Chief Minister Talkback Summary - 8 June 2018

Calls received on air

Directorate: EPSD

Issue: The caller rang regarding the parking at Garran shops. The caller said that it is extremely difficult to get a park at the shops and she suspects that people are parking there all day.

Response: The Chief Minister said we’ll have a look at is and there’s a balance to strike between short, medium and long term parking options. The Chief Minister also said it would be worthwhile talking with local traders about their perceptions of the issues and see if there’s a local solution that can be arrived at.

Directorate: Health

Issue: The caller rang regarding a Hydrotherapy pool in the ACT. The caller commended the new UC Hospital however expressed concern for elderly residents that live on the south side of Canberra. The caller said the Hydrotherapy pool at the Canberra Hospital will be closed and wanted to know if it could be kept at a community resource. The caller said that it did not need to be run by ACT Health staff but could be operated by a community organisation such as her own or others.

Response: The Chief Minister said that it was an interesting question and he will have a look at that possibility. Certainly the intent of the new facility was to consolidate all of our rehabilitation facilities in our new, state of the art hospital, and that's obviously a significant enhancement on the existing facility. He said he appreciates the point around access, and we'll have a look at that for you, thank you for raising it.

OUTCOME: Health contacted the caller about the upcoming closure of the Canberra Hospital Hydrotherapy Pool. It has always been the ACT Government’s intention to fully transition all rehabilitation services throughout Canberra to the new University of Canberra Hospital: Specialist Centre for Rehabilitation, Recovery and Research in Bruce. Bringing all of ACT Health’s rehabilitation staff and facilities together in the one place would result in better outcomes for individuals, and the community.

The new pool will be available for therapeutic use out-of-hours by non-ACT Health services in the same way the as the pool at Canberra Hospital.Health continues to work closely with Transport Canberra to ensure the new facility is well supported by public transport. ACT is also committed to working closely with community organisations and service providers that currently use the facilities at Canberra Hospital to ensure the transition of these services for their clients is as seamless as possible. This includes ACT’s Arthritis Foundation.

Health is continuing to investigate the callers proposal to manage the Canberra Hospital hydrotherapy pool booking system which they have since put forward also in writing. In the meantime, the Minister for Health and Wellbeing has asked ACT Health to look at keeping the Canberra Hospital pool open to transition services until the new pool at Stromlo opens around 2020, noting the Stromlo pool will also be a hydrotherapy pool.

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: The caller rang regarding Mirrabei Drive in Gungahlin. The caller said two or three months ago the section from Wanganeen Avenue to Horse Park Drive was resealed. A part of this is a small bridge over a drainage area and there is two expansion joints. Which haven’t been filled in.

Response: The Chief Minister said thank you for raising that, we've got the callers contact details, it's Transport Canberra City Services, who are the agency. We'll get them to speak to the contractor and then just get in touch with the caller, just to sort of conclude that information loop.

OUTCOME: An officer from TCCS contacted the caller and advised it is normal practice to not reseal over a joint to allow the movement of a bridge, which is the purpose of this expansion joint. Initially a little bump can be experienced near the joint however the stones are pushed in overtime and it disappears eventually. TCCS will keep monitoring the site.

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: The caller rang regarding a street light in Kinleyside crescent Weetangera. The caller said that just one light in his street doesn’t appear to be working. The caller said he has called to report the issue but the light is still out.

Response: The Chief Minister said hopefully if it is just one light it’s probably a bulb rather than a underground cable fault. He said he will do what he can to get the issue resolved.

OUTCOME: An officer from TCCS contacted the caller and advised that the two lights in Kinleyside Crescent were replaced new LED light fittings and confirmed as operational on Sunday 17 June 2018.


Directorate: TCCS

Issue: Hi Adam and Andrew. While in the topic of street lighting, could the new contractor PLEASE look at La Perouse St in Red Hill- between the shops and Mugga Way. All the lights are 'vintage originals' and throw no light whatsoever onto the road, let alone (text cut off).

OUTCOME: An officer from TCCS contacted the caller and advised that TCCS will conduct a night time inspection next week and retrofit any dull globes with new globes.

Directorate: CMTEDD – Treasury

Issue: Morning, could the chief minister provide the reasons behind the ACT is the only state / territory where the Seniors card is 61 as opposed to 60 ?? Thanks.

The caller was contacted and advised that the eligibility criteria is increasing gradually over time to match the commonwealths aged pension criteria. This is being done to help manage the cost of the concessions program into the future as more of the population ages and people tend to live longer (and work to a later age) in the ACT.

Directorate: CMTEDD – Arts

Issue: Belconnen Arts Centre have placed boom gate denying access to 16 parking spaces Emu Bank carpark. Only 3 or 4 staff working some part time during the week. Despite requests by persons paying to attend courses staff and CEO continue to deny access.

An artsACT staff member spoke to the caller to discuss her concerns relating to car parking at Belconnen Arts Centre (BAC). The caller’s concerns focussed on: Availability of spaces; Design of People with Disability (PWD) spaces (including length of stay); No drop-off location at the building; and Emu Bank bus stop blocking sightlines of vehicles exiting the centre carpark.

An artsACT staff member followed up the call with an email stating artsACT will review the design of the People with Disability (PWD) car parking spaces and confirm they meet current design standards; investigate creating a drop-off point as part of the BAC Stage 2 project; and discuss bus stop relocation with the relevant agencies. For future visits to the centre, it has been arranged with BAC staff that the caller buzz reception for access to the boom gate carpark if no PWD spaces available otherwise (BAC staff do not give out the gate code).

Directorate: EPSD

Issue: Where is the Mr Fluffy buyback scheme at?

OUTCOME: In relation to the Mr Fluffy Buyback Scheme, the revised budget indicates that the net cash cost of the Loose Fill Asbestos Insulation Eradication Scheme is now expected to be $295 million – a small reduction from the 2017-18 budget estimate of $307 million (excluding contingency).