Chief Minister Talkback Summary - 25 May 2018

Calls received on air

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: The caller rang regarding the street lights in Humble court in Kambah. The street lights have not been working since November 2017. The caller reported the issue to Fix My Street on 5 December and has since contacted them every month until April to chase up the issue. The caller also wrote to the Chief Minister who forwarded the email to Minister Fitzharris.

Response: The Deputy Chief Minister said it is possible that the issue is more than just a light bulb change. The Deputy Chief Minister said would follow it up and update the caller with what the issue is.

Action: Please contact caller

OUTCOME: TCCS contacted the caller and advised her that the problem was due to a cable fault. TCCS is currently in the process of investigating if there can be an interim solution provided. However, the TCCS officer explained that a number of steps will need to be undertaken in order to rectify the issue and that she will be advised of any updates on this situation.

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: The caller rang regarding tree removal and replanting. The caller lives in McKellar and he frequently walks around Evatt and Florey. The caller has noticed there's a significant amount of trees to be removed with signs saying that they are to be replanted. The callers issue is that there is no replacement for those trees.

The caller said in one instance in 2015 he called Access Canberra regarding this and the staff member he spoke to followed that up and replaced the tree.

Response: The Deputy Chief Minister this can be more complex than people would think with the removal or the treatment of large trees in our community. As the Nations Bush Capital It's something we're proud of and she understands both sides of the story, and people's frustration either for removal or against it.

The Deputy Chief Minister also said that the tree replacement program that was recently announced in the budget will allow for 1330 new trees planted across the suburbs.

OUTCOME: The caller believes ACT Government is removing too many large trees that do not require removal in the Evatt and Florey area. He questioned who is accountable for these decisions and asked who he can follow up with to respond to his concerns. The caller gave a specific example from Sproule Circuit in Evatt and the TCCS Officer provided some preliminary assessment information. The tree, a very large Eucalyptus blakelyi, was removed as part of TCCS’ annual tree removal program in response to a Ministerial request. The tree was assessed as being in major decline by two of TCCS’ in-house arborists.

TCCS further advised that the Commissioner of Sustainability and the Environment would be the most appropriate avenue to follow up on his broader concerns, as their role is to investigate complaints regarding the management of the environment by the Territory.

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: The caller rang regarding the lack of tree trimming next to roadways. The caller is a truck driver and said there are many roads in Canberra that are difficult to drive safely as they have to avoid trees. The caller said while driving on on Carruthers st in particular, he has to drive on the opposite side of the road to avoid the trees hitting their trailers.

Response: The Deputy Chief Minister said she would get some further information on the issue and see what she could do. She noted that a different times of the year trees can behave differently and she would look into the caller’s specific route.

OUTCOME: A TCC Officer will accompany the caller on a drive to assess the worst issues in these two suburbs.

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: The caller rang regarding trees and foliage interfering with her solar panels. The caller lives on Pemulwuy st in Ngunnawal and has recently learnt that if one part of a line of solar panels has a shadow over it, the whole line of panels will become ineffective. The caller requested that the trees in the park close to her house be trimmed as they are casting a shadow over her panels.

Response: The Deputy Chief Minister said we will investigate and see what could be done for the caller.

OUTCOME: Existing trees have priority over solar access issues and concerns relating to solar access and are subject to assessment of individual circumstances. TCCS will assess the trees and determine if pruning would alleviate shading of solar panels.

Directorate: Access Canberra

Issue: The caller rang regarding the Access Canberra car infringement process. The caller recently had a broken windscreen and was issued an infringement notice. Once it was fixed she was required to first go get the car inspected at the Access Canberra Motor Vehicle Inspection Station Hume, obtain the inspection certificate and then drive to another Access Canberra shopfront to physically hand over the certificate to complete the process. The caller questioned why this process couldn’t happen at the Hume Inspection Station.

Response: The Deputy Chief Minister said she would find out the exact process, and if this was something that could be done on the Website. The Deputy Chief Minister also said she would look into the callers issue specifically and find out if we can make it easier for people in the future.

OUTCOME: An Access Canberra officer spoke to the caller on 29 May 2018. The notice issued was for a vehicle defect, which may be cleared at any Authorised Inspection Station. When this is done at the Access Canberra Motor Vehicle Inspection Station at Hume, Access Canberra can clear the defect notice internally. The option to have the issue resolved by Access Canberra should have been offered at the time. Access Canberra staff have been reminded.


Directorate: TCCS

Issue: Good morning Deputy Chief Minister. My question relates to accessibility in our city. A friend was recently 'stranded' in her wheelchair in the Homeworld Centre in Tuggeranong and could not get to the town centre as the paths are in disrepair.

OUTCOME: An officer from TCCS contacted the caller and discussed the issue. An inspection was completed on 05 June 2018 and uneven pavers have been identified at two locations and scheduled to be repaired by mid June 2018. At one location the crossing appeared steep and has been scheduled for an engineering assessment. Repair works will be planned based on the outcome of this assessment.

