Chief Minister's Talkback Summary - 24 March 2017

Calls received on air

Directorate: Community Services

Issue: Proposed Public Housing in Holder. The caller is concerned that residents have not heard about the proposed development prior to the information session.

Response: The Chief Minister outlined that there had been discussion around this over the last four years. There will be many opportunities and avenues to receive further detailed information. The information session coming up will not be the only opportunity.

Directorate: EPSDD

Issue: Heritage Listening. Why are there so many delays in relation to ACT and National Heritage listings?

Response: The Heritage listings are made independently by the Heritage Council, who has reduced the list by quite a lot over the years. The issue of National Heritage listings is a Federal Government issue and not something the ACT can control.

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: Enforcement of speed zones. The caller congratulated the Government on introducing 40km zones in local town centres. He asked that the speed limits be enforced.  He also asked that the Government look at the school zone speed signage when you turn from Yamba Drive into Launceston Street, as the sign can be quite hard to see.

Response: The Chief Minister said he would bring it to the attention of the mobile camera team and review the signs.The speed limit signage including the school zone signage has been inspected on Launceston Street and was found to be visible and consistent with the requirements of relevant standards.  The signage is on both sides of the road to ensure it is able to be seen by both lanes of traffic.

Directorate: CMTEDD

Issue: Electrification of Rail service - Bowral to Sydney. The caller asked that the ACT Government look at electrifying the Rail service between Bowral and Sydney.

Response: The Chief Minister said that a lot of work was being done to try and improve the rail service. However, this area was situated in NSW and was a NSW Government issue. He said he has bought it up with the NSW Premier.

Directorate: CSD

Issue: Public housing and purchasing a house. The caller claimed that he was unable to receive a bank load because the suburb he was hoping to purchase in had public housing. He then had to buy in another suburb.

Response: The Chief Minister said that this seemed unreasonable as all suburbs in the ACT have public housing.

Directorate: TCCS - ACTION

Issue: Children travelling to school on special need services. It is taking some children over an hour to travel to schools in Belconnen, even though they are only a 5 minute drive away.

Response: The Chief Minister said he would ask TCCS to look at the route to try and determine optimum route planning and get someone to call to find out the details.

TCCS contacted the constituent who was speaking on behalf of a parent whose child travels on the Special Need Transport (SNT). The constituent was advised that Transport Canberra has been in extensive consultation with the parent regarding the situation and that the National Disability Services (NDS) has advised that the travel needs are adequately provided for by the SNT bus.

Transport Canberra has made a number of changes to the route to meet the child’s requirements and have changed the bus from a side loader to a rear loader to speed up loading and unloading. The SNT route 214 currently transports students to Evatt Primary, Cranleigh and Kingsford Smith School. It services a catchment of suburbs including Aranda, Evatt, Florey, Hawker, Macquarie, McKellar, Weetangera, Scullin and Giralang.

Directorate: Education

Issue: Safe School Implementation. The caller asked if schools were required to run the Safe School Program and whether parents could choose to remove their children from the program.

Response: The Chief Minister confirmed that school could opt into the program. The Chief Minister explained that the Safe School Program is not a specific class or information session. The intention it to provide children with a sense of belonging and acceptance and reinforces antibullying messages.


Directorate: TCCS

Issue: The roundabout congestion issue is handled very smartly by the part time lights at the Drakeford-Isabella intersection. Will this be considered in any review of the new arrangements on the Barton-Gundaroo intersection?

OUTCOME: TCCS spoke with the caller and explained the rationale for full time signals at that site, noting part time signals were considered early in the design stage but were discounted for both traffic flow reasons (multiple dominant approaches) and safety reasons (due to poor crash history at roundabouts with 3 lane approaches and no signal control).

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: Can the government think about a cross border agreement to upgrade the Canberra to Tumut road? This would be a more direct route to Melbourne and would open up that area of NSW for investment and access for exporters via Canberra airport as well as taking pressure off the Barton Highway.

