Cr Tim Overall, Mayor


Welcome to my column for the Jerrabomberra Residents Association Website. It is my hope to keep you abreast of issues and initiatives Queanbeyan City Council is undertaking which I trust will be of interest to you as readers.


Council adopts Comprehensive Development Control Plan


At Wednesday’s Planning and Development Review Committee meeting, Council adopted its Comprehensive Development Control Plan (DCPs). The Comprehensive DCP applies to the whole Local Government Area apart from those areas which are covered by individual site specific DCPs such as Googong, various parts of South Jerrabomberra and the railway land adjoining Oaks Estate. The exercise required Council staff to review and collate more than 30 DCPs into one document, which removed some duplication and made the document more user-friendly. The Comprehensive DCP was placed on public exhibition earlier this year and three submissions were received. From these submissions a number of alterations were made and the finalised Comprehensive DCP can be downloaded from Council’s website at www.qcc.nsw.gov.au.

Submission finalised on Quarry

Also on Wednesday, Council finalised its submission to the NSW Government in regard to the Cooma Rd Quarry Continued Operations Project. Council’s submission included a number of recommendations, including, designated truck routes into the future,  the developer making a financial contribution to Council to cover road maintenance from the increased traffic and that the hours of operation be amended to minimise the impact on neighbouring properties. The submission will now be forwarded to the NSW Department of Planning for consideration.

Changes to smoke laws

Some significant changes to smoking laws in NSW will come into effect on 7 January. The changes increase the number public places that are smoke-free, a key measure in reducing community exposure to second-hand smoke and the uptake of smoking in NSW. The amendments ban smoking in the following outdoor public places from 7 January 2013:
• within 10 metres of children’s play equipment in outdoor public spaces
• open areas of public swimming pool complexes
• spectator areas at sports grounds or other recreational areas during organised sporting events
• public transport stops and stations, including railway platforms, light rail stops, light rail stations, bus stops, taxi ranks and ferry wharves
• within four metres of a pedestrian access point to a public building (meaning a non-residential building, or a building that combines residential and commercial uses).

Under the legislation, smoking will also be banned in commercial outdoor dining areas from 2015. Smoking-related illness accounts for around 5,200 deaths and 44,000 hospitalisations per year in NSW and costs about $8 billion annually. NSW Health Inspectors are authorised to enforce bans under the new legislation, with penalties of up to $550 for anyone who fails to comply with the law. More information can be found at www.health.nsw.gov.au.

Last meeting of 2012

Council’s last meeting of 2012 will be held next Wednesday in the Council Chambers at 5.30pm. The meeting, which is usually held on the fourth Wednesday of the month, has been brought forward to avoid a clash with the Christmas holidays. The agenda and business paper for the meeting were made available on our website and at 257 Crawford St yesterday afternoon. As with all meetings, members of the public are invited to attend and can make a five-minute presentation on any item on the agenda. Residents wishing to make a presentation must register with the Clerk of Meeting prior to 5.30pm. Council’s first meeting in 2013 will be held on Wednesday 23 January with the first Planning and Development Review Committee meeting on Wednesday 13 February.





Enjoy the Queanbeyan Gift and Family Fun Day


Queanbeyan’s biggest community event of the year will be held tomorrow in Queanbeyan Park. From 10am-5pm residents can enjoy the exciting of the Queanbeyan Leagues Club Gift Carnival and the enjoyment of Council’s Family Fun Day. The two events combine to create the city’s biggest community event and the day is shaping up as a beauty. The Gift has grown tremendously over the last few years, so much so that tomorrow’s event will feature Australia’s fastest man and women in Josh Ross and Melissa Breen. These two stars, who also represented Australia at the London Olympics, will be joined another 400 athletes who will compete for more than $40,000 in prizemoney. Once again Council will be offering equal prizemoney of $16,000 for men and women which makes the women’s race the richest in Australia and the men’s the third richest. Away from the athletics there is plenty to see and do at the Family Fun Day. A range of free activities have been organised and they will appeal to all members of the family. The weather forecast is looking favourable so make sure you get down to Queanbeyan Park tomorrow for a great day of entertainment.

Valuable information at meetings

On Wednesday night Council held its second community meeting for November. The meetings provide those who attend with valuable information about Council projects and initiatives, upcoming events and an update on what’s happening around the city. Between the two meetings around 30 residents attended. The meetings were widely promoted which included a brochure sent to all ratepayers with their November rates notice, advertisements in the Queanbeyan Age, Chronicle and our website, coverage in the local print and radio media and plugs on our Facebook and Twitter sites. The next round of community meetings will be held in March/April next year and I hope to see more residents come along to hear about what Council is doing and to also raise any issues, concerns or put forward suggestions and ideas.

Talent on show

Queanbeyan’s talented arts community will throw its doors open this weekend for the annual Queanbeyan Arts Trail and Open Studios weekend. This event has been running for five years and has grown rapidly with the Arts Trail Bus again selling out in quick time. For those who missed out on the bus, but still want to see our artists in action you can grab a map and do the tour by yourself. Maps and programs can be downloaded from Council’s website or obtained from The Q, the Visitors Information Centre and the Queanbeyan Library.

Celebrate at Festival of Ability

The fun and festivities in Queanbeyan Park will continue next Friday 30 November when the 10th annual Festival of Ability is held. The Queanbeyan Festival of Ability is being held to mark International Day of People with a Disability which is a United Nations sanctioned day that aims to celebrate and recognise the achievements, contributions and abilities of disabled people and is celebrated on 3 December each year. Queanbeyan’s event runs from 4pm-7pm and will include a range of free activities and entertainment, headlined by internationally-recognised band Rudely Interrupted. This is a great day out and I encourage everyone, with or without a disability, young or old, from all walks of life is encouraged to come along to mark International Day of People with a Disability and share a wonderful afternoon of entertainment.





Celebrating 20 years of Sister City relationship


Earlier this week I was honoured to welcome delegates from Minami Alps in Japan who were visiting Queanbeyan to celebrate the 20th anniversary of our Sister City relationship. The delegation was led by the Mayor of Minami Alps, Hirofumi Nakagomi who was joined by representatives of the city’s Sister City committee and a number of adult residents. Along with a number of official events, the touring delegation enjoyed a range of sightseeing opportunities in Queanbeyan and around the region. On Tuesday morning I joined the delegation in a tree planting ceremony at Sister City Park where it has become tradition for travelling delegations to plant a tree and unveil a plaque. On Tuesday night an official dinner was held where I presented Mayor Nakagomi with a botanical drawing to honour the 20th anniversary of our relationship. I then joined Mayor Nakagomi in signing two commemorative certificates to acknowledge the occasion. Queanbeyan’s relationship with Minami Alps has been very successful over the past 20 years with numerous students and adult delegations from Queanbeyan getting a taste of Japanese life. A delegation of three chaperones and four students from Queanbeyan visited Minami Alps in October 2012. The delegation stayed with local Japanese families and enjoyed an intimate experience of local life. Minami Alps will send a delegation of students and chaperones to Queanbeyan around August 2013.

A career move?

Are you interested in providing childcare from your home? Family Day Care provides childcare for more than 115,660 children in Australia. Queanbeyan Family Day Care currently has long waiting lists of children requiring childcare and the scheme needs to recruit educators to help provide childcare for these children. Educators registered with Queanbeyan Family Day Care operate a small business from their home, which is overseen by staff from the scheme. Educators are able to work flexible hours, set their own fees, attend playgroup, have access to a toy and equipment library and are supported by qualified staff. If you are interested in more information about a career as a Family Day Care educator with Queanbeyan Family Day Care call 6285 6253 or email

info.fdc(_AT_)qcc.nsw.gov.au

Come along to community meeting

Council will hold its second community meeting for November next Wednesday, 21 November at the Fernleigh Park Community Hall commencing at 6pm. Councillors and senior council staff will be at the meeting where we will provide you with updates on a number of projects including the Old Cooma Rd upgrade, the planned Ellerton Drive Extension, Googong and Tralee developments and our Integrated Planning and Reporting requirements. Residents will also be able to ask questions. The meeting will commence at 6pm at the Community Hall on Swan Drive and I hope to see you there.

Finish your week with Markets

Queanbeyan’s Summer Sunset Markets are back again tonight. The Markets have started the 2012-13 season in great style and with some clear weather forecast for this evening it’s sure to continue. The Markets run from 5pm-8pm near the Council Chambers in Crawford St and include a range of market stalls.





South Tralee development gets the green light


It has been a momentous week for Queanbeyan City Council with the NSW Government approving the South Tralee Local Environment Plan (LEP). This development has been subject to the most thorough planning and community consultation program for a project of its size. Following a lengthy period of due diligence, the NSW Minister for Planning Brad Hazzard’s approval means that Queanbeyan’s long term Residential and Economic Growth Strategy can proceed in an orderly manner with housing affordability and choice being assured. In approving the LEP the Minister highlighted the South Tralee development will deliver around 2,000 new dwellings to Queanbeyan. Council is also currently working on a draft LEP for the associated Poplars area providing land for Employment, Community Facilities, a Local Centre and Environmental Conservation.

Aircraft noise
In approving the LEP, the Minister made amendments which ensure that all residential development in South Tralee will be outside the ANEF 20 noise corridor which more than complies with the nationally-recognised and already strict planning requirements for urban planning in the vicinity of airports. No houses will be built under the designated flight path. This is a win-win decision which allows for the growth and expansion of Queanbeyan and also the expansion of the Canberra Airport to meet its own ultimate capacity projections without detriment. In approving the LEP, the NSW Government has imposed some restrictions on housing at South Tralee which exceed  state planning guidelines and Australian Standards for developments outside an ANEF20 noise corridor. As a precautionary measure, all new houses constructed at South Tralee are to be insulated for aircraft noise and Council is required to include a notice on S.149 Planning Certificates advising prospective purchasers that the area may be subject to aircraft noise.

What happens now?
The approval of the South Tralee LEP is a significant step in a long process. Council will now work closely with the NSW Department of Planning, the developer, the National Capital Authority and also have further discussions with the ACT Government. These discussions will variously include a local planning agreement, a possible contribution plan, water and sewage facilities, a Development Control Plan and access roads. Significant time and resources will be required for this work, meaning that actual development of the site is still some time away.

Nominate for Australia Day awards

Has an individual, group or event impressed you over the past year? If so, there is no better way to recognise their effort than by nominating them for an Australia Day award. Nominations are being called in the following categories:

• Queanbeyan Citizen of the Year
• Queanbeyan Young Citizen of the Year
• Queanbeyan Event of the Year
• Queanbeyan Service Group of the Year.

Nominations close on Wednesday 5 December 2012 at 5pm. Nominations may be lodged by mail to The Secretary, Australia Day Committee, Queanbeyan City Council, PO Box 90 Queanbeyan NSW 2620 or by hand to the General Manager’s Office or Queanbeyan Conference Centre Office – 253 Crawford Street Queanbeyan. Nomination forms can be obtained from Council’s Customer Service Centre at 257 Crawford St, the Queanbeyan Library at 6 Rutledge St, the Queanbeyan Tourism Information Centre at 1 Farrer Place or Council’s website at www.qcc.nsw.gov.au.





Community meeting on Wednesday 7 November


Council provides residents of the Local Government Area with a number of opportunities to gain information about Council services and projects. One of the major opportunities are our community meetings which are held twice a year in two different locations. The next community meetings will be held on the following dates:

• Wednesday 7 November at 7pm at the Council Chambers, 253 Crawford St, Queanbeyan for Queanbeyan, Jerrabomberra and Carwoola residents in particular.
• Wednesday 21 November at 6pm at the Fernleigh Park Community Hall, 17 Swan Drive, Googong.

Agenda items will include major projects update, Integrated Planning, South Tralee Local Environmental Plan, Poplars Local Environmental Plan, Googong development, Ellerton Drive update, Old Cooma Rd update, Tuggeranong Solar Farm and an opportunity to ask questions of Council staff. Residents are invited to attend and submit items for inclusion in the agenda. Contact Ricky Tozer on 6285 6577 or email

communications(_AT_)qcc.nsw.gov.au
for information or if you wish to place an item on the agenda.

Another boost to Queanbeyan sport

Queanbeyan is regarded as one of the major sporting centres in regional Australia and it’s important that we have the facilities to match this status. Council has made a concerted effort over the past four years to improve our existing facilities and where possible develop new facilities for our sporting clubs. On Thursday night Queanbeyan’s newest sporting facility, the Freebody Oval Cricket Pavilion was officially opened by the Member for Eden-Monaro, Dr Mike Kelly. On the field the Queanbeyan District Cricket Club has been dominant against its ACT and NSW rivals and now it has an off-field facility to match their on-field performances. The new pavilion includes viewing areas which look over Freebody 1 and 2, home and away change rooms, a large function area, a meeting room, medical and referees’ rooms and canteen facilities.  The pavilion was funded by the Federal Government with Council project managing the construction. The pavilion joins a long list of recent sporting facility projects undertaken by Council. Some of the other projects include the Indoor Sports Centre, Queanbeyan Whites Clubhouse and more than $600,000 over the past two years spent on upgrading sports facilities via the CityCARE levy. And just last week Council agreed to undertake detailed planning in consultation with sporting clubs and associations for the design of a staged new sports precinct and aquatic centre in the Jerrabomberra area.

Keep an eye out for Fireweed

Council’s Noxious Weeds team has identified an isolated patch of the highly toxic and highly invasive Fireweed along Old Cooma Rd. This fast-growing noxious weed forms a persistent seed bank and can reach up to 50cm high with yellow daisy like flowers, typically with 13 petals. A link on Council’s website shows photos of Fireweed. If you suspect you have Fireweed on your property contact Council’s Noxious Weeds Officer Sean Kaden 0409 786 526.

