14 Feb / 2020

Beautifying La Trobe Park

Beautifying La Trobe Park 

Adopt a Park Proposal fails to gain support

DRA was unsuccessful in its application to the ACT Government Adopt a Park program. We had sought support for the formation of a local Volunteer Group to assist the ACT Government authorities in the ongoing maintenance and upkeep of the Park.
Considerable interest has already been expressed and a DRA subgroup formed to take the project forward.

The Friends of La Trobe Park sub group would monitor the health of the park and assist in planting of trees and in weed control.  Additional trees have been planted over the years but many of

these have died and need replacement.  See photo – like many in Deakin they need water.

The Scout Group located in La Trobe Park is potential collaborator in the project particularly controlling weeds as well as  rubbish control.

To help with these tasks DRA sought assistance in the provision of garden tools, tree seedlings and weed

poison. The provision of some benches or seats  throughout the park would also enhance greater community use of the park. We plan to seek guidance from professionals in the department on these matters.

DRA also planned to draft material to commemorate Charles La Trobe after whom the park is named. He was appointed in 1839 superintendent of the Port Phillip District of New South Wales and, after the establishment in 1851 of the colony of Victoria, he became its first lieutenant-governor. He oversaw the establishment of the Botanical Gardens. Many institutions commemorate his name.

The proposal also sought funding support for a community barbecue and meeting in  2020. The purpose would be to meet residents interested in improving La Trobe Park and discuss their thoughts on what might be done. We will gauge community interest in activities such as reinstalling a barbecue, and reopening the toilet block.

Please respond if you would like to pursue these ideas.

Melbourne Avenue

Progress has been made in protecting eucalypts on Melbourne Avenue which is a National Avenue. Following discussion and joint meetings initiated by Forrest Residents Group, DRA is pleased to

as Ia see government efforts to mulch around trees and protect soil from compaction. We welcome governmental assurances that there will be monitoring to prevent illegal parking.

Light Rail Stage 2

The Business Plan for ACT light rail stage 2 (Civic – Woden), is available. It raises the issues of

• Damage to cultural landscapes, notably, most of Commonwealth Avenue’s famous trees, and open space character.

• Filling the median strip of Commonwealth Avenue with tram tracks and the possibility of a total bridge replacement. To learn more about that and the existing symmetry with Kings Avenue bridge join Graeme Kelleher who was the Supervising Engineer for the construction of Commonwealth Ave Bridge in the 1960s

Sunday 23 February, 9.30 am – Heritage Walk  Two Bridges and a Lake.  While the two bridges look similar from a distance in forming the Parliamentary Triangle, they are quite different in design and construction.  The walk will be led by Keith Baker from Engineers Heritage Australia.  For detail and bookings go to https://two-bridges-and-a-lake.eventbrite.com.au

• Complying with the ban on overhead wires

• Traffic disruptions during construction.

• Difficulties in capturing land value especially at south-facing West Basin, and along Commonwealth Avenue north.

• Massive costs of the project including the above for limited benefit.

The Federal Government decisions about the assessment process under Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 for

• Stage 2A  is a controlled action and the assessment will be by way of an examination of preliminary documentation.

• Stage 2B is a controlled action  and the assessment will be made by way of an Environmental Impact Assessment to be be conducted by the ACT Government – Major Projects Canberra.

DRA, along with ISCCC, had submitted that the Stage 2B assessment should be way of independent public inquiry. This request was rejected.

While DRA fully endorses the objectives of Light Rail we remain skeptical that the current proposal will achieve its objectives

Objective 5: deliver an affordable project solution to the Territory that drives innovation and provides a value for money outcome.

Objective 4: provide Canberrans with an attractive, convenient, efficient and reliable integrated public transport system that facilitates choice, increases public transport patronage and reduces car dependency.

We believe further investigation is needed of the option of trackless trams currently under consideration in Sydney