The Annual General Meeting will take place 6:30-8:00pm on Thursday 27th November, in the Charles Price Room, St Luke’s Church, 44 Newdegate Street, DEAKIN.

Current members will vote on motions and election of the Committee and Office bearers.

Non-members may attend and speak with permission of the Chair.

DRA AGM 2014 Notice of Meeting, Agenda and Nomination Form

DRA – Proposed revisions to Association Rules for considereation at AGM 2014

The Canberra Chronicle and online Canberra Times has reported that ACT Planning and Land Agency (ACTPLA) has asked the Deakin Soccer Club to provide more information about the reasons for seeking to remove the concessional status from its lease and to amend the lease purposes.

According to the Chronicle, the Club has not clarified what different purposes it has in mind for the land, but has stated that de-concessionalising the lease would make it easier for the Club to borrow money.

Residents will be aware that many clubs around Canberra, originally founded with concessional lease grants, have later become commercially un-viable. In some cases this has followed taking out excessive loans mortgaged against their property leases – the Brumbies in Griffith were a recent example.

See also the Canberra Times report on closure and sale of the Deakin West Bowls Club for private commercial development, after being taken over by the Hellenic Club.

Deakin Soccer Club has a very active sports program and a large and well-appointed Club premises available for community purposes. Not long ago it was allowed to sell off parts of its lease for residential development, on the basis that this would “secure the financial future” of the Club and the public amenities it provides under its lease conditions.

Residents need to be very wary that any future development plans do not further erode the public open space and community amenities for which the Club has responsibility.

Read The Chronicle‘s report.

On Wednesday, 3 September ACT Government representatives and consultants gave a briefing on plans for asbestos remediation works associated with the Brickworks. About 150 residents attended the public meeting, at Albert Hall.

Key points from the government and consultants:

  • Work is to begin by the end of September 2014 on a specific area at the rear of the Brickworks which is identified as an asbestos dump.
  • It is believed that most or all of the dumped asbestos is “bonded” asbestos – ie. as a 3-4% component of building materials such as fibro-cement sheeting, roofing, pipes etc.
  • Stage 1 of the task is to remove all surface debris and vegetation from the area and drill down to investigate the content and depth of the dump.
  • Stage 1 is expected to produce about 10 truckloads of debris, including asbestos, which will be taken to Mugga Lane tip for disposal. (NB these trucks are likely to pass through Deakin and Forrest via Hopetoun Circuit or other residential streets en route to Mugga Way and Hindmarsh Drive, being the most direct route to Mugga Lane)
  • The safety protocols and procedures will be the ones used currently for fibro house demolitions throughout Canberra and for land remediation at the Molonglo and Campbell (Constitution Ave) dump sites.
  • A 10-metre isolation zone will be fenced off around any work in progress, and all excavation will be done with potential dust wetted down.
  • “Mr Fluffy” type contamination is not anticipated, but if found will be handled accordingly with higher levels of precaution.
  • As well as the contracted environmental consultant there will be a separate independent auditor regularly checking safety procedures and measurements.
  • Stage 2 will involve removing all contaminated soil from the site, to an estimated depth of about 3 metres, trucking the contaminated soil to West Belconnen, then backfilling the Brickworks site wtih clean fill.
  • Details on the scope and protocols of Stage 2 will depend on the results of investigations in Stage 1.

Key concerns of residents:

Residents raised many concerns about safety issues, and about uncertainty over the full scope of movement of contaminated soils and materials near and through residential areas.

  • What about the many other possible contaminated sites within the Brickworks and the adjoining proposed development zones, for which no remediation plan has been put forward?
  • How can dust suppression be guaranteed on a site that is chronically windy, with prevailing winds blowing toward adjoining residences?
  • How can the independence of the auditor be guaranteed when all parties concerned are, in the end, working for the government that wishes to prepare the land for sale or development?
  • How can residential streets be protected from the large-scale heavy truck traffic, carrying contaminated loads, especially in Stage 2?

A motion demanding adequate consultation and information for residents was passed unaminmously. (See website of the Yarralumla Residents’ Association).

NCA Parking Poster

The NCA has distributed this poster and update to resident and other groups interested in the introduction of paid parking to the Parliamentary Triangle and adjoining areas.

Parts of Deakin may be affected by overflow parking and measures taken to combat it.

National Capital Authority Parking Update

Pay parking will commence on National Land in Barton, Parkes, Acton and the Russell precinct from 1 October 2014.

The National Capital Authority website will be the primary place for information on pay parking at www.natcap.gov.au/parking.

The website contains information about pricing and public transport options. It also includes detailed maps showing the:

  • Areas where pay parking applies
  • Break up of short stay and multi stay spaces
  • Availability of disabled, motorcycle and volunteer spaces
  • Number of credit card and coin operated parking machines.

Regular updates will continue to be posted online.

National Capital Authority

DRA has been advised by the ACT Environment and Planning Directorate that the Deakin Soccer Club is proposing “an overall upgrade to the oval due to occur in 2015 to enable the facility to participate in the Asian Cup… (works) proposed to be commenced early 2015.”

This advice was in response to DRA queries as to why the public car park works behind the Ambassador apartments had not been completed in accordance with lease conditions. The ESD has given the Deakin Soccer Club an extension of time due to the carpark area being used during the upgrade works in early 2015.

No development application has yet been submitted for these upgrade works. DRA recently made a submission querying the Soccer Club’s application to de-concessionalise its lease for unspecified “ancillary uses”.

DRA will take an interest in these proposals as they emerge, and we invite resident opinions, bearing in mind potential parking issues, noise or other factors that may be of concern to nearby residents. We will also urge that any upgrade works will result in more public amenity for residents and the ACT population generally, rather than just generating limited commercial opportunities as has occurred with developments based on other concessional leases.