Finish your week with Markets

Queanbeyan’s Summer Sunset Markets are back again tonight. The Markets have started the 2012-13 season in great style and with some clear weather forecast for this evening it’s sure to continue. The Markets run from 5pm-8pm near the Council Chambers in Crawford St and include a range of market stalls which are complemented by live entertainment and also the Charity Book Fair.





Council calls for Old Cooma Rd tenders


One of the Queanbeyan road network’s main upgrades moved a step closer last week when Council called for tenders for the Stage 1 of the Old Cooma Rd upgrades. Stage 1 of the Old Cooma Rd Realignment will see the section of road near the Cooma Rd Quarry replaced with a straighter and wider section of road making for much safer travel and improved traffic flow between Queanbeyan and the new township of Googong. The realignment will commence south of Wickerslack Lane and extend south for approximately 1.8km towards Googong. Stage 1 of the new road will be single lane each way with a southbound overtaking lane from Tempe Cres to Talpa Rd. Queanbeyan’s road network, especially in the south of the city, will come under increased pressure over the next 20 years as the new town of Googong is developed. Old Cooma Rd is the main road in and out of Googong and this realignment is just the start of the work planned for this road. Eventually, Old Cooma Rd, from Edwin Land Parkway to the Googong turnoff, will be two lanes in both directions, however that upgrade is not required for a number of years. Developers of Googong, CIC Australia, will be contributing the majority of funding for the Old Cooma Rd upgrades (Stage 1 and 2). Additional funding will be provided by Queanbeyan City Council and possibly other development contributions. Tenders must be submitted by 26 October.

Maintaining our local roads

A number of streets around Queanbeyan will benefit from Council’s bitumen resealing program over the coming few weeks. This work schedule comprises of Council’s annual resealing program and the work funded by Council’s CityCARE Program. The contractors commenced work earlier this week and depending on weather, expect the program to take two weeks to complete. Bitumen resealing requires the contractors to apply an even coat of bitumen followed by a spread of aggregate to ensure a waterproof and non-slippery surface is maintained. In total, the contractors will be resealing 75 sections of road, covering more than 70,000 square metres. Council’s road stabilisation program is expected to commence prior to Christmas and the program includes annual works along with those funded by the CityCARE Program. The program will see 11 sections of the Queanbeyan road network, totalling nearly 20,000 square metres, receive attention.

Contribute to Sensory Garden

Construction of the Sensory Garden in Ray Morton Park is moving along nicely and today, as part of Mental Health Week, residents can help design clay tablets to be installed in the garden. The event commences at 12pm today and is open to all members of the public, with a free barbecue, drinks and music included. Participants will be encouraged to decorate and mark the clay tablets with the theme of the art-work to be “Mental Health - Celebrate, Connect, Grow”. Once the tablets are completed they will be baked and installed in the Sensory Garden. Council will commence planting in the Sensory Garden in early November while some other equipment will be installed over the coming weeks to ensure the area stimulates all of the senses. The Garden will be officially opened on 28 September 2013 – Queanbeyan’s 175th birthday. 

Queanbeyan Cup this Sunday

The Queanbeyan Racing Club’s biggest day of the year is on this Sunday. The $40,000 Queanbeyan Cup is the highlight of the club’s season and is expected to attract a quality field this year. Make sure you get along to the race track on Sunday with gates opening at 10.30am and the first of eight races at 1.10pm.





Incentive for Crawford St dining


In a bid to encourage outdoor dining and furniture in the recently-opened Crawford St Lifestyle Precinct, Council has agreed to defer a rental charge for businesses. The Outdoor Dining Procedure, which was adopted on 26 May 2010, said that businesses in the Crawford St Lifestyle Precinct would be charged $30 per square metre of footpath used. As an incentive to businesses to trial outdoor furniture and dining, Council agreed to defer the fees per square metre from 7 October 2012 until 30 June 2013. Having talked to a number of businesses along Crawford St, there is a definite desire to utilise the outdoor dining area and I look forward to seeing the area come to life of an evening. Another move Council is trialling to increase accessibility to the area is a six-month trial of untimed parking in the bus zone. This trial will run until April 2013 and allows motorists to park in the bus zone between 8.30pm and 6am, seven days a week.

Honour Walk launched

Despite wet conditions, the opening of the Queanbeyan Honour Walk was a great success last Friday with more than 100 people attending. The opening was held under the awning of the recently-renovated Royal Hotel and it was pleasing to see such a great cross-section of the Queanbeyan community in attendance, and especially those who were inducted into the Honour Walk. Council inducted 22 people into the Honour Walk whose achievements covered a wide variety of activities, including sport, religion, politics and general contribution to Queanbeyan. The crowd was privileged to hear to a speech from local historian Gillian Kelly. Gillian’s knowledge of Queanbeyan’s history is remarkable and it was very pleasing to hear such a detailed account of this city’s early years. The opening of the Honour Walk coincided with Queanbeyan’s 174th birthday and Council also used it to launch the celebrations for Queanbeyan’s 175th birthday in 2013. A number of activities have been planned during 2013 to commemorate Queanbeyan’s 175th birthday. The activities will culminate in a large celebration in Ray Morton Park on Saturday 28 September 2013 for Queanbeyan’s 175th birthday.

Don’t miss the Summer Sunset Markets

The very popular Summer Sunset Markets return to Queanbeyan today for their first outing for 2012-13. The Markets really blossomed in 2011-12 with large crowds and record numbers of stallholders throughout the season. The new season will start with a bang this afternoon with some great live entertainment and a number of interesting stallholders and food vendors booked in. The Markets are held near the Council Chambers at 253 Crawford St and run from 5pm-8pm on the first and third Friday of each month during the daylight saving months.

Is your pool safe?

With the weather warming up, residents with private swimming pools are being reminded to ensure they comply with safety standards. Council aims to inspect all private pools in Queanbeyan every three years and has recently sent information to pool owners outlining their responsibilities. The NSW Swimming Pools Act 1992 requires that all residential swimming pools be fenced. The Australian Standard for swimming pool fencing is AS1926.1 and is available to all residents to view free of charge on its website – www.qcc.nsw.gov.au. For more information about swimming pool fencing and safety requirements, contact Council’s Sustainability and Better Living Division on (02) 6285 6246 between 8.30am and 4.30pm.





Cr Peter Bray elected Deputy Mayor


Council held its first meeting following the Local Government Elections on Wednesday night. The meeting allowed the Council to elect a Deputy Mayor and I congratulate Cr Peter Bray on his election. Cr  Bray was Deputy Mayor during 2011-12 and I look forward to working closely with him, along with the other eight councillors. Also at the meeting we appointed representatives to the numerous Council committees and a full list of these appointments can be found on our website at www.qcc.nsw.gov.au.

Forums and meetings

Also at Council’s meeting on Wednesday night we received and discussed two reports which have an impact on the Queanbeyan community. Firstly, Council agreed to continue holding public forums on the first Wednesday of each month. The public forms have been in place for more than a year and have provided a great opportunity for residents to put questions to Council and for Council to deliver a detailed response. All questions and answers provided at the public forum are made available on Council’s website the morning following the forum. The other report was in regards to the community meetings which Council holds twice a year, generally in October/November and March/April. These meetings have been held at Fernleigh Park, Jerrabomberra and Queanbeyan. Council agreed to amend the Community Meetings Policy to combine the Queanbeyan and Jerrabomberra meetings into one which will be held in the Council Chambers at 7pm. There was little benefit in having two separate meetings for Jerrabomberra and Queanbeyan/Carwoola residents. The combined meeting will allow those who attend to have a better understanding of issues across the entire Queanbeyan Local Government Area, not just in their particular suburb. The combined meeting is also more practical now that the Edwin Land Parkway extension has been opened, reducing the already short travelling time between Jerrabomberra and the Queanbeyan CBD for many.

Honouring Queanbeyan’s greats

Today we will officially open the Queanbeyan Honour Walk with 22 of Queanbeyan’s great achievers to be inducted. The Honour Walk is located in the Crawford St Lifestyle Precinct and allows us to recognise the feats and achievements of Queanbeyan’s great contributors. The achievements of the 22 people inducted to the Honour Walk have been captured on bronze plaques which are an enduring testament to those who have contributed throughout their lives and/or achieved outstanding recognition. I encourage you to take some time to walk along both sides of Crawford St to see these plaques.

Help us plan for cycling paths

The use of cycling paths has become increasingly popular over the past 5-10 years and Queanbeyan City Council is seeking the community’s input to enhance our cycling network. In 2010 Council adopted the Queanbeyan Bicycle Plan and since then a number of projects have been undertaken. While working through the Plan, it has become apparent that the priority of the works schedule has not allowed for an effective implementation plan for the future, in line with the community’s expectations. Council is therefore seeking community input to revisit the priority of the works schedule to ensure we undertake the work deemed most urgent by the community. The Queanbeyan Bicycle Plan is now on public exhibition until Wednesday 24 October and can be viewed at Council’s Customer Service Centre at 257 Crawford St, the Queanbeyan Library at 6 Rutledge St or on our website.





Come see our new Library


The Queanbeyan community now has access to an improved community facility after the new Queanbeyan Library was opened on Monday. The Library was relocated from its former location in Crawford St to its new home in the former NSW Parks and Wildlife Building in Rutledge St. The relocation of the Library was a much-needed project as the previous Library had simply outgrown its popularity. The Queanbeyan Library, which also services Palerang residents, has over 27,000 members and a population of around 100,000. The new Library has about 70% more floor space and has allowed sections of the Library to be segregated to allow for a better experience for customers. As with the Crawford St Lifestyle Precinct, the Library is complemented with a range of public art pieces. A number of artists were engaged to help add some colour and life to the Library and their pieces adorn in the interior and exterior of the building. We will be holding a small ceremony next Thursday to officially open the Library and thank the people involved in making it all happen.

Burra artist win award

More than 30 artists from Queanbeyan and surrounding councils entered the 2012 Queanbeyan City Council Regional Art Award. It is the fifth year Council has held the award, and the first that the award has been open to artists outside the Queanbeyan Local Government Area. The exhibition was opened and award winners announced last Tuesday as part of Council’s Local Government Week celebrations. Our guest judges, Martin and Susie Beaver, Directors of Beaver Galleries in Deakin, ran their eyes over the entries and selected Burra artist Sharon Field as the winner of the award. Sharon submitted a graphite drawing on paper titled ‘Pods in Space – The Queanbeyan Karrajong’. The Highly Commended award was split between two of our younger entrants in eight-year-old Oliver and five-year-old Angus Primrose from Jerrabomberra. Oliver submitted a watercolour and texta piece titled ‘Portrait of my Dad’ while Angus’ entry was a charcoal drawing on paper titled ‘Donkey Kong’. Oliver and Angus followed in the footsteps of their mother Claire who won the top prize in 2009. The exhibition remains open until 24 August in The Q’s exhibition space and I encourage you to get along and have a look and to also vote in the Peoples’ Choice award. The Q’s exhibition space is open Monday-Friday 10am-4pm and Saturday 10am-3pm.

Honouring the ‘Jerra Crew’

Yesterday I made a special presentation to a group of people who have made a great contribution to Queanbeyan, and in particular Jerrabomberra. The ‘Jerra Crew’ have been maintaining Jerrabomberra’s green space areas since the suburb’s infancy in 1995. They have continued to work as the suburb has grown around them and now there are three teams of four support staff and depending on the time of year, there can be up to 30 staff in action across the suburb. The ‘Jerra Crew’ is made up by people with a disability who are employed by LEAD (Live, Experience, Access, Develop) who are contracted to Council to undertake maintenance around the suburb. The ‘Jerra Crew’ was presented with a Mayoral Community Service Award before we enjoyed a barbecue lunch at their depot.





Celebrating what Local Government has to offer


Council will celebrate Local Government next week and we have organised a range of events for the community. Local Government Week runs from 13-18 August and helps increase the community’s understanding of the important role played by their local council in providing a broad range of essential services. The events planned for Local Government Week are:
Local Government Week launch: The program of events will be officially launched on Tuesday 14 August at 6pm in The Q’s Exhibition Space.
Queanbeyan City Council Regional Art Award: Following the launch on Tuesday 14 August, I will be opening the Regional Art Award exhibition. The Regional Art Award is open to artists who reside in the Queanbeyan, Palerang, Cooma Monaro or Yass Valley local government areas. At around 6pm, the winners for this year’s awards will be announced.
Tours of new Library: The new Queanbeyan Library will open its doors to the community during Local Government Week on Monday 13 August and members of the community are being offered guided tours of the Library on Thursday 16 August between 10am and 2pm. To book your place for a Library tour call 6285 6239.
Major projects: Throughout the week the Library will have displays of the major Council projects planned for the year ahead and highlights from the Council’s Operational Plan for 2012-13.
Careers presentation: Council offers a broad range of career opportunities and a special presentation will be held on Wednesday 15 August at 6pm in the Council Chambers at 253 Crawford St. To book a place call 6285 6524.
Queanbeyan Historical Museum: The Museum, located in Farrer Place, will have a special opening on Thursday 16 August between 11am and 2pm. The Museum will also be open on Saturday and Sunday (18-19 August) from 1pm to 4pm.
Queanbeyan Printing Museum: The Printing Museum, also located in Farrer Place, will be open on Saturday and Sunday (18-19 August) from 2pm to 4pm.
I encourage residents to come along to these events which showcase the great work that Council does in the community and also promotes the history of Queanbeyan. The full program of activities for Local Government Week 2012 activities is available from Council’s Customer Services Desk at 257 Crawford St and on Council’s website at www.qcc.nsw.gov.au or by email from

peter.conlon(_AT_)qcc.nsw.gov.au

Vegetation clearing

Essential Energy vegetation contractors will be working across the Queanbeyan City Council area over the next eight weeks to trim vegetation and maintain safe clearances between trees and powerlines. From mid-August through to late October crews will trim trees in the Queanbeyan town centre and surrounding suburbs including Karabar and Crestwood. To help customers select the appropriate species to plant under or near powerlines a free Tree Planting Guide is available from Essential Energy.

