was an engineering issues and it needs to be better drainage, and that was before the last budget and said it would be a budget fee issue. I understood that. A few weeks ago, some blokes came out and filled the holes with dirt, which is aptly useless because the same people who park there will come and park there again. When it's wet there will be big holes and we've got nothing for our efforts. What can we do?

Outcome: TCCS will investigate the matter further and keep the caller informed.

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: Minister the same problem with regard to parking on the Verge and the foot path is happening on the corner of Towns Cres and David st. It's a very wide footpath. We've got a situation where damage is done, big holes full of water. I was wondering if perhaps there could be posts put along there to stop them coming on the path.

Outcome: TCCS will contact the housing complex administrator and remind them about their responsibility around verge parking. TCCS will also be in contact with Access Canberra to see if inspectors can monitor the area.

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: Thank you very much for all the work you've done on Horse Park Drive Dr there. It's eased the traffic congestion very significantly. There's a small issue that's arisen though adjacent to the suburb of Throsby. There's a section there where there's a sort of overpass going into the city and while most people are sort of waiting in the queue along Horse Park Drive Dr, there's a number of people who started cutting in through Throsby the suburb to get quite a few cars ahead and making everyone else's waiting in queue, making their wait even longer.

Outcome: TCCS advised this behaviour is problematic from a network management perspective and is known to happen in many inner city suburbs during morning and afternoon peak. The future investment in the duplication of Horse Park Drive will address the current congestion issues on this road. TCCS is managing this behaviour through optimising exiting signal operations and providing sufficient time at all traffic signals to encourage motorists to remain on the arterial road network.

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: I've got a very quick question about the intersection of William Hovell Dr and Coppins Crossing, which is now John Gorton Dr. It looks like we're gonna have two intersections rather than one. In other words, it doesn't look like, at the moment, it doesn't look like John Gorton Dr is going to join up with the Cotter drive set of lights. It's gonna come out where Coppins Crossing used to come down. Is that correct?

Outcome: The caller was contacted and the logic was explained behind having John Gorton Drive link to William Hovel Drive at the same location as Coppins Crossing Road currently connects, rather than directly to Coulter Drive. The caller was advised that John Gorton Drive will (in future) be extended to the north from the new at-grade intersection for a few hundred meters, where it will join back to Coulter Drive. The caller was also advised that several intersection option were modelled during the project investigation phase and the proposed ultimate arrangement was found to perform best. The roadway has also been positioned to allow a grade separated interchange in future should traffic projections ever warrant this, but this is not currently proposed.  The current construction underway is an interim arrangement to install traffic signals at John Gorton Drive (Coppins Crossing Road) and William Hovel Drive, due to anticipated traffic increases from Coombs, Wright, Denman Prospect and Whitlam increasing the risk of traffic accidents at the currently un-signalised intersection. The current construction will be incorporated into the ultimate intersection layout and will not be redundant or abortive work.


Directorate: TCCS

Issue: When travelling west on Pialligo Avenue it is impossible to get a green light at Monaro Hwy underpass and again at the hwy off ramp at Duntroon. Can something be done to sync the lights?

Response: Caller was advised that TCCS is working to improve the traffic signal coordination and work is expected to be in place within the next two weeks.

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: When will Old Wells Station Road behind EPIC be upgraded?

Response: The caller was advised construction will not occur until April 2018, to work with events planned at EPIC, such as the 2018 Canberra Show.

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: Will you be looking at light rail branches through suburbs like to the Canberra Hospital to help cut down on infrastructure costs?

Response: The caller commented that alterative technology would be more suited to Canberra (‘rail-less’ light rail), which would 1) avoid some of the infrastructure costs; 2) enable these vehicles to run to other parts of the city. No further action required as the caller noted he didn’t have a specific question but was rather putting forward his ideas.

Directorate: EPSDD

Issue: It would great if there was a policy to assist Body Corporate in putting solar/wind/batteries. It is very difficult if not installed initially.

Response: An officer from EPSDD rang the caller and learnt of their core interest in cutting their energy costs. The EPSDD officer provided contact details for ACTSmart and ACTSmart workshops to assist in this. The caller was grateful to learn that Energy Australia and ACTEWAGL Retail, under the ACT Energy Efficiency Improvement Scheme, offers LED lighting upgrades for common areas of body corporates at a discount. Contact details for this were provided.  The caller was informed that they should contact Access Canberra to understand the approval process for body corporates.

Directorate: EPSDD

Issue: What is happening to the old gardens in Lawson?

Outcome: An officer from the Suburban Land Agency contacted the caller to discuss her concerns about the fate of the Officer’s Gardens in the former Belconnen Naval Transmitting Station at Lawson.  The caller was advised that the land is now owned by Defence Housing Australia and was provided with the contact details of the Senior Development Manager, Defence Housing Australia who would be able to provide more information.

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: The footpath upgrade program in Kaleen is finished, but the section of footpath from Colo Place to St Michael’s Primary school has been overlooked. There are some sections that are dangerous – can you please look into this.

Outcome: TCCS contacted the caller and assisted him to lodge his request through Access Canberra Fix My Street.  The caller was happy that he was contacted and the maintenance request will be followed up.

Directorate: EPSDD

Issue: Can I please get some clarification on second houses on Mr Fluffy blocks being single storey. I have a DA to comment on that has two houses that are two storey.

Outcome: An officer from the DA Gateway Team contacted the caller to discuss the rules associated with Mr Fluffy Blocks. The officer discussed maximum building heights and clarified where one or two storeys are permitted. The officer advised that matters such as privacy and overshadowing on adjoining blocks are considered during the assessment of a development application. The officer advised that the DA Gateway team can be contacted on 6205 2888 for any enquiries on planning and development assessment matters.


Issue: Is there any movement on getting rid of the crown leasing on private housing?

Outcome: There are no plans to change the current system of leasehold in the ACT or to get rid of crown leasing on private housing.


Issue: What more can be done about speed and traffic volumes on the stretch of Belconnen Way between Weetangera and Hawker?

Outcome: The caller was concerned about the existing intersection of Springvale Drive.  TCCS advised that the Traffic Camera Office has three camera van locations at this section of road and the data from the camera operations can be viewed at the Open Data Portal dataACT.