OUTCOME:  TCCS Indicated that the scale and cost of upgrade precluded it from active current consideration.

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: Can there be a better solution for cars speeding on Belconnen way between Weetangera and Hawker? Also where Belconnen Way intersects Coulter Drive is a disaster.

OUTCOME: The caller’s main concern is the intersection at Springvale Drive. The officer advised the caller of the planned improvements (signals) to the intersection on Springvale Drive and Belconnen Way. The signalisation of this intersection has been recently designed and is currently awaiting Capital Works funding.

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: Will old Lyneham shops get an upgrade next year?

OUTCOME: The old Lyneham shops have been assessed as safe and in accessible condition with good amenities and an upgrade is not currently being considered.  

Directorate: CSD - Housing

Issue: Why has old Narrabundah got so much public housing? It is supposed to be shared.

OUTCOME: The caller was advised that Housing ACT does sell public housing properties in suburbs including Narrabundah – when a property becomes vacant we assess whether the property should be retained for use or sold. The level of public housing in some suburbs is higher than others and this is often due to public housing being constructed in those areas historically. There is no fixed percentage of public housing in each suburb.
Sometimes Housing ACT will redevelop existing stock such as in Boolimba Street and Mindaree Street which allows us to build new and better dwellings for tenants. The levels of public housing in Mindaree Street are not considered high concentrations of public housing.
Housing ACT has been talking to members of the Old Narrabundah Community Council who have been clear in their views about the level of public housing in the area.

Directorate: CSD - Housing

Issue: Why would public housing be put on the edge of Chapman, near paddocks & far from public trans port, shops & facilities?

OUTCOME: The caller was contacted by the Public Housing Renewal Taskforce and a discussion was had around the proposed public housing site in Chapman. The caller was directed to the website where she could register for the upcoming consultation session.

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: How are we going with park and ride facilities?

OUTCOME: The caller was contacted and provided with an update on park and ride facilities.

Directorate: Access Canberra

Issue: Minister, are you willing to negotiating the buyback of the perpetual taxi licenses in the ACT or do you want the court to make the judgment instead?

OUTCOME: The caller was advised that in announcing its 2015 Taxi Industry Innovation Reforms the Government indicated it would monitor and evaluate its reforms over a two-year period, including impacts on stakeholders.  The ACT Government has been engaging with stakeholders (such as, the ACT Taxi Plate Owners’ Association) throughout this period.

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: Could speed humps be installed in Cowlishaw Street Greenway. The street is fully lined with all day parking during the week which limits the view for the continued stream of public servants crossing the road to the Hyperdone without a pedestrian crossing.

OUTCOME: The caller was advised of the future plans to extend the current 40km/h area to include the whole length of Cowlishaw Street, which should reduce the travel speeds in this area.

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: Could the ACTION route 182 please be extended to more useful times. The 2 morning times do not service the Weston Creek community well.

OUTCOME: The route has been identified to be increased to a Rapid service in 2018 as demand builds in the Molonglo Valley. There is also a range of Xpresso services (including the 783 through Wright and Coombs) that currently go to the City via Cotter Road during the AM peak.

Directorate: CSD – Housing

Issue: Are routine inspections done on public houses if so how often? I live near several and I am embarrassed to invite people to my home because they have to pass poorly kept houses.

Action: Please contact caller.

OUTCOME:  The caller was advised that Housing ACT conducts property inspections on a 12 monthly basis. There are a small number of circumstances whereby Housing ACT would need to seek assistance through the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal to access a property via legal orders to conduct the inspection which may extend the 12 month period. Housing ACT is committed to working closely with its tenants to ensure that they adhere to the terms of their tenancy agreement, that they are appropriately supported in the community and that they maintain their property to an appropriate standard. In instances where tenants may require support in maintaining their property, Housing ACT will make appropriate referrals to community agencies to provide this support.