Suzy does us proud

Queanbeyan trap shooter Suzy Balogh did herself, Queanbeyan and Australia proud over the weekend at the London Olympic Games. Suzy, a gold medallist in Athens and a member of the Queanbeyan Sporting Gallery, finished sixth in this year’s competition. Congratulations Suzy on your performance and we look forward to seeing you back in Queanbeyan soon.





Draft Poplars Plan on public exhibition


The draft Queanbeyan Local Environmental Plan (Poplars) 2011 will be placed on public exhibition from Monday 6 August until Friday 14 September. The draft plan aims to rezone the section of land near the suburb of Jerrabomberra from Rural 1a to zones E2 Environmental Conservation, B1 Neighbourhood Centre, B7 Business Park and RE2 Private Recreation. These zones will provide for employment and community land use opportunities and environmental conservation. The draft plan and environmental study can be viewed at the following venues:
• Council’s Sustainability and Better Living Section display area on the first level of 257 Crawford St from 8.30am-4pm
• Council’s Customer Service display area on the ground floor of 257 Crawford St from 8.30am-4pm
• Queanbeyan Library from 9.30am-6pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 9.30am-7pm on Thursday and 9.30am-4pm on Saturday. (See item below regarding Library closure)
• Council’s website at www.qcc.nsw.gov.au.
For more information residents can call 6285 6276 or speak to Council staff at the Jerrabomberra Shopping Centre from 3pm-6.30pm on Thursday 30 August. Submissions on the draft plan may be made to Council up until 4.30pm on 14 September 2012, either by email to

council(_AT_)qcc.nsw.gov.au
or in writing to the General Manager, Queanbeyan City Council, PO Box 90, Queanbeyan NSW 2620.

Library closed to facilitate move

The new-look Queanbeyan Library is just over a week away from being opened. The Library will be opened to the public at 9.30am on Monday 13 August, but before that can happen the Library will be closed for a few days to allow resources to be moved from the Crawford St location to its new home in Rutledge St. The Library will be closed from 2pm on Saturday 4 August and won’t be reopen until 9.30am on Monday 13 August. As you can imagine, the task of relocating the Library from its current location to its new home is an extensive activity, but at the end of the day the customers will be much better served in the new premises. If you have some Library items that have to be returned during the closure dates, don’t worry, loan periods have been extended for the closure and you can still return your items through the After Hours Return at the Crawford St building. Library staff will also be offering special guided tours of the new Library during Local Government Week (13-19 August). The tours will be held between 10am and 2pm on Thursday 16 August and you can reserve a time by calling 6285 6238.

Best of luck Suzy

Queanbeyan trap shooter Suzy Balogh will chase her second Olympic gold medal tomorrow night (9pm AEST) at the London Olympics. Suzy, a member of the Queanbeyan Sporting Gallery, famously won a gold medal on her Olympics debut in Athens and goes into tomorrow’s event as the No. 1 Australian women's trap shooter. On behalf of the entire Queanbeyan community I wish Suzy the best of luck in her event. For those keen on watching, the trap shooting is on at 9pm on Saturday night AEST.

Farewell to a Queanbeyan great - Terry Freebody

On Wednesday I had the honour of attending the commemoration and celebration of the life of Terry Freebody at St Christopher’s Cathedral. In addition to being one of Queanbeyan’s greatest sporting champions - cricket and rugby league, Terry Freebody contributed enormously to business and employment in the Capital Region through his business interests spanning the automotive industry, movie theatres and radio. There are few that have contributed so much to the life of Queanbeyan and the Region and with such modesty.





Edwin Land Parkway to be opened


On Monday, one of the key pieces of road infrastructure for Queanbeyan will be opened. The 2.3km Edwin Land Parkway extension connects Jerrabomberra and Karabar and provides residents with an alternate exit from their suburbs and will also help ease peak traffic congestion at the Tompsitt Drive/Lanyon Drive intersection. The extension has street lighting, off-road cycle path and pedestrian path alongside its entirety. The cycle path and pedestrian path will also continue from the intersection of Old Cooma Rd up to Southbar Rd. The road is a single carriageway, with the exception of an additional slow lane for the climb from Old Cooma Rd. The Edwin Land Parkway extension forms a major part of the overall strategy for the Queanbeyan road network. It is envisaged that in years to come the termination point of the extension will join up with the Ellerton Drive extension.

Old Cooma Rd realignment

With the Edwin Land Parkway extension now complete, attention will turn to the first stage of works on Old Cooma Rd. Tree clearing has already commenced along the planned route and following the finalisation of land acquisition Council will be in a position to prepare tender documents. The realignment will see the section of road near the Cooma Rd Quarry replaced with a straighter and wider section of road making for much safer travel and improved traffic flow between Queanbeyan and the new town of Googong. The  realignment will be funded from developer contributions and is expected to take seven months. Stage 2 will involve a 4.5km duplication of Old Cooma Rd from Edwin Land Parkway at Karabar to Googong. This will deliver a four-lane dual carriageway for the full length of the duplication, however this is not expected to be scheduled for quite some years. 

Assistance for Childcare Centre

Earlier this week I was pleased to present a cheque for $1,550 to the Campbell St Childcare Centre to assist with their renovations. The makeover is a community driven project and is being undertaken in conjunction with Early Childhood Australia and will see the childcare’s environment upgraded to ensure it complies with the National Quality Standards and new framework. Early Childhood Australia is documenting the project through a professional video that will form part of a roll-out of similar projects across Australia. The majority of work at the centre has been complete and includes three decks, a baby yard, new turf, new garden, a dry river bed, animals and a path. The centre obtained this funding through Council’s General Donations Program. Speaking of the General Donations Program, applications for the 2012-13 vote close on 31 July. Application forms can be obtained from Council’s website at www.qcc.nsw.gov.au or by calling 6285 6223.

It’s market time

For a family outing with early Christmas festivity, head down to Council’s Christmas In July Markets this Sunday at The Q between 11am and 3pm. The markets will include antiques, collectables, arts and crafts, gourmet treats, costume jewellery, candles, quilts, beanies, cushions, handmade cards, art, glass and much more.





No place for graffiti in Queanbeyan


There has been a worrying increase in the number of graffiti attacks in Queanbeyan and Jerrabomberra over the past few months. It’s very disappointing that some people in our city don’t respect our community assets and feel the need to graffiti them. Graffiti is a scourge on the community and in 2010-11 alone it cost ratepayers about $40,000 This is money which could be better spent on a range of projects, however due to the actions of some it is tied up in graffiti removal. I must commend the actions of Council staff in promptly cleaning up these graffiti attacks, especially major clean ups at the railway siding near the Uriarra Rd entrance to Queanbeyan, the Queens Bridge, Letchworth playing fields, Riverside and Citylink Plaza and numerous other sporting facilities. Graffiti is a serious problem across NSW and there are serious consequences for perpetrators, including:
• Up to five years jail for malicious damage
• Up to 10 years jail for malicious damage caused by fire or explosives
• A fine of up to $2,200 or six months jail for defacing property with spray paint
• A fine of up to $1,100 or three months jail for possession of spray paint
• A fine of up to $440 for wilfully marking any premises by means of chalk, paint or other material.
Anyone who sees graffiti applied to public property such as amenity blocks in parks etc, should contact Council immediately on 6285 6000 or fill in a feedback form on Council’s website at www.qcc.nsw.gov.au. If the graffiti is on private property, Council advises property owners to contact the Police Assistance Line (PAL) on 131 444. The Police will complete a Malicious Damage Report which will assist in tracking the offender down.

Chance to clean out chemicals

Residents will be able to get rid of their unwanted chemicals tomorrow between 8am and 2pm in the Collett St carpark. Council’s annual household chemical collection gives residents the opportunity to empty their sheds and workshops of unwanted chemicals and dispose them in a safe and way. Some of the chemicals that are accepted include solvents and household cleaners, fluorescent globes and tubes, car batteries, motor oils, fuels and fluids, paint and paint-related products, poisons, gas bottles and more. For a full list visit Council’s website at www.qcc.nsw.gov.au

Documents on public exhibition

From time to time Council agrees to place documents and plans on public exhibition. These are generally available for 28 days and members of the public are encouraged to view the information and make a submission if required. At the moment, Council has three documents on public exhibition, which are:

Development Control Plan No 1 – carparking
This plan sets the standards which Council applies to development applications in regards to carparking. Some changes have been made to the plan and it is on exhibition until 24 July 2012.

Fees and charges 2012-13
While the majority of Council’s fees and charges were adopted at our June meeting, some additions and corrections have been made. These five fees and charges are on exhibition until 24 July.

Community Climate Change Action Plan
The draft Community Climate Change Action Plan was developed after several community consultation exercises and is on exhibition until 27 July 2012. It includes a table of actions and covers actions that can be undertaken by Council and the community as well as advocating for other levels

All documents can be downloaded from Council’s website at www.qcc.nsw.gov.au or viewed at Council’s Customer Service Centre at 257 Crawford St, Queanbeyan. Comments on any of the abovementioned documents can be made by emailing

council(_AT_)qcc.nsw.gov.au
, by mail to The General Manager, Queanbeyan City Council, PO Box 90 Queanbeyan NSW 2620 or in person to Council’s Customer Service Centre at 257 Crawford St, Queanbeyan.





Crawford St opening a great community event


Last Saturday the Crawford St Lifestyle Precinct was officially opened. While the weather was a little bit chilly, I was very pleased to see such a great crowd come along for the opening. Those who did come along were treated to some great entertainment, market stalls and showbags. The opening was the perfect example of what the Lifestyle Precinct will bring to this city and I look forward to seeing it grow over the coming years. Five years ago no one would have believed that a community event like the opening could be held in the Queanbeyan CBD. But the work that Council has done has added a new dimension to our CBD and will prove attractive to residents, visitors and be a boost to businesses.

New cricket pavilion taking shape

Last week I toured the new cricket pavilion at Freebody Oval. The contractors have made good progress on the pavilion and it remains on track to be opened in time for the club’s 150th birthday celebrations. The finished pavilion will include a large function room, canteen, home and visitor changerooms, a medical room, public toilets and a large storage space. Council and the Queanbeyan District Cricket Club worked tirelessly to submit an application for funding under the Federal Government’s Regional and Local Infrastructure Program – Strategic Projects. The application was unsuccessful, however funding was soon approved as part of the Federal election campaign. Since funding was obtained, Council staff have worked closely with the Cricket Club to ensure the pavilion progressed to plan.

Bicentennial Hall returns

At last week’s meeting, Council agreed to change the name of the building attached to the Council Chambers. The building was originally known as the Bicentennial Hall as funding was obtained as part of the Bicentennial celebrations. In the early 2000s the name was changed to the Conference Centre, however Council agreed that the name did not reflect the capabilities of the hall and type of activity being undertaken in the facility. The name will now revert back to the Queanbeyan Bicentennial Hall.

Viewing platform for Jerrabomberra Creek

Queanbeyan residents and visitors will be able to get stunning views of the Jerrabomberra Creek from a viewing platform which will be constructed off Tamarind Place in Jerrabomberra. This project was recommended in the Jerrabomberra Creek Plan of Management which was adopted in 2006, however adequate funding has not previously been available to undertake the work. Council has allocated funding to ensure the work is undertaken during 2012-13 and staff are currently obtaining quotes.





Celebrating our new-look CBD


The Crawford St Lifestyle Precinct has given Queanbeyan’s CBD a much-needed boost and tomorrow the area will be officially opened with an afternoon of community activities. The majority of construction was complete in late June and since then contractors have been addressing some minor defects to ensure it’s in top shape for tomorrow’s opening. The Lifestyle Precinct is impressive and now that it’s complete it is very hard to picture what that section of Crawford St used to be like, but the widened footpaths, removal of the restrictive mid-street planter box, new landscaping and improved lighting make for an inviting public space. Add to that the public artwork which is splashed through the area and it’s something Queanbeyan should be proud of and embrace. The community activities will run from 12 noon until 3pm tomorrow with the official opening at 1pm. There will be plenty to do and see with market stalls, food tasting, live entertainment and a busking competition. There will also be showbags to give away and a major prize draw. Throughout the opening Crawford St will remain open to traffic with carparking available in the street and also the public carparks off Morisset St, Rutledge St and Lowe St.

Changes to Operational Plan

Council adopted its Operational Plan and Schedule of Fees and Charges at its meeting on Wednesday night. Major capital works include Old Cooma Rd (removal of quarry bends), extensions to the Jerrabomberra Community Centre, new footpaths & cycle ways and upgrades of parks & playgrounds. These documents were on public exhibition during May-June and a number of additions were made after we received 28 submissions – these included:
• synthetic cricket pitches at Blundell Oval, Tayor Park and Wright Park
• cricket practice nets at Steve Mauger Park
• renovations to the Stoney Creek Community Hall
• updating the Queanbeyan Sporting Hall of Fame booklet.
• upgrade of SES HQ surrounds
With these additions to the Operational Plan, Council’s predicted cash surplus for the 2012-13 financial year has been revised to $34,509.

Climate Change Action Plan on exhibition

Also on Wednesday night, Council agreed to place the draft Community Climate Change Action Plan 2013-17 on public exhibition. Following a number of community consultation exercises in 2011 and 2012, Council staff have developed a draft plan which will now be on exhibition until 27 July 2012. The draft Plan creates positive early steps in the path towards sustainability by providing guidance for Council and the community to work together on environmental issues. A table of actions is included in this plan and covers actions that can be undertaken by Council and the community as well as advocating for other levels of government. The draft Plan will be available at:
• Council’s Customer Service Centre at 257 Crawford St
• Council’s Sustainability and Better Living Section on the first floor of 257 Crawford St
• Council’s website at www.qcc.nsw.gov.au under ‘Documents on Public Exhibition’.
Submissions should be submitted prior to 27 July.





