Page 800 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

(f) the residents’ request to halt the Master planning process to allow the Heritage Council to finalise the nomination and heritage guidelines for Oaks Estate; and

(2) calls on the Government to:

(a) address the residents’ immediate concerns, particularly in respect of public housing;

(b) work more closely with the Oaks Estate Progress Association to address their concerns about increased rates of crime including providing a more visible police presence;

(c) deliver amenity improvements such as safe footpaths, safer intersections, better street lighting and hazard reduction;

(d) consider providing an ACTION bus route schedule to ensure, at a minimum, an efficient and affordable direct route for school children to schools and commuters to work; and

(e) acknowledge concerns raised during the community engagement process and protect the vital heritage nature of this unique Canberra village to improve the quality of life for these Canberra families.

I have much pleasure in moving this motion today, not only because Oaks Estate is part of the electorate of Molonglo, which I represent, but also because it is an opportunity to shine a light on the systemic neglect that has been delivered to the residents of this area for decades. It is time to highlight the actions, or rather the inactions, of this government in this regard.

Frankly, it is an indictment of all of us who live in Canberra that we have a community that has, to all intents and purposes, been forgotten, with the residents left to manage and put up with whatever this government sends their way. Oaks Estate is a study in what can happen when communities get forgotten by successive bureaucracies. When you have a minister’s office in the ACT believing that Oaks Estate is part of Queanbeyan, as one Oaks Estate resident read in a letter, you have probably reached a sad level of irrelevance. Oaks Estate is a 40-hectare village on the border between the ACT and Queanbeyan and has been part of the ACT since 1911, although many people believe it is part of Queanbeyan as it lies adjacent to the city of Queanbeyan, with the Molonglo River bordering it to the north and the Queanbeyan River on its southern border.

Oaks Estate has a delightful history. It takes its name from “the Oaks”, which formed part of Robert Campbell’s original farm, Duntroon. That makes it one of the very few areas in the Canberra region that can trace its name and roots back to the early days of settlement of this district. Of course, that means its settlement predates the establishment of Canberra. That alone delivers a special historical significance, given that so much of Canberra is barely 100 years old.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video