Page 105 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 14 February 2018
I will quote from some of the correspondence that I have received:
A large number of O’Malley residents are very concerned at the ACT government’s plan to go ahead with the sale of one of the last neighbourhood green spaces in O’Malley for a community facility. Woden is being turned into a concrete jungle and future ghetto by the actions of the Planning Directorate.
Certainly in the context of some of the concerns raised about the master plan, we are seeing an encroaching development plan in Woden that is going to leave far fewer green spaces for the community.
What the community are asking for is reasonable here. Their specific concerns relate not just to the disappearing green space but also to what the consequence will be of a development on that site. It is unclear what would be proposed. At a briefing at the Woden Valley Community Council recently the directorate suggested that it may be a childcare centre.
Questions are raised from that. Firstly, is there a need for a childcare centre on that site? My understanding is that there are a number within the vicinity, a number that do not have full places. Also, it is an odd site. It is somewhat out of the way there in O’Malley.
But it is already a problematic environment in terms of through traffic and parking. Certainly, the response from the directorate staff about what they would do when they get rid of their car park in O’Malley—that they would just police the place better—falls down when you realise that a lot of the people that are parking there in O’Malley have diplomatic plates on their vehicles. The enforcement of that is problematic. Some of the solutions being proposed to mitigate what will be an increase in parking and an increase in traffic are patently unworkable.
Residents are very concerned. Some of those streets in O’Malley are already being used as a rat run by people trying to avoid Hindmarsh Drive. I quote again:
This poorly planned sell-off of community facility sites is symptomatic of the reckless planning and disregard for long-term residents and ratepayers in Woden and other areas.
I said at the beginning of my speech that this is an area my office has been following for some time. I actually wrote to the planning minister on 14 June last year. This is before anything had been notified, but residents had seen surveyors out on that block doing something. I quote from the letter I wrote:
I have received representations from a constituent in relation to open space in the older part of O’Malley. My constituent has raised concerns in regard to the possibility of a development on the corner block bounded by Numeralla and Pindari Crescent and Kareelah Vista in O’Malley. They advise that they recently observed surveyors measuring the corner block, but when asked, the surveyors did not want to comment on what development may be planned.
This reminds me of what happened on the PANDSI site in Holder. Exactly the same thing happened. Surveyors were sighted. Members of the community came to the