Push to gain constitutional recognition


Earlier this week I attended the National General Assembly (NGA) of Local Government in Canberra. The main item on the agenda was the push to have a referendum at the next Federal election on Constitutional Recognition of Local Government. Currently local government is not recognised in the constitution and this means that direct funding from the Federal Government to local government could be challenged. The NGA is very supportive of the Australian Local Government Association’s campaign and Federal Minister for Local Government Simon Crean said the government would support the push for a referendum if support was evident and a decision would be made by October. A ruling by the High Court on Wednesday in the Williams Case strengthened local government’s case for constitutional recognition and for a referendum. The High Court found that the Federal Government does not have the power to provide direct funding in areas and to organisations outside its constitutional responsibility, suggesting that funding currently provided to local government through programs such as Roads to Recovery are clearly open to constitutional challenge and therefore in doubt. (Your Council has previously resolved to fully support constitutional recognition). The NGA also dealt with a number of motions from councils across Australia including the continuation of the Roads to Recovery Program, infrastructure funding, the child care system and the environment.

New development controls

At its Planning and Development Review Committee meeting last Wednesday, Council adopted the revised Development Control Plan (DCP) No 56 - Dual Occupancy Housing, Multi Dwelling Housing and Residential Flat Buildings. The DCP was placed on public exhibition earlier this year and two submissions were received and taken into consideration before the DCP was finalised. The new controls represent a substantial overhaul of Council’s previous design and development standards. The amendments assist in encouraging improvements to design, scale and density of developments to improve building appearance, streetscape and local amenity. Council agreed that a transition period of six months should apply for those persons who have sought advice from Council’s Development Coordination and Review Panel (DCR) and intend to submit their applications within this period.

Mosaics add some spark

The finishing touches are being put on the Crawford St Lifestyle Precinct before next Saturday’s official opening and on Wednesday three special additions were made. Students from Queanbeyan High School developed three mosaics to be fixed to the seats in the Lifestyle Precinct. The mosaics add a special touch to the area and another seven are currently being designed by other community groups and will be installed in the coming months. A number of public artworks adorn the area and include steel birds affixed on parking signs and bollards which line the street and include the names of 50 of Queanbeyan’s most influential people. Starting next week a local artist will be painting a mural on hoarding which will cover the vacant block where the Queanbeyan Age was formerly housed. And there are plans for a sculpture to commemorate the valuable contribution the migrant community has made to Queanbeyan. The official opening of the Lifestyle Precinct will be held between 12 noon and 3pm next Saturday 30 June and will feature a range of live entertainment, activities and market stalls. Unfortunately our headline act, Australia’s Got Talent contestant Owen Campbell, has had to withdraw, but we are trying to secure other entertainment.

Good luck netballers

Best of luck to the Queanbeyan netball team in this Sunday’s final of the ACT State League 2 competition. Queanbeyan grabbed a spot in the final with a nine-point victory over Canberra last Friday night. They will play Tuggeranong in the grand final at 1pm at Lyneham on Sunday, so be sure to get out there to support our netball stars.





Funding for road improvements


The NSW Government’s budget, which was released on Tuesday, included almost $2 million of previously promised funds to assist with the upgrade of Queanbeyan’s traffic network. The budget included $1.4 million to allow Council to undertake design and environmental studies to get the Ellerton Drive ring road extension to fully approved status. These funds were promised to Council as part of a $4 million package to undertake work on the Ellerton Drive extension and 13 intersections. The budget also includes $500,000 to assist with land acquisition and the construction of stage 1 of the Old Cooma Rd upgrades. The Ellerton Drive extension has been on the plans for more than 30 years and when complete it will help remove heavy traffic from Queanbeyan’s CBD. By getting these funds now, Council will be able to progress the road to a shovel-ready stage by 2016, which will assist in accessing Federal and State funding to undertake the extension. Stage 1 of the Old Cooma Rd upgrades will see the section of road near the Cooma Rd Quarry replaced with a straighter and wider section of road making for much safer travel and improved traffic flow between Queanbeyan and the new town of Googong. While still well short of the injection required to address all concerns along the Kings Highway, it was pleasing to see $5 million allocated to pavement work at dangerous locations along the Highway.

Climate Change Action Plan

Council agreed at its Planning and Development Review Committee meeting on Wednesday night to undertake further work on the draft Community Climate Change Action Plan 2013-17 before placing it on public exhibition. The draft Plan has been developed following a number of community consultation exercises. The draft Plan creates positive early steps in the path towards sustainability by providing guidance for Council and the community to work together on climate change issues. Council staff are also developing an internal Climate Change Action Plan which will focus on the organisation’s activities. The draft Plan is to be further reviewed at a workshop of councillors and staff with the intention that it be released for further public comment and input in the very near future.

Operational Plan nearing completion

Also on Wednesday evening, Council held a second workshop on the draft budget and capital works program for 2012-13. Council received 28 written submissions and six presentations from the community. As a result, quite a number of recommendations will be included for final consideration and likely adoption by Council on 27 June.

Sister City information session

Anyone interested in participating in Council’s Sister City exchange with Minami Alps in Japan should come along to an information session at the Council Chambers next Tuesday 19 June at 5.30pm. With only two weeks to go until applications close, this session will provide any prospective delegates with vital information regarding the exchange. Some previous delegates will be at the session to share their stories and experiences. The exchange will take place between 23 September and 2 October 2012 and Council is seeking applications from Queanbeyan students aged between 14 and 17 and 2-3 chaperones. The exchange is very affordable with delegates only having to pay for their airfares and a small amount of spending money. While in Japan, delegates will stay with local families and a guided itinerary will be developed for each day (with interpreters), which means tours, meals and accommodation costs are met. For more information contact Helen Hone at Council on 6285 6167.





Asset maintenance funding secured


Queanbeyan City Council will continue to dedicate upwards of $1 million per year to the maintenance and renewal of the city’s roads, footpaths and parks and sportsfields after its application for an ongoing 5.8% Special Rate Variation (SRV) was approved. The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal approved Council’s application earlier this week, which means the CityCARE program of works, which commenced in 2010-11, will continue. This decision should have be made when the original application was determined in 2010, however the previous Minister for Local Government  approved the SRV for only three years, despite Council demonstrating community support for an ongoing SRV. In making the announcement, IPART said, “the Council has demonstrated that it has met all the criteria for a special variation. In particular, the Council showed that its previous consultations indicated community support for the CityCARE program on a permanent basis”. This CityCARE program commenced two years ago and since then Council has completed more than $1.8 million worth of works on the city’s roads, footpaths and parks and sportsfields, including (as at 4 June 2012):
• $400,760 on repairing 1300 footpath defects
• $514,000 on bitumen resealing of 27 local roads
• $467,000 on pavement rehabilitation for seven sections of local road
• $420,000 on upgrades to Queanbeyan parks and sportsfields.
Further upgrades to parks and sports fields, to the value of $180,000, are underway at the moment and are expected to be complete by the end of the financial year.

Lifestyle Precinct to be opened on 30 June

The Crawford St Lifestyle Precinct is now complete and plans are well advanced for the opening on 30 June. Contractors completed the Lifestyle Precinct late last week, however you may still see a few workers in the area as they address some minor defects. The project has transformed a tired and uninspiring section of the CBD into a pedestrian friendly and attractive area which encourages alfresco dining. The opening of the Lifestyle Precinct will be a community event and will run from 12 noon until 3pm on Saturday 30 June and will feature live music, market stalls and plenty of promotions. Traffic flow will be unaffected during the opening and parking will be available along the street or at carparks off Morisset St, Lowe St and Rutledge St.

Discussing Local Government issues

Earlier this week I, and the General Manager, attended the Shires Association of NSW Conference in Sydney. The Premier, The Hon. Barry O’Farrell, and the Minister for Local Govt, The Hon. Don Page, attended on the Tuesday with central discussion being on the establishment of the Independent Local Government Review Panel to be chaired by Professor Graham Sansom. The Review Panel is to examine options for governance models, future financial and structural arrangements and voluntary boundary changes for local government across the State. The Panel is to submit its report by 30 June 2013.

Apply now for donations

Applications are now open for Council’s General Donations Scheme which is open to non-profit community organisation which are located in or affiliated with Queanbeyan. Applications close on 31 July and forms can be can collected from the General Manager’s Office, 253 Crawford St, Queanbeyan, by visiting Council’s website www.qcc.nsw.gov.au (Council Services-Grants) or by contacting Margaret Simonovski on 6285 6223.





Impressive progress on city's projects


Queanbeyan City Council has a number of significant projects underway at the moment and during the week I accompanied staff on a tour of some of the projects.

Entrance signs
Anyone who has travelled into Queanbeyan via the Yass Rd or Canberra Ave entrances since last Thursday would have noticed a striking difference. The installation of these signs, which stand around 3m, has significantly enhanced the entrances to our city. The signs will now be complemented by  landscaping and tree plantings. The signs add to the work Council has already done at the city’s entrances, especially Yass Rd where significant planting and landscaping has been undertaken. Further signs will be installed at Lanyon Drive and Bungendore Rd in 2012-13 and the Old Cooma Rd will be upgraded following road improvements.

Freebody Oval
The new cricket clubhouse at Freebody Oval is progressing well and remains on target to be opened in time for the Queanbeyan Cricket Club’s 150th birthday. When complete the clubhouse will include ample storage, change rooms, a function room, canteen facilities, medical and referees room, and viewing areas will be provided on both sides of the building. Council and the Queanbeyan District Cricket Club worked very hard to submit an application for funding under the Federal Government’s Regional and Local Infrastructure Program – Strategic Projects.  The application was unsuccessful, however funding was soon approved as part of the Federal election campaign.

New Library
The new Queanbeyan Library is only a few months away from opening its doors. The contractors are in the final stages of renovations to the former Parks and Wildlife building in Rutledge St. It is anticipated that the contractors will be finished in June and will then be able to hand over to our Library staff who will start moving books and other resources from the old Library and it will be opened in late July. At our meeting last week Council adopted a recommendation from the Public Art Advisory Board for five pieces of artwork to be installed on both the interior and exterior of the new building.

Learn about our platypus

The Queanbeyan River provides a great environment for one of Australia’s most fascinating creatures – the platypus. Earlier this year Council adopted the River Plan of Management and Platypus Awareness and Conservation Strategy and to help provide the community increase their awareness of platypus a special information session will be held on World Environment Day, next Tuesday 5 June between 6pm and 7.30pm in the Council Chambers at 257 Crawford St, Queanbeyan. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the habitat and biology of this unique animal from the experts. For further information or a copy of the Platypus Strategy, contact Council’s Sustainability and Better Living 6285 6246.

Community unites for reconciliation

Queanbeyan’s Aboriginal community and local school children came out in force on Tuesday for the annual Reconciliation Walk. This walk has been a tremendous success in Queanbeyan and Tuesday was no exception with hundreds of people walking from Ray Morton Park, along Monaro St and into Queanbeyan Park where we congregated around the Reconciliation Garden for a ceremony. The Reconciliation Walk was held as part of National Reconciliation Week which celebrates the rich culture and history of the first Australians. This year’s theme ‘Let’s Talk Recognition’ calls for proper recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, for their cultural longevity and resilience but also for their continued contribution to our national identity.





Old Cooma Rd works to commence


The development of the new town of Googong has had a major impact on Queanbeyan City Council’s road network planning and another piece of the puzzle is set to commence soon. Old Cooma Rd requires significant upgrades to ensure it can cope with the pressure the Googong development will place on it and preliminary Stage 1 works are about to commence. Stage 1 will see the section of road near the Cooma Rd Quarry replaced with a straighter and wider section of road which commences south of Wickerslack Lane and extends south for approximately 1.5km towards Googong. The new road will be single lane, apart from a southbound overtaking lane from Tempe Cres to Talpa Rd. Preliminary work will see approximately 11 hectares of land cleared to allow for the services trench and the new roadway. An ecologist will be on site during the clearing to ensure all work meets the approved conditions. Fifteen 3m long hardwood tree trunks (including root ball) will be identified and retained for use by Council to improve fish habitat in the Queanbeyan River. Council is in the final stages of negotiations to purchase 122 hectares of land near Old Cooma Rd that will be regenerated as a biological off-set for the road development. Construction of Stage 1 of the project is estimated to cost $7 million and funding will be contributed by Council and the developers of Googong. It is expected that Stage 1 works will take seven months to complete. Stage 2 of the Old Cooma Rd works will involve a 4.5km long duplication of Old Cooma Rd from Edwin Land Parkway at Karabar to Googong, however this is not scheduled for some time.

New-look signs: a fresh approach

It’s important our City makes a good first impression.  Queanbeyan has five major entrances and as part of the Community Vision exercise in 2006 the community made it clear they wanted to see some improvements made. There has already been significant work done to the Yass Rd, Lanyon Drive, and Bungendore Rd entrances with plantings and landscaping work and yesterday the Yass Rd and Canberra Ave entrances received a further boost when new entrance signs were installed. The old entrance signs were outdated and did not give the best first impression but the new signs are bright and inviting and coupled with landscaping will give visitors a warm welcome to our city. Council’s draft Operational Plan for 2012-13 includes a further $80,000 for the Lanyon Dr and Bungendore Rd entrances, while the Old Cooma Rd entrance will be upgraded following road improvements.