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: Hedges in Canberra. As a person riding a mobility tricycle, overgrown hedges cause injury to me and other using walkers, mobility scooters etc. I've contacted fix my street and you've contacted some of the offenders, but what enforcement of this happens?

OUTCOME: A TCCS Officer contacted the caller and established the locations of the overhanging foliage reported via fix my street. TCCS has attended the locations and all matters except one have been resolved. The outstanding complaint is currently being managed and compliance is expected shortly.

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: When is something going to be done about the appalling amounts of graffiti in Lanyon Valley/Tugg Valley? It is completely wrong to expect home owners who border GVT land to pay entire cost of constantly removing it- expensive, time consuming, & impossible.

OUTCOME: A TCCS Officer contacted the caller and discussed the various effective graffiti removal programs TCCS has in place. The TCCS Officer also advised that TCCS have employed a full time contractor who removes graffiti from TCCS assets. The TCCS Officer noted that the fences abutting public land are the responsibility of the property owner.

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: There's a fluffy block being built on Summerland Cres Kambah near Mannheim st, where the storage of steel materials actually fills the entire verge & path and sticks out into the road easement. The only protection is a red & white plastic ribbon (text cut off).

OUTCOME: A TCCS Officer contacted the caller and discussed solar access and trees. The TCCS Officer advised that existing trees have priority over solar access issues and concerns relating to solar access are subject to assessment of individual circumstances. TCCS will assess the trees and determine if pruning would alleviate shading of solar panels. TCCS will also assess for termite activity in response to concerns from the caller.

Directorate: ESA

Issue: Good morning. I don't know if this has been covered. My car is NSW registered. I needed ambulance transport to hospital after an accident in the ACT. I was responsible for the considerable bill because I was out of my state. Maybe this needs addressing?

OUTCOME: Ambulance services are state government services and levies for road rescue services are also state based. The NSW ambulance service provides advice that an exemption applies if you were in a motor vehicle accident involving a NSW registered vehicle and the incident occurred on a public road within NSW. This means that drivers of ACT registered vehicles are not covered in NSW either. The ACT Ambulance Service is considering amending the exemption criteria for road traffic accidents and has been approached by Ambulance NSW to possibly extend reciprocal arrangements to more consistently cover a broader range of exemptions where there are state differences between NSW and the ACT. Future discussions will be held with a view to providing greater consistency.

Directorate: Health

Issue: Hello could you please address the issues behind the shortage of Flu vaccines in the ACT and your actions in collect vaccines from Doctor's surgery.

OUTCOME: Record demand for flu vaccination across Australia has caused national supply constraints. ACT Health is working to ensure that stocks are available for Canberran’s who are most vulnerable to the flu.The focus has been on ensuring that people who are at increased risk of complications from influenza have access to the flu vaccine. ACT Health undertook an inventory of all stock in the community and retrieved excess flu vaccine back into our central store in order to redistribute it according to need. We are currently delivering vaccines to GPs and Early Childhood Immunisation Clinics and encourage immunisation providers to continue ordering vaccine from ACT Health to meet the needs of high risk patients. ACT Health is continuing to work closely with the Commonwealth Department of Health and other jurisdictions to manage this issue.

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: Dear Deputy Chief Minister Can you tell me when the lighting at Canberra Olympic Pool car park will be upgraded so that swimmers are not subject to attempted mugging and carjacking, as happened to a woman earlier this week. Concerned.

OUTCOME: Additional streetlight arms have been added to the carpark adjacent to the Canberra Olympic Pool on Allara Street 3 June 2018. All lights that were not operating have now been fixed and the light fittings have been replaced with newer fittings.

Directorate: Health

Issue: Re new mental health facilities - have suburbs in south been identified as locations?

OUTCOME: Health contacted the caller and advised at this time, the location has not been determined, however now that the budget has been handed down consultation would soon commence re progression on this, including site selection.

Directorate: Education

Issue: Plans for a new College in the Woden/Weston area? Currently our son's Canberra College is at 99.8% occupancy.

OUTCOME: A representative from the Education Directorate contacted the caller and discussed planning at college level. It was explained how Education monitors demographic trends across Canberra to determine when demand from a particular region required an infrastructure response. The caller was advised timings for establishing new schools were based on demographic demand and advised by the Government. It should be noted that there has been an announcement recently on a new school opening in Denman Prospect in 2021.

The caller asked about out of area students leaving Tuggeranong, where he lives. It was explained that there were long term demographic trends operating across the ACT, which he understood, and that traditionally, where schools had the capacity, they had accepted out of area applications. The caller was advised that the trend to public schools was leading to fewer schools with the capacity to accept out of area students and that this would have the effect of more students remaining in their local schools.

Directorate: Education

Issue: A speed school zone sign that has not been opened yet. Now I know some of them can be closed off during school holidays, and then get reopened for the school term, so it's a 40-kilometer zone.

OUTCOME: Schools in the area have been contacted and all have checked their speed zone signs were in the correct position for the school term.