Many Deakin dogs and their owners are aware of the lack of appropriate spaces for resident dogs to be exercised off-leash.

They may not be aware that the only designated spaces within Deakin itself are at West Deakin either side of the Mint oval, including those blocks where the Land Development Agency has proposed to erect high-rise residential and commercial buildings adjacent to Adelaide Avenue.

Some Deakin residents may not be aware that neither Latrobe Park nor the stormwater and utlities easment along the foot of Red Hill reserve is not approved for off-leash dog exercise.

The LDA plans also would build over current off-leash areas in Yarralumla. As a result, the Brickworks proposal would eliminate almost the only off-leash precinct in or close to Deakin.

DRA learned, too late to make submission, that ACTPLA is conducting a review of off-leash dog exercise areas across the ACT.

The issue is a difficult one, requiring to balance the needs and rights of dogs and dog owners with the reasonable apprehensions of other park-users (including owners of vulnerable dogs) about unpredictable or aggressive behaviour by poorly-managed off-leash dogs.

The ACTPLA consultation papers are at THIS LINK.

The ACTPLA map link covers all dog-exercise areas in the entire ACT, and may be difficult to navigate. DRA provides this section of the Deakin/Yarralumla proposal – off-leash exercise area in hatched green, “conditional” areas (subject to other uses) are in hatched brown.

Deakin Dog-exercise areas

  • The Committee approved several new membership applications received recently, including those arising from the Public Meeting about the “Brickworks” development. Welcome to those new members. Committee also discussed options to make membership application and renewal easier – more later on that.
  • Committee also noted the ACT Government has indicated the proposals will be reviewed in response to many submissions and a substantial petition, including issues raised by the National Capital Authority regarding the character and treatment of Adelaide Avenue and Dunrossil Drive.
  • DRA has been advised that Deakin Soccer Club has been given an extension of time to complete carpark improvements required under its lease conditions. The reason is that major developments are going to be proposed in relation possible hosting of matches of the Asian Cup in 2015 (see other story).
  • The next meeting (October) will need to finalise any matters required before the Annual General Meeting.

The meeting discussed action and progress on several issues affecting Deakin residents. The relevant items under “Current Issues” on this website have been updated accordingly.

  1. Canberra Brickworks development.
    A community information session and guided tours had been held on 31 May 2014 at the former Brickworks in Yarralumla. It was noted that the Land Development Agency’s plan would have a significant impact on both Deakin and Yarralumla. About 400 of the planned 1,600 residential units would be built in Deakin, west of Kent Street adjoining Adelaide Avenue. Concerns were raised about lack of planning for retail and other services for the significant population of that new neighbourhood, and about traffic effects especially around the Kent/Novar Street and Cotter Road junctions with Adelaide Avenue. These points are already facing greatly increased traffic due to development of Molonglo suburbs.Committee encouraged residents to take advantage of the opportunity for public comment closing Monday, 14 July 2014.

    Committee will also liaise with Inner South Canberra Community Council on the broad issues that affect residents in neighbouring suburbs.

  2. Gawler Crescent Townhouse proposal.
    The committee discussed in detail a proposal for seven 3-bedroom 2-storey townhouses with underground car parking on two amalgamated blocks. Submissions to ACTPLA were due by Thursday 12th June. Several individual submissions are likely.
  3. Auditor General’s Report on Single Dwelling Development Applications
    The Auditor-General’s report was released on Monday 26th May 2014. Two of the case studies relate to developments in Deakin. It contains 12 recommendations (two of which are high priority) which address shortcomings in the administration of planning.

    It was agreed that DRA will write to Minister Corbell supporting early implementation of the recommendations.
  4. Latrobe Park
    Current and future usage of Latrobe Park as an important community facility and public open space was discussed, including a draft set of principles which are intended to guide management and usage in the future. A number of actions have been agreed, including that the Deakin community will be consulted later in 2014.
  5. Deakin Soccer Club Lease
    Committee noted that, after approaches by DRA, the ACT Government has served a Controlled Activity Order on the Croatia Deakin Football Club, requiring full compliance with their lease, viz. that “The Croatia Deakin Football Club must construct a hardstanding sealed carpark suitable for 90 to 95 vehicles, with either a bituminous or concrete surface, including the installation of all required curbing and drainage suitable to control and direct stormwater flows in a way that causes no nuisance to neighbouring leases and directs no runoff onto unleased Territory land.”
  6. Pedestrian Safety barriers at Deakin shops
    Safety barriers have been erected in front of most shops but not yet been erected to protect that part of the footpath adjoining the supermarket premises. ACT Government has responded positively following a 2012 800-signature petition co-ordinated by DRA. DRA has consulted with both the relevant landlord and the ACT Government with a view to having the remaining safety barriers in place as soon as possible.

The ACT Auditor-General has released a significant report identifying flaws in the system of approval and certification of building development applications for single-unit dwellings – suburban houses. The report was undertaken following public controversy over the construction of a house on Gawler Crescent that had been wrongly assessed by a certifier as exempt from the need to lodge a Development Application.

Deakin Residents’ Association was one of the complainants, though the Auditor-General’s report was at the request of the house owner who sought to clear his name from allegations made on the RiotACT website, not by DRA.

The Canberra Times’ summarises the findings of the Auditor-General, with a raft of recommendations for improving accountability of developers and building certifiers. These findings are similar to recommendations DRA has made in submissions to the ACT Government, focussing on transparency.

The media release of the Auditor-General’s report is here, and here is the full report in a zip archive.

The Summary pages give a quick digest, and several case studies are examined, including the Gawler Crescent case in Deakin.

UPDATE: DRA Committee meeting on 5 June 2014 has agreed that DRA will write to Minister Corbell urging quick implementation of all recommendations.