Renovating Rusten House

Rusten House is one of Queanbeyan’s most significant heritage buildings and Council will be approaching the State and Federal Government to seek financial assistance to help with its restoration. Following community support in 2009, the NSW Government offered Rusten House to Council as a gift, which Council accepted (subject to asbestos issues being addressed) at its meeting on Wednesday night. A heritage report compiled in 2011 stated that immediate works valued at $300,000 would need to be undertaken in addition to the connection of services. Council has agreed to approach State and Federal Government for financial assistance.

Council expecting a surplus

Council’s quarterly budget review statement for the quarter ending 31 March 2012 shows that Council’s predicted funded result for the 2011-12 financial year has moved from a $19,000 surplus in December 2011 to a $235,000 surplus. The primary variations impacting on the result for this Quarter are savings in loan repayments, above forecast pool income, savings in salary and wage costs due to staff vacancies -  partially offset by additional cost allocations for the Jerrabomberra Community Extensions, the Council Depot upgrade and the River Clean-up Reserve.





Positive report for Sewage Treatment Plant


It was very pleasing to read the ACT Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment’s report into his investigation into the state of watercourses and catchments for Lake Burley Griffin. The report showed, among other things, that the Queanbeyan Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) played a very minor factor in the water quality in Lake Burley Griffin and indicated that the majority of pollution in the Lake was caused by the urbanisation of Canberra. In the past, the STP has been used as a scapegoat by both government agencies and lake users for the quality of water in Lake Burley Griffin. Council has always been very confident that the treated effluent released from the STP was of high quality and was having very little impact on the lake. Council is currently investigating upgrades to the STP to determine what works need to be undertaken to serve the community into the future. An option includes removing all effluent discharge from the lake during critical periods and spray irrigating effluent to playing fields and open space during summer. This can only be achieved with either Commonwealth or State Government financial assistance and Council is attempting to organise a meeting with the local Federal Member and respective Minister to explore funding options for the upgrade of the STP.

Lifestyle Precinct nearing completion

The Crawford St Lifestyle Precinct is getting extremely close to being complete. Major work on the eastern side of the street is now complete with just a few minor defects to be addressed and wooden slats to be installed on the concrete seats. The western side of the street is progressing well with the contractors planning to complete all concreting this week. This will then allow a paving crew to complete all paving next week. While the paving is being finalised landscaping will be undertaken in the garden beds along the street. The contractors expect to be complete by the end of May as scheduled and Council is starting to plan the official opening for around late June. More information on the opening will be released as it is confirmed.

Multi-million dollar development application

Council recently received a development application worth $27.5 million for the redevelopment of Warrigal Care Queanbeyan. The development application proposes the demolition of an existing aged care facility and five independent living units and the construction of a new 125 bed aged care facility on the corner of Campbell St and Canberra Avenue. This is one of the largest developments in Queanbeyan and residents have the opportunity to make comment on the development application until 4 June 2012. As the development application is valued at more than $20 million it will be determined by the Joint Regional Planning Panel – Southern Region. Assessment of the development application will still be undertaken by Council staff. Residents wishing to view the plans can do so at Council’s Sustainability and Better Living department on level one of Council’s main administration building at 257 Crawford St between 8.30am and 4.30pm weekdays.

Make your submission now

Time is running out to make a submission on Council’s draft Operational Plan and draft Schedule of Fees and Charges for 2012-13. The two documents are on exhibition until next Friday, 25 May and can be viewed on Council’s website at www.qcc.nsw.gov.au or in hard copy at Council’s Customer Service Centre or Library, both at 257 Crawford St. Submissions should be sent to

council(_AT_)qcc.nsw.gov.au
or the General Manager, PO Box 90 Queanbeyan NSW 2620. Submissions will be collated by staff and discussed by Councillors at a workshop on 13 June where submitters will be able to make a presentation if they indicate a desire in their submission.





Draft LEP approved for submission to minister


Council, at its Planning and Development Review Committee meeting on Wednesday night, made a number of amendments to the draft Queanbeyan Local Environmental Plan 2011. The draft plan was developed following the NSW Government’s introduction of a Local Environmental Plan (LEP) state-wide template in 2006.  In developing the draft plan the four existing LEPs operating in Queanbeyan were combined into one comprehensive document that applies to the Queanbeyan Local Government Area with the exception of the South Jerrabomberra area. The draft plan was placed on public exhibition from 30 January until 26 March. The exhibition period attracted 56 submissions and 18 presentations which were taken into consideration by Council at Wednesday’s meeting. In my view, the final draft plan presents the correct balance taking into account competing interests and is now to be sent to the Department of Planning and Infrastructure for review and gazettal. Some of the inclusions in the plan are listed below.

Jumping Creek

A proposal first came to council in the late 1980s regarding the rezoning of land known as Jumping Creek which is located on the eastern side of Greenleigh Estate and the north-eastern side of the Queanbeyan River. The proposed development proposes residential development on lots of varying  sizes. All councillors present at Wednesday’s meeting agreed to proceed with the rezoning of Jumping Creek subject to the future extension of Ellerton Drive. Council also agreed that there would be no access to Jumping Creek through Greenleigh Estate. The Jumping Creek site has undergone a thorough process of investigation with both the Office of Environment and Heritage and the Department of Planning and Infrastructure being consulted.

Curtis Estate

A 651-lot paper subdivision for Curtis Estate was first registered in 1926 and is located on the eastern escarpment of Queanbeyan. The land on which the estate is proposed to be constructed is steep, heavily vegetated and forms part of a regional ecological corridor. Council deemed the site not suitable for urban development due to these issues and the area has been zoned Environmental Conservation in the LEP. However, if a landowner can demonstrate that they can address the issues with the site, including the concerns of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, they could submit a planning proposal for consideration.

Property known as 43 Henderson Rd with Oaks Estate access

Council approved Australian Rail Track Corporation’s request to rezone 43 Henderson Rd from Zone 5(a) Special Use Railway to Light Industry. The rezoning no longer allows for heavy industry and the Council has placed a number of restrictions on any future development, including a maximum height limits and the development of a site specific Development Control Plan.

Heritage items

The draft plan included recommendations for more than 40 additional properties around Queanbeyan to be included on a heritage listing which now includes some 170 Heritage items in total.

This project has developed over a period of five years and I congratulate the Council officers for the detailed and often complex work involved. The decisions of the Council were unanimous by councillors present.





CityCARE program continues to deliver


A major part of Council’s draft Operational Plan which was released for public exhibition last week, is the CityCARE program of works for the 2012-13 financial year. The CityCARE program will be entering its third year in 2012-13 and Council will spend $1.02 million on maintenance and renewal of Queanbeyan’s roads, footpaths and parks and sportsfields, including:

  • $175,000 on bitumen resealing
  • $355,000 on pavement rehabilitation of local roads
  • $190,760 on footpath defect repairs
  • $75,000 on upgrade of softfall and equipment at Koorong Park
  • $25,000 on replacement of equipment and softfall at Munro Park East
  • $25,000 on upgrade of equipment and softfall at Munro Park West
  • $60,000 on upgrade of playing surface of Blundell Park
  • $50,000 on surface upgrade and deeplift at David Madew Park
  • $50,000 on upgrade of amenities at Lambert Park
  • $15,000 on upgrade of spectator seating at Riverside Oval.

The first two years of the CityCARE program have been very successful with nearly $2 million worth of asset maintenance and renewal undertaken on our roads, footpaths and parks and sportsfields. This work would not have been able to be undertaken if it were not for the successful special rate variation application and ultimately the replacement of these assets would have cost Council much more. The special rate variation is due to expire at the end of 2012-13, despite Council’s original application demonstrating community support for an ongoing levy. Council has made an application to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal seeking an ongoing extension of the special rate variation and we are expecting an outcome on this application in the next few months.

Heritage contribution recognised

The Queanbeyan Heritage Awards for 2012 were presented at the Queanbeyan Museum last Saturday. These awards are given in recognition of the community’s efforts in contributing to the heritage values of our city. Awards were presented in five categories which cover a variety of heritage values.

  • Restoration of a Commercial Building – Royal Hotel Monaro St, Queanbeyan
  • Restoration of a Residential Building - 95 Stornaway Rd, Queanbeyan
  • Restoration of a Residential Building (certificate of merit) – 6 Morton St, Queanbeyan
  • Contribution to Landscape/Garden - Queanbeyan Historical Museum 
  • New Building Design - 11 Park Street, Queanbeyan
  • Outstanding Contribution to Heritage - Brendan O’Keefe. 

Congratulations to the winners of this year’s Heritage Awards. It is great to see members of the community putting in the effort to ensure Queanbeyan’s heritage items are looked after and restored.

Honour Walk to celebrate movers and shakers

There have been some amazing contributions to Queanbeyan during its 174 year history and Council wants to recognise these people. Council is currently calling for nominations for the Queanbeyan Honour Walk with initially up to 15 of Queanbeyan’s most notable people to have a plaque installed in the pavement in the new Crawford St Lifestyle Precinct to acknowledge their achievements. Nomination forms can be obtained from the Queanbeyan Library and from Council’s Customer Service Desk at 257 Crawford St and must be submitted by 5pm on 31 July 2012. For more information contact Peter Conlon on 6285 6298 or email

peter.conlon(_AT_)qcc.nsw.gov.au

Searching for Queanbeyan's favourite books

What’s your favourite book? The Queanbeyan Library wants to know as it tries to determine what Queanbeyan’s 10 most favourite books are. The search will be launched at the Library on Thursday 10 May from 11am and you are invited to come along. Also on the day there will be a reading of a popular children’s book, another author will introduce his new book and from 11.30am onwards there will be demonstrations on how to find and download eBooks from the Library. For more information contact the Library on 6285 6298.





Next Council meeting to be held on Thursday 26 April


Queanbeyan City Council’s next meeting will be held on Thursday 26 April. The meeting has been transferred from Wednesday to Thursday due to a clash with Anzac Day. Next Thursday’s meeting is an important one for Council with both the draft Operational Plan 2012-13 and draft Schedule of Fees and Charges 2012-13 to be presented with a recommendation they are placed on public exhibition. As with all Council meetings it will commence at 5.30pm in the Council Chambers and residents are able to make a presentation on any agenda item provided they register with the Clerk of Meeting before commencement. The business paper, agenda and attachments are available on Council’s website www.qcc.nsw.gov.au or at the Customer Service Centre or Library, both at 257 Crawford St.

Seeking Audit Committee member

Council’s Audit Committee is in need of an additional independent member. The objective of the Audit Committee is to provide independent assurance and assistance to Council on risk management, internal control, governance, and external accountability responsibilities. Professionals who possess appropriate qualifications and significant experience and skills in financial management, risk management, auditing, local government or other relevant disciplines are encouraged to make a submission. The successful application will be appointed for two years with an option of a further two-year appointment, following a formal review of performance. The Audit Committee is made up of three independent members and two councillors. Expressions of interest can be emailed to

mayor(_AT_)qcc.nsw.gov.au
or posted PO Box 90 quoting “Audit Committee – Independent Member” Applications must be received by 4pm Friday 11 May 2012. For more information and to obtain an information package contact Margaret Simonovski on 6285 6223.

Anzac Day commemorations

Queanbeyan will commemorate Anzac Day next Wednesday with the traditional dawn service and march along Monaro St. I encourage residents to come along and remember all those who have served and show their support and gratitude to our troops. The dawn service will be conducted by Queanbeyan Legacy and will commence at 5.30am at the memorial precinct (assemble Queanbeyan RSL Building 5.15am). The Anzac Day march will commence at 10.20am from the Queanbeyan RSL building in Crawford St. The march will go up Monaro St to the memorial precinct where a service and wreath laying will take place. Due to the services the following street closures will apply:
Monaro St west bound lane between Crawford St and Lowe St from 5.20am to 5.35am.
Lowe St between Monaro St and Lowe St Carpark entrance from 5.15am to 6am.
Monaro St east bound lane between Crawford St and Lowe St from 5.40am to 5.55am.
Farrer Pl (full width) between Lowe St and Cameron Rd from 5.40am to 5.55am.
From 8am-1pm
Lowe St (full width) between Lowe St carpark entrance and Morisset St.
Crawford St (full width) between Monaro St and Rutledge St.
From 8am to 11.15am
Monaro St (full width) between Crawford St and Lowe St.
Farrer Pl (full width) between Lowe St and Cameron Rd.
A temporary taxi rank will be located outside Council’s main office at 257 Crawford St during road closures.

Queanbeyan racing’s big day

The Queanbeyan Racing Club will hold its biggest day of the year this Sunday with the running of the Queanbeyan Cup. Queanbeyan has a great horse racing history and this Sunday promises to be a fantastic community event. The first of nine races, the Queanbeyan City Council maiden is at 11.57am, with gates opening at 10am.
 





Draft Operational Plan and Schedule of Fees and Charges on exhibition


Council agreed at its meeting last night to place the draft Operational Plan and draft Schedule of Fees and Charges for 2012-13 on public exhibition until 25 May. Residents and community groups are encouraged to make a submission which will be presented to Council at a workshop on Wednesday 13 June where submitters will be invited to make a presentation to Council if they desire. Following the workshop and consideration of submissions, Council will formally adopt a final Operational Plan and Schedule of Fees and Charges at its meeting on 27 June. The documents can be viewed at the following locations:

  • Council’s Customer Service Centre at 257 Crawford St, Queanbeyan between 8.30am and 4.30pm weekdays
  • Council’s Library at 257 Crawford St, Queanbeyan during Library opening hours
  • Council’s website at www.qcc.nsw.gov.au.

Submissions should be made by 4pm on Friday 25 May in the following ways:

  • By mail to The General Manager, Queanbeyan City Council, PO Box 90 Queanbeyan NSW 2620
  • By email to
  • Fill in the e-form on Council’s website at www.qcc.nsw.gov.au
  • Delivered in person to Council’s Customer Service Centre at 257 Crawford St, Queanbeyan.

