Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 3 June 2015) . . Page.. 1910 ..
MR DOSZPOT (Molonglo), by leave: The petition tabled today comes from 832 concerned Campbell residents. The petition itself has 62 signatures in the correct format and an additional 770 signatures. And irrespective of their signatory status, 832 Campbell residents are calling on this Assembly to take action after more than eight years of the former Campbell service station site lingering as an eyesore for the residents of the suburb. I would also like to welcome the many members of the Campbell Neighbourhood Watch and the Campbell community who are here for the presentation of their petition this morning.
During this time, over the last few years, many of my constituents have approached me to seek information about when the site would be redeveloped and what would be built in its place. Numerous representations have been made to the various ministers for planning over the course of the last few years and still the site remains in limbo.
The site is in a prominent position at the entry to the Campbell shops. Previously it was a Shell service station that included a Kmart tyre and auto port and was a business that was well patronised in the area. The service station sustained some damage during a hailstorm on 27 February 2007 and never reopened, since which time the site has remained vacant.
Since 2009 the residents of Campbell have repeatedly attempted to determine plans for the site through the applicable government agencies, including the ACT Planning and Land Authority, ACTPLA, and the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate, ESDD. In June 2013 the residents were told that site remediation was underway and would be subject to the Environment Protection Authority’s decision. In a letter from the then Minister for Planning, Mr Corbell, he advised that the work for validation of the site, which presumably involved clearing tanks and contaminated soils, was likely to be completed in 2014. It is now a year later and the site is still an eyesore for the community.
In another representation, to Minister Gentleman in October 2014, after staff from the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate inspected the site in March last year, a constituent was advised that Mr Corbell, in his role as Minister for Planning, decided that unless a site was more than 30 per cent covered in rubbish no action could be taken. Therefore officials did not consider that the state of the site warranted formal action to force the lessee to take responsibility.
This site has over time become an unsightly blot on the landscape in Campbell. It has become overgrown with vegetation and is a dumping ground for rubbish, not to mention the state of disrepair the infrastructure has fallen into, with broken concrete and gates hanging off their hinges, posing a significant hazard to the safety of the public. Children walk to school past this derelict site every day and the community must continue to watch as it falls further into ruin.
Campbell residents continue to be extremely disappointed that this situation has been allowed to continue and that this prominent site is permitted to remain an eyesore. Residents feel that the rights of the lessee are given far greater weight than their expectations for a well-maintained and attractive central hub in their suburb.