 

Operational Plan

Council’s draft Operational Plan 2012-13 shows that the organisation anticipates a cash surplus of $133,219 for the upcoming financial year. Council’s financial planning shows that it expects to receive $93.8 million in income for the financial year while expenditure will total $108.4 million, including $14.7 million of depreciation. When you take depreciation out of the figures, we are left with a small surplus of around $130,000. Of significant note, is that Council will not be undertaking any borrowing (except finances leases for IT equipment) during the 2012-13 financial year, meaning Council’s debt service ratio remains at a very conservative 2.3% which is well below the NSW Government’s benchmark for local government of 10%. Council is also proposing to undertake upwards of $20 million worth of capital works during the financial year, with the majority of that funded by grants and contributions.

Fees and charges

The draft Schedule of Fees and Charges shows that Council’s rateable income for the 2012-13 financial year is proposed to increase by 3.2% to $20,436,326. This is in line with the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal’s (IPART) decision to cap Council’s rate income at 3.6% (less a .4% decrease as a result of IPART adjustments). All rating categories in the Queanbeyan Local Government Area will increase by 3.2%. This proposed 3.2% increase is a very modest increase and will see the average residential rate increase by about $33 for the year or $8.25 per quarterly instalment. The majority of fees and charges will rise by 3.6% in line with CPI, however both water access and water usage charges will rise by 10.5%. These increases are required due to price rises by ACTEW and the need to fund water main replacement around Queanbeyan.

Nominate now for Sister City visit

Are you interested in Japanese culture? There is no better way to experience Japanese life than by taking part in Council’s Sister City exchange. We are currently looking for students aged between 14-17 and responsible chaperones for this year’s exchange which will take place between 23 September and 2 October. The exchange is very affordable, all you need to pay for is your airfare and a small amount of spending money. You will stay with Japanese families and a guided itinerary will be developed for each day (with interpreters), which means tours, meals and accommodation costs are met. Interested students and chaperones are encouraged to obtain a copy of the background material and submit an application form which is available at www.qcc.nsw.gov.au by Friday 29 June 2012. For more information call Helen Hone on 6285 6167.





Developing a Community Climate Change Action Plan


Queanbeyan City Council has commenced community consultation to help with the development of a Community Climate Change Action Plan. Council recognises the huge challenges and opportunities that come with the ever changing climate. Residents have the opportunity to have their say about how Council can assist and support Queanbeyan address climate change issues and take action as a community. Council has developed a discussion paper and survey on climate change action. Both of these are available on Council’s website at www.qcc.nsw.gov.au or hard copies can be obtained from Council’s Customer Service Centre at 257 Crawford St. The survey has also been sent to 500 random households in Queanbeyan. The survey will be available until 30 April and comments on the discussion paper can be submitted to

sustainability(_AT_)qcc.nsw.gov.au
or by mail to Queanbeyan City Council. As part of the consultation on the Community Climate Change Action Plan a community workshop and a drop-in consultation will be held in late April. Further details will be announced soon. It is expected that the draft Community Climate Change Action Plan will be placed on public exhibition in June with a final plan adopted in August. For more information contact Council’s Sustainability Officer on 6285 6000 or via email to .

Funding for community groups

Community groups in Queanbeyan are encouraged to apply for financial assistance under the ClubGRANTS scheme. The ClubGRANTS scheme allows clubs with annual gaming revenue of over $1 million to apply a percentage of gaming taxes to specific community projects. This year’s application process for category one funding is all online. Category two and three applications should be forwarded directly to the clubs.  Community groups interested in finding out more can contact local clubs or Queanbeyan City Council on 6285 6202, or visit www.clubsnsw.com.au. Funding applications close on 1 June 2012 and applications are available online - http://clubgrants-queanbeyan-clubgrants.smartygrants.com.au/Cat12012

Vision submissions close on 13 April

Time is running out to make a submission on the revised version of the Queanbeyan Tomorrow Community Vision. The Vision was first developed in 2006 and after five years and further community engagement the document has been reviewed to ensure it still reflected the community’s wishes. The revised document is on display at the following locations:
• Queanbeyan City Council offices from 8.30am to 4.30pm weekdays
• Queanbeyan City Council Library at 257 Crawford Street.
• It can also be viewed on Council’s web site under “Documents on Exhibition” www.qcc.nsw.gov.au
Written comments will be received at Council’s Customer Service, at 257 Crawford St or via mail or e-mail:

council(_AT_)qcc.nsw.gov.au
no later than 13 April.

Queanbeyan’s softball success

Congratulations to our local softball teams for making the ACT Softball grand finals last week. Queanbeyan was represented by both the Queanbeyan Bears and the Jerrabomberra softball teams with the Bears 3 and Bears men’s victorious in their grand finals.

Take care this Easter

I would like to wish everyone a safe and happy Easter. The Easter long weekend is always a busy time on our roads and I strongly urge anyone travelling over the break to remember four simple messages:
• take regular rest breaks to avoid fatigue
• keep to the speed limits
• drive to the road conditions
• if you drink alcohol, don’t drive.
Double demerits will be in place and additional Highway Patrol resources from the State Highway Patrol Command are also being used to patrol the Kings Highway between Queanbeyan and the South Coast.





Planned traffic changes implemented


Earlier this week some planned changes were made to traffic signals at the intersection of Crawford and Monaro Sts. The changes are:

  • No right turn from Monaro St into the Crawford St Lifestyle Precinct.
  • No right turn from the Crawford St Lifestyle Precinct into Monaro St.

These changes were recommended by the Local Traffic Committee in April 2011 and adopted by Council later that month. Consultants undertook traffic modelling of the area and recommended the removal of the right-hand turn from Monaro St to Crawford St to restrict the movement of heavy vehicles into Crawford St for both safety and precinct amenity reasons. When the Lifestyle Precinct is complete, there will be improved access to businesses for vehicles travelling either way along Crawford St. Before construction commenced there was a median strip blocking vehicles from accessing driveways and businesses on the opposite side of the road. Removing this obstacle was one of Council’s main goals in the project and this will enhance pedestrian and vehicle movements. The Crawford St Lifestyle Precinct is running on budget and remains on track to be opened in May. Contractors expect to have pavement work on the eastern side of the street complete by next week, with only pavers to be laid. This week Council staff have undertaken night work to connect the new water main to businesses on the western side of the street. 

Markets to go out with bang

The final Summer Sunset Markets of 2011-12 will be held this afternoon in and around the Queanbeyan Conference Centre in Crawford St. Despite a few cancellations due to wet weather the markets have been very successful this year and with clear weather forecast there should be a large crowd. The popular Charity Bookfair is also being held across the road. So get down to the Conference Centre between 5pm and 8pm to get a bargain, listen to some live entertainment and enjoy some fantastic food.

Changes to Easter garbage collection

Due to the Good Friday holiday there will be no waste collection for Queanbeyan residents on Friday 6 April.  Garbage, recycling and green waste normally collected on Good Friday will now be collected on Thursday 5 April. Bins should be placed out for collection on Wednesday 4 April. 

Bluebags make a clean-sweep

Congratulations to the Queanbeyan Cricket Club after it completed a clean-sweep of the ACT Cricket competition last weekend with victory in the two-day final. The victory caps an amazing year for the Bluebags who have won the Twenty20, one-day and two-day competition. Add to that the prestigious state-wide SCG Cup and it’s been a year to remember. The club’s third grade team also won the grand final against Norths.

Bears on a grand final mission

Best of luck to the Queanbeyan Bears Softball Club which has four senior teams in this weekend’s Softball ACT grand finals. The Bears are celebrating their 27th year as a club and will be represented in the grand finals by three women’s teams and the men’s team. The women’s matches will be played at Hawker International Diamonds in Walhallow St, Hawker on Saturday at the following times.

  • Bears 1 play at 1.30pm on diamond 2 against Whispers.
  • Bears 3 play at 3.30pm on diamond 2 against Jerrabomberra.
  • Bears 2 play at 5.30pm on diamond 2 against Whispers.

The Bears men will be out to defend their title from 2011 on Monday night at 7pm against Woden, also at Hawker. It has been a very successful year for the Bears, with the Bear Cubs winning their grand final three weeks ago. Congratulations to the Bears and I encourage Queanbeyan residents to get out to Hawker on Saturday or Monday to cheer on our teams.





Council to apply for flood assistance


Council will make an application to the NSW Government for flood assistance after Queanbeyan was declared a natural disaster zone following the March floods. Queanbeyan was originally left off the list of areas declared natural disaster zones, however last week a revised list was released which included Queanbeyan. This declaration will allow Council to apply for funding to assist with the rehabilitation of roads, parks and other infrastructure damaged during the flood.
Council will apply for funding assistance which will include the following:
• $50,000 for bridge abutment and protection of the Morisset St bridge.
• $20,000 for road and pavement rehabilitation on the Morisset St bridge.
• $30,000 for flood management and clean up.
• $30,000 for road repairs to McCormack Place.
• $10,000 for restoration of parklands in Trinculo Place and Caravan Park fencing

Panel to review Local Government

Earlier this week the Minister of Local Government announced that an expert panel is being established to investigate options to create a stronger Local Government Sector for the future. The Local Government Review Panel will investigate and identify options for governance models, structural arrangements and voluntary boundary changes for local government in NSW. Queanbeyan City Council welcomes the announcement of the Local Government Review Panel.  A strategic plan to enable local government to become financially sustainable over the longer term is well overdue. Local Government has been struggling for too many years and has been hamstrung by rate pegging and cost shifting which has resulted in less services to the community and aging infrastructure across the State. The Review Panel will be expected to report to the Minister with its findings within 12 to 14 months from its commencement.

Worthy award winners

This week is Seniors Week and at yesterday’s Aged and Disability Services lunch I presented the Mayoral Community Service award to two outstanding citizens. The recipients of the 2012 award were:
• Myra Sauverain
Myra has 50 years of continual service with the Queanbeyan RSL Auxiliary, 42 years as Treasurer. She was a founding member and volunteer with the RSL Day Care Club.

• Patricia June Mortlock, OAM, JP
Patricia has 50 years of continual service with the Queanbeyan RSL Auxiliary and is a past and current President. She was also a founding member and volunteer with the RSL Day Care Club.
Congratulations to both on their lifetime of service and achievement.

Bluebags chasing glory

Best of luck to the Queanbeyan Cricket Club which has three grades competing in this week’s ACT Cricket grand finals. The all-conquering first grade team will be looking for a clean sweep of trophies this season when it takes on Wests/UC in a three-day match starting today at Manuka Oval. The first grade team has already won the one-day and Twenty20 local competitions and also won the prestigious state-wide SCG Cup. Queanbeyan will also be represented in the third and fifth grade grand finals, both against Norths. Third grade will do battle at Stirling while fifth grade will be playing on Queanbeyan’s Freebody Oval.

Regatta goes off with a bang

The Queanbeyan Regatta was held last Saturday and was a great success. This event continues to grow each year and the 2012 event was the best yet with an amazing range of boats on show and some great entertainment from River Dreaming. Congratulations to all.





Revised Community Vision on public exhibition


At Wednesday’s Planning and Development Review Committee meeting, Council agreed to place the revised Queanbeyan Tomorrow Community Vision on public exhibition. The Vision was originally developed in 2006, and five years on it was decided it needed to be revised to reflect any changes in the community. Extensive community consultation took place in late 2011 and, while only slight changes were made, it better reflects the aspirations of the community. The document has a major impact on Council’s forward planning, especially the 10-year Community Strategic Plan. The document will be on public exhibition from 16 March until 13 April at the following locations:
• Council offices at 257 Crawford St from 8.30am to 4.30pm weekdays.
• Queanbeyan Library at 257 Crawford St during Library opening hours.
• Council’s website under “Documents on Exhibition”
I encourage all to view the document and comments will be received at Council’s Customer Service, at 257 Crawford St or via mail at PO Box 90 Queanbeyan NSW 2620 or e-mail to

council(_AT_)qcc.nsw.gov.au
  up to 13 April 2012.

Community meeting at Jerrabomberra

Council will hold its third and final community meeting for March at the Jerrabomberra Community Centre next Thursday at 6pm. Council has already held community meetings at the Fernleigh Park Community Hall and the Council Chambers. Both meetings were well attended and the community heard presentations on current and upcoming projects and initiatives and  put forward comments, suggestions and recommendations on a range of matters.

Regatta gets the green light

Council staff conducted an inspection of the Queanbeyan River on Wednesday morning and gave the all clear for this Saturday’s Regatta to go ahead. Following the recent flood, there was some concern that the river would be flowing too rapidly for the Regatta and that there may be  too much debris in the river. The flow of the river has slowed significantly in the past week and Council officers removed about four truckloads of debris from the river to ensure it was safe for the Regatta. The 2012 Regatta promises to be the best yet, with funding from the Federal Government allowing Council to include the River Dreaming Festival in the entertainment. Residents can register their craft at 11am with the first race at 12 noon and the entertainment beginning on stage at 1pm.  For registration forms and further information see the Council’s website www.qcc.nsw.gov.au or call 6285 6552.

Summer Sunset Markets finale today

The final Summer Sunset Markets of 2011-12 will be held this afternoon in and around the Queanbeyan Conference Centre in Crawford St. Despite a number of Markets being cancelled due to wet weather, they have really grown in 2011-12 with record number of stalls taking part. The Markets start at 5pm and run until 8pm.

Celebrating Seniors Week

Queanbeyan City Council will be celebrating Seniors Week from 18-25 March with a number of events for local seniors. The events are:

Tuesday 20 March - Queanbeyan Croquet Club
Learn to play croquet and enjoy a light morning tea at the Queanbeyan Croquet Club, Farrer Place (next to the tennis courts) from 10am until 12noon. Call Ruth on 6299 1571.

Thursday 22 March - Council Aged and Disability Services celebration lunch
Lunch with entertainment, games and prizes at the Queanbeyan Conference Centre from 12 noon until 2pm. Contact 6285 6281 by 16 March to RSVP.

Thursday 22 March - Council of the Ageing ACT Seniors Expo
At the Old Bus Depot Markets in Kingston from 10am until 3pm.

For more information on any of the events organised for Seniors Week please contact Council’s Aged and Disability Services on 6285 6281





Flood clean-up underway


The clean-up has commenced following last week’s moderate flooding in Queanbeyan. The Queanbeyan River peaked at 6m on Thursday night, which was still well down on the 8.4m peak of the December 2010 flood. Last week’s event was quite different to the 2010 flood. We had a lot more warning and the rain was steady, not like the 90mm deluge of rain the catchment received on the night of 8/9 December 2010. Even though the flood was not as high it still caused damage to infrastructure around Queanbeyan and early estimates have put the bill at around $500,000 which includes  clean-up, particularly below the low level bridge, and damage to roads, footpaths, fences. I must commend Queanbeyan SES Controller Trish Malone and her crew of dedicated volunteers who worked around the clock over the six days to ensure Queanbeyan residents were safe and updated during the flood threat. The effort the SES volunteers put in was amazing and I take my hat off to them. They were ably assisted by other emergency services staff and also members of the ACT SES. As was evident over the past week, the best place for residents to get information on road closures and warnings is via radio, or the internet with Council and the SES regularly updating their websites and Facebook and Twitter accounts. In fact, last Thursday Council’s website had around 2,500 hits and 20% of those came via links on social media. This is a significant increase on the average hits per day of around 400. In preparation of similar events I recommend residents bookmark Council and the SES’s websites and also find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Weather impacts on Crawford St

The wet weather has had an impact on work on the Crawford St Lifestyle Precinct with the contractors unable to work for 2.5 days last week. The contractors have had extra resources on site over the past few days which has helped them make up for some of the lost time. Despite the disruptions, the Lifestyle Precinct should be complete in mid-May.

Public hearing for draft LEP

Council is holding a public hearing next Thursday in relation to the land being reclassified from community to operation land in the draft Queanbeyan Local Environmental Plan 2011. This land is listed in Schedule 4 of the draft Plan and includes drainage reserves, road reserves, reserves adjoining main roads, land used for operational requirements of Council as well as 181 Cooma Road Karabar, 262 Crawford St Queanbeyan, 3-23 Hoover Rd Queanbeyan West and 7-9 McKeahnie St Queanbeyan. The public hearing will be held at the Queanbeyan Conference Centre at 257 Crawford St Queanbeyan at 5.30pm. The draft Plan is on public exhibition until 4.30pm on 26 March and can be viewed on Council’s website at www.qcc.nsw.gov.au or at Council’s offices at 257 Crawford St. You can make a submission by email to

council(_AT_)qcc.nsw.gov.au
or in writing to The General Manager, Queanbeyan City Council, PO Box 90, Queanbeyan NSW 2620.

Rodeo and Aquatic Liquidfest tomorrow

One of the biggest Rodeo events on the NSW calendar is on tomorrow afternoon and night at the Showground. The fun and excitement of the Queanbeyan Charity Rodeo attracts well over 6,000 spectators. The Queanbeyan Aquatic Centre will also be a hive of activity tomorrow when Council’ Axis Youth Centre hosts its annual pool concert – Liquidfest. Liquidfest will feature some of the region’s best young bands and will run from 1pm-7pm and is an all ages community event. There is much more than just music on offer with face painting, balloon making, air brush tattooing and circus activities. Liquidfest is a drug, alcohol and smoke free event.





Quarterly budget review


Consistent with sound financial management, Council produces a quarterly budget review every three months. This report was presented to Council at its meeting on Wednesday night and showed that the organisation’s funded result has moved from a balanced position for the original budget to a small surplus of $19,000. Council’s overall operating budget was previously forecast to result in a deficit of around $11m (as at first quarter review), however that is now expected to be over $13m, which includes some $14m worth of depreciation. This change in the forecast is primarily due to:

• Decrease in water usage income due to the very wet spring & summer - $2.36m

These changes have had a direct impact on the water fund, not the general fund, however Council is required to present a consolidated result. Overall Council is in a very sound financial position and has a conservative debt (borrowings) ratio of around 2% well below the NSW Government upper benchmark of 10%.

Big steps forward in Crawford St

There has been some significant progress with the Crawford St Lifestyle Precinct over the past week. Last Friday the contractors started moving trees into the garden beds and their presence has definitely had an impact on the area. And earlier this week the contractors were able to remove construction fencing in one section of Crawford St which has allowed for on-street parking and easy access to businesses along Crawford St. More of this fencing will be removed as the footpaths are completed. The Lifestyle Precinct is really starting to take shape and I look forward to seeing further progress over the coming weeks.

Relay for Life a great success

I must congratulate the organisers of the inaugural Queanbeyan Relay for Life which was held at Seiffert Oval last weekend. The event was a great success with more than 40 teams competing and raising more than $90,000 for cancer research. Council was represented by 22 committed employees (including one who walked for 22 of the 24 hours) who did their bit and raised more than $4,500. The Relay for Life is a great event and helps us remember those who have suffered from cancer and to raise money to help find a cure.

Big weekend around Queanbeyan

There is plenty to do around Queanbeyan this weekend with two exciting events taking place – the Multicultural Festival and the Mayoral Cup soccer match.

Multicultural Festival
Queanbeyan will proudly celebrate its cultural diversity with the annual Multicultural Festival in the Queanbeyan Park from 10am-4pm on Sunday. This Multicultural Festival will again have an exciting line-up of performances on stage in the Park, along with food stalls and many fun activities for the whole family to enjoy. Highlights of this year’s Festival will be the ever popular dance and song performances by communities as diverse as Serbian, Maori, Chinese, Macedonian as well as Indonesian, African, and South American performers. There will be wonderful multicultural food ranging from Asian delicacies to hearty BBQs.

Mayoral Cup
The Queanbeyan City Football Club and Monaro Panthers Football Club will do battle for the 2012 Mayor’s Cup at Seiffert Oval on Sunday. The Mayor’s Cup is not the only match on Sunday with the U16’s at 12.15pm, the Masters at 2pm, the Womens at 3.45pm. Be there especially for the premier league Mayor’s cup match-up:

• 5.30pm Sunday at Seiffert. The Mayor's Cup - Queanbeyan FC v Monaro Panthers

Entry is by gold coin donations with all money raised going to SIDS and Kids ACT/Queanbeyan. Full canteen services and a BBQ will be available.





Upcoming community meetings


Queanbeyan City Council regularly conducts community meetings to ensure residents have input to Council’s decision-making processes. The next Community Meetings will be held on:

  • Googong/Fernleigh Tuesday 6 March 2012 Fernleigh Park Community Hall 17 Swan Drive, Googong at 6pm
  • Carwoola/Queanbeyan Thursday 8 March 2012 Queanbeyan City Council Chambers 253 Crawford St, Queanbeyan at 6pm
    Jerrabomberra Thursday 22 March 2012 Jerrabomberra Community Centre at 6pm

Agenda

  • Welcome
  • Major Project Update
  • Integrated Planning
  • Special Rate Variation
  • Council Elections
  • Community Vision Review and Update
  • Queanbeyan LEP 2011 exhibition
  • Website
  • Googong/Tralee developments
  • Rural recycling (Fernleigh only)

Residents are invited to attend and also to submit items for inclusion in the agenda. Please contact Liza Jankuloski on 6285 6516 or email

liza.jankuloski(_AT_)qcc.nsw.gov.au
if you require any additional information or wish to place an item on the agenda.





Council to seek SRV extension


Council will next week submit an application to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) seeking a permanent extension of the application made by Council in 2010 for a Special Rate Variation to fund the CityCARE program of works. Following extensive community consultation in late 2009 and early 2010 Council applied for an ongoing Special Rate Variation of 5.8% (equivalent to 90cents per week for the average residential property) above and beyond the annual rate pegging percentage. Throughout the consultation Council communicated very clearly that it would be applying for an ongoing Special Rate Variation and the majority of feedback from the community was supportive of this application. Unfortunately the Minister, for unknown reason, only approved Council’s application for an initial three-year period, up until the 2012-13 financial year. If approval is not gained to extend the Special Rate Variation it means that, if Council agrees, it would have to undertake an extensive and expensive community consultation exercise again in 2013 to continue the CityCARE program. Council applied for the Special Rate Variation to fund urgent asset maintenance and renewal of the city’s assets. In the first year of the program Council spent $980,000 to repair 758 footpaths, reseal 17 roads, stabilise another three roads and upgrade five parks and sportsfields.

Information session on Draft LEP

An information session on the Draft Queanbeyan Local Environmental Plan 2011 will be held on Thursday 23 February 2012 in Riverside Plaza from 1pm-7pm. The Draft Plan is currently on public exhibition and this information session will allow residents to gather a deeper understanding of the plan. The plan was developed in response to the NSW Government’s planning reforms and has combined the four previous Local Environmental Plans into the one comprehensive document. The plan can be viewed at Council’s Customer Service Centre, Library or Sustainability and Better Living Section all at 257 Crawford St or on Council’s website at www.qcc.nsw.gov.au. Comments will be received until 26 March 2012.

February Council meeting

Council’s next ordinary meeting will be held on Wednesday 22 February, commencing at 5.30pm in the Council Chambers. The agenda and business paper for the meeting was released on Thursday and they can be viewed via Council’s website at www.qcc.nsw.gov.au or by visiting the Customer Service Centre at 257 Crawford St.

Get along to the Summer Sunset Markets

After a false start in early February, the Summer Sunset Markets will make their first appearance for 2012 today. The first markets for the year were unfortunately washed out, but hopefully the weather is kinder to today’s markets which will be held near the Council Chambers in Crawford St from 5pm-8pm. The markets have grown a great deal over the past 12 months and I encourage all to get along  and enjoy the markets, the food, some great entertainment.

Another title for Queanbeyan

The Queanbeyan Cricket Club continued its dominance of the ACT first grade competition last weekend with a comfortable victory in the one-day final against Eastlake. The Queanbeyan team has taken all before it so far this season, winning the one-day competition and the prestigious state-wide SCG Cup. The team has also qualified for the Twenty20 final which will be played next Sunday against Tuggeranong and is currently sitting fourth in the two-day competition with two rounds remaining. The achievements of this team should not be understated and I wish the players the best of luck for the Twenty20 final and the remainder of the season.





All the best for Christmas/New Year


As this is the final Queanbeyan Age of 2011 I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a merry Christmas and a safe and happy new year. The past 12 months have been very exciting for Queanbeyan with a number of important projects either being complete or commencing. In the first half of 2012 both the Crawford St Lifestyle Precinct and the Edwin Land Parkway extension will be complete and both will provide a significant benefit to the community. Council will be closed down over the Christmas break. The offices will close at 12 noon on Friday 23 December and will reopen on Tuesday 3 January. During this period essential services will be provided and if you have an emergency during this time call 6298 1234.

Googong takes a big step forward

On Monday the Joint Regional Planning Panel Southern Region approved the first development application for the new town of Googong. The first stage of the development includes 337 lots and the developer, CIC Australia, will be releasing more information on the sales process in the new year. The new town of Googong is one of the biggest and most exciting residential developments outside of Sydney and will not just create a new subdivision, but a new and largely self contained township. When completed, Googong will be home to about 16,000 people, living in 5,550 dwellings of varying sizes. To support the new residents and existing communities it will also contain about 18,000 square metres of retail/commercial floor space around the town centre, considerable physical and community infrastructure and about 183 hectares of open space including a major common area representing about 23% of the total site area. It is expected that Googong will be constructed over the next 20 years.

High honour for The Q

The Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre has gone ahead in leaps and bounds since it opened its doors in 2008. The Centre has grown rapidly and in 2010-11 more than 25,000 patrons attended shows at the venue. A lot of the success of this centre can be attributed to the professionalism and dedication of The Q’s Program Manager Stephen Pike. Earlier this week, Stephen received the highest honour of his 30 year career when he received a Special Mention in the prestigious Manning Clark House National Cultural Awards for the direction and production of Blood Brothers. Just a few hours later Blood Brothers was nominated for 10 Canberra Area Theatre awards. Blood Brothers was an outstanding success in 2010 and as such it will be returning by popular demand for eight shows between 19-28 January. My recommendation: book your tickets now.

Gift and Carols by Candlelight this weekend

I look forward to seeing everyone at Queanbeyan Park this weekend with both the Queanbeyan Leagues Club Gift Carnival and Carols by Candlelight to be held. Some of the nation’s best athletes will be competing for about $40,000 in prizemoney at the Gift Carnival which will be held on Saturday. The Gift program commences at 10am with the final of the women’s Gift at 3.45pm and the men’s at 4pm. Carols by Candlelight will be held on Sunday, commencing at 5.30pm. There will be plenty of entertainment and carols throughout the evening and the highlight for the children will be a special visit by Santa Claus just after 7pm.





IPART sets rate peg at 3.6% for 2012-13


The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) this week announced that its rate peg for NSW councils will be 3.6% for the 2012-13 financial year. The rate peg sets the amount Council can increase its rate base by and does not mean that everyone’s rates will increase by 3.6%. It is expected that the 3.6% increase will add around $30 a year to the average residential rates. IPART has included a 0.4% advance in the 2012-13 rate peg to assist councils cope with the introduction of the Federal Government’s carbon tax. The advance will be reversed over the 2013-14 and 2014-15 financial years. At this stage Queanbeyan City Council does not have a figure on what the carbon tax will cost the organisation. NSW councils have been calling on the State Government to abolish rate pegging as it restricts councils’ ability to raise revenue to cover escalating expenses and the infrastructure maintenance backlog councils face.

Maintaining our local roads

A number of deteriorating roads around Queanbeyan have been repaired as part of Council’s 2011-12 resealing and stabilisation program. The majority of the resealing and stabilisation program was funded by Council’s CityCARE program which was developed to fund urgent maintenance and renewal of Council’s roads, footpaths and parks and sportsfields. Without the CityCARE program we would have only been able to undertake a portion of the roadwork and those roads which would have missed out would have cost considerably more to repair in the future. The CityCARE program has been a great success since it commenced in 2010-11 and Council has asked IPART to review its application which was made in 2010. Council gained majority support from the community for an ongoing special rate variation to fund the program, however for unknown reason it was only approved for three years. Council is now seeking a review for it to be extended on an ongoing basis as intended.

Book now for Christmas Lights tour

The annual Mayoral Christmas Lights Tour will commence next week and I encourage you to make a booking now to avoid disappointment. The Tour caters for senior and disabled residents and those who take part will be picked-up from their homes in buses which will have volunteer assistants on board to help. The buses will then gather at The Q, Lowe Street carpark in Queanbeyan for Christmas Carols and light refreshments before commencing the Tour. Tours will be held on 15, 19 and 20 December and limited seats are available so please call 6285 6505 and leave a message which includes your name, phone number and the preferred date you would like to take the Tour. A Council staff member will call back as soon as possible to confirm your booking.

Queanbeyan Gift and Carols next weekend

Queanbeyan Park will be the centre of attention next weekend with both the Queanbeyan Leagues Club Gift and Carols by Candlelight to the held. The Gift has been rescheduled to Saturday 17 December following the washout in late November while the Carols by Candlelight will be held on Sunday 18 December. The Gift will run from 10am-5pm and the Carols will commence at 5.30pm and Santa will be arriving about 7.30pm just before sunset and the light–up of candles.





Traffic returns to Crawford St


Crawford St was reopened to one-way traffic on Tuesday 29 November as the contractors continue to make progress on the $4.45 million Lifestyle Precinct. The street was closed to through traffic on 27 October to allow the contractors to undertake vital work at the Morisset St intersection with Crawford St. It was estimated that the closure would last for 4.5 weeks and despite some rain delays the road was reopened prior to the 4.5 week mark. Two-way traffic and parking is expected to return to Crawford St by mid-December. Before that can occur the contractors have to finalise the intersection with Crawford and Monaro Sts, finish the parking bays and then lay the final seal along the road and undertake line marking. The project remains on target to be complete by May 2012.

Seeking funding for projects

Councils generally have to rely on external funding to allow major projects to be undertaken in their local government area. Council agreed at its meeting last week to submit applications to the Federal Government to undertake two important projects. Under the Liveable Cities Program Council has applied for assistance to undertake a feasibility study, design work and a quantity survey for the proposed Regional Sporting Complex. Council is also seeking funding under the Regional Development Program to relocate the bus interchange from its current location in Crawford-Morisset Sts and also establish a public transport Park and Ride facility at the Collett St  long-stay carpark. Council staff have been busy finalising both funding applications and we expect to hear the results in the new year.

Library preparing for new home

Queanbeyan’s Library has outgrown its current home and is moving to a bigger, more comfortable building - the former NSW Parks and Wildlife Building in Rutledge St. Refurbishment of the building has commenced and the contractors are expecting it will take 6-7 months. Work will include the removal of existing fit-out, construction of new internal stairs and ramp, installation of a lift including shaft, upgrade of mechanical lighting and the removal and replacement of floor coverings. When the move is complete, the vacant ground floor area of Council’s administration building will be transformed into extra office space with plans to create an integrated customer service centre, or one-stop shop, for all Council enquiries.

Gift rescheduled to 17 December

Last week’s heavy rain caused Council to cancel the Queanbeyan Family Fun Day and postpone the Queanbeyan Leagues Club Gift. The Queanbeyan Gift has been salvaged for 2011 and will be held on Saturday 17 December in Queanbeyan Park. Unfortunately it has not been possible to reschedule the Family Fun Day due to the substantial additional costs involved in restaging the event.

 





Council to consider payments for Crawford St businesses


Council agreed at its meeting on Wednesday to consider providing ex-gratia payments (up to $22,000 in total) to businesses in Crawford St which are more reliant on passing trade and have been affected by street closures during the construction of the Crawford St Lifestyle Precinct. Council received a request from a Crawford St business for a temporary reduction in Council rates, however there is no provision under the Local Government Act NSW (1993) for such relief to be made.  Under Section 356 of the Local Government Act NSW (1993), Council does have the authority to make an ex-gratia/act of grace payment. Council agreed to offer ex-gratia payments to those businesses within the Precinct that are considered to be more reliant on passing traffic.  In Crawford St there is a mix of businesses which own the property and some which are tenants of properties and therefore it was recommended that ex-gratia equivalent amounts be paid to the business occupying the relevant property and not to the property owner (the ratepayer). The eligible businesses are the Mid City Motor Inn, City Florist, Canton Chinese Restaurant, Continental Hairdresser, Bloom’s The Chemist, Punjabi Hut, Queanbeyan Health Foods, Dominos, Pizza Hut, Bells Dry Cleaners, Continental Cakes and Mirage Hair Design. The proposed ex-gratia payments should be considered for what they are – an act of grace by the Council in response to a particular request from a business operator for a reduction in rates due to a demonstrated impact of programmed council works.  It should not in any way be construed to be a compensation payment.

Council to seek IPART review

Also at Wednesday’s meeting Council agreed to ask the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) to review the application made by Council in 2010 for a Special Rate Variation to fund the CityCARE program of works. Following extensive community consultation in late 2009 and early 2010 Council applied for an ongoing Special Rate Variation of 5.8% and approval was given for a three-year period. At the time of Council’s application the authority for approval sat with the Minister for Local Government, however following the 2011 election this authority was transferred to IPART. Throughout the consultation in late 2009 and early 2010 Council communicated that it would be applying for an ongoing Special Rate Variation and the majority of feedback from the community was supportive of this application. Unfortunately the Minister only approved Council’s application for a three-year period. This effectively means that council would have to significantly suspend ongoing maintenance of community assets from 2013. The CityCARE program has been very successful since its implementation and in 2010-11 Council used the funds raised to repair 758 footpaths, reseal 17 roads, stabilise another three roads and upgrade five parks and sportsfields.

Queanbeyan Park the place to be tomorrow

Tomorrow Council will host Queanbeyan’s most popular community event with the Queanbeyan Leagues Club Gift and Family Fun Day to be held in Queanbeyan Park. This event has grown significantly over the past five years and for this first time the runners in the Les McIntyre Women’s gift will be running for the some prizemoney as their male counterparts. This increase makes the women’s race the richest of its kind in Australia, while the men’s event is the third richest. The Family Fun Day provides the community with a fun, free day out. All activities and entertainment are completely free so I encourage you to take advantage of this and get down to Queanbeyan Park between 10am and 5pm for a great day of fun and quality racing.





Fill in the Vision survey on our website


The next meeting of Council will be held at 5.30pm next Wednesday, 23 November in the Council Chambers at 253 Crawford St. Once again we are in for quite a busy night with about 25 items to be discussed. As with all of our meetings, members of the public are encouraged to attend and may make a presentation, either for or against, any item on the agenda. To do this you must register with the Meeting Clerk prior to 5.30pm on the day of the meeting. Presenters may speak for up to five minutes, however Council can vote to extend the time. The agenda/business paper is available from Council’s Customer Service Centre and Library, both at 257 Crawford St or Council’s website www.qcc.nsw.gov.au.

What’s your vision for Queanbeyan?

Last Thursday and Saturday a number of community consultation exercises were held to review the 2006 Queanbeyan Tomorrow Community Vision 2021. The attendance at the three public meetings and the Have A Say Day at the Riverside Plaza was a little below expectation, however it’s not too late for you to have an input into this review. A survey has been loaded on to Council’s website at www.qcc.nsw.gov.au and will remain there during November and December and I encourage you to log on and have a look. All of the information gathered from the public meetings, the survey and the targeted discussions the consultants undertook with community groups will be collated and the final document is expected to be presented to Council in April 2012. The Community Vision is one of the most important documents for this city as it outlines the community’s wishes and expectations for the future. Residents have the opportunity to become involved and help make a difference and I encourage you all to provide us with some input.

Rain causes some delays

The wet weather last week caused some delays to construction of the Crawford St Lifestyle Precinct, however the contractors expect to start sealing the road on Tuesday. Members of Council’s Water and Sewer team were scheduled to connect the new water main last Wednesday night, however the deluge we received put that on hold. With a dry site, the team was able to undertake the connections on Monday night with minimal disruptions to the water supply of Crawford St properties.

Aquatic Centre celebrates in style

I took the opportunity last Sunday to celebrate the Queanbeyan Aquatic Centre’s 50th birthday. About 800 people came along to the Aquatic Centre for a free day of fun and games and I thank all of those who helped us celebrate this occasion and the staff at the Aquatic Centre for putting on a great day.

Gift and Family Fun Day a week away

Speaking of free days out, the next one is just around the corner with the Queanbeyan Leagues Club Gift and Family Fun Day on Saturday 26 November in Queanbeyan Park. This is one of the best days of the year in Queanbeyan with a heap of free activities for all members of the family and some thrilling racing in the Queanbeyan Gift. The Gift and Family Fun Day kicks off at 10am and runs until 5pm so make sure you get down to the Park. For more information again visit Council’s website or call your Council on 6285 6000.

 





Your chance to shape Queanbeyan's future


Everyone has a view of the way they want this city to look and feel in the future and we want to hear your thoughts. Council is undertaking a significant community consultation exercise to review the five-year-old Queanbeyan Tomorrow Community Vision 2021 and I am inviting you all to come along and have an input. The activities commenced last night with forums being held for rural and urban residents. A number of targeted discussions were also held between the consultants Council has engaged and community groups. A number of other activities will be held over the coming weeks including:

  • Saturday 12 November: Have A Say Day at Riverside Plaza from 10am-midday.
  • Saturday 12 November: Community Summit at RB Smith Community Centre in Crawford St from 2.30pm-5.30pm.
  • Saturday 26 November: Have A Say Day at Queanbeyan Park in conjunction with Queanbeyan Gift and Family Fun Day from 11am-2pm.
  • An online survey will also be available for residents to fill out on our website at www.qcc.nsw.gov.au – should you have trouble accessing the survey contact 6285 6000.

So as you can see there are plenty of opportunities to become involved so please take the time to let us know your thoughts as the updated Community Vision will be the basis Council’s new four-year delivery program. Since the original Community Vision was adopted by Council in 2006 we have achieved some great results, including:

  • the CBD Master Plan
  • the Queanbeyan Pedestrian and Mobility Plan
  • the Queanbeyan Bicycle Plan
  • the Googong and Tralee Traffic Study (2031)
  • the Queanbeyan Residential and Economic Strategy 2031
  • the establishment of the Queanbeyan Development Board
  • the Queanbeyan River Restoration Project
  • The Q theatre
  • the Riverside Café and Crawford Street Lifestyle Precinct
  • $4 million funding secured to commence design and environmental studies on the Ellerton Drive Ring Road Extension and our future road network.

It is now time to review these achievements and refocus for next 10 years.

Free open day at Aquatic Centre

This Sunday is a special day for the Queanbeyan community as we celebrate 50 years since the Queanbeyan Aquatic Centre was opened. The milestone will be marked with a free open day which will include a free sausage sizzle, free face painting and balloons and much more. The Aquatic Centre has been a big part of Queanbeyan’s history so I encourage you to make your way to the Centre on Sunday for what promises to be a great day. Personally, I have some fond memories of the centre. In the early 1960s I competed in swimming carnivals and I was also a Royal Life Saving Society instructor for fellow school kids lining up for their Bronze Medallion. Queanbeyan Pool was the only pool in the Canberra district to allow life saving classes.

Nominations open for Australia Day awards

Has an individual, community group or community event impressed you over the past year? If so you should nominate them for an Australia Day award. Award nominations are now being called and they close on Wednesday 30 November at 5pm. Nomination forms can be obtained from Council’s Customer Service Centre and the Library both at 257 Crawford Street or the Queanbeyan Tourism Information Centre at 1 Farrer Place. Information in available by phoning 6285 6290 or emailing

conferencebookings(_AT_)qcc.nsw.gov.au

 





Tralee discussed with NSW Government


On Monday the NSW Premier and Ministers came to Queanbeyan to conduct a community cabinet meeting and to also meet with local groups and organisations. The three major points Council wanted to discuss with Ministers were Tralee, roads funding and flood clean-up funding. Below is the outcome of these discussions

Tralee
The Minister for Planning Brad Hazzard shed little light on the proposed development of South Tralee except to say that he continued to wait for clarity from the Federal Government regarding national aviation policy. Mr Hazzard was due to meet Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese on the site of the proposed development while in Queanbeyan, however due to the Qantas drama, that meeting was unable to happen. Mr Hazzard did however indicate he hoped to be in a position to make a decision in January/February. I also took the opportunity to discuss South Tralee with the Premier. The level of community support for the development was emphasised when a petition with more than 10,000 signatures was presented to Member for Monaro John Barilaro.

Roads funding
The NSW Government confirmed on Monday that it would provide Council with $3.5 million over the next three years to complete design and environmental studies for the Ellerton Drive Ring Road Extension and the upgrade of 13 intersections. With the NSW Government contributing $500,000 in the current financial year this brings the total to $4 million. Securing funding of these works has been a priority of this Council. I also briefed The Minister for Roads, Duncan Gay on the matter of the flood prone dip on the approach to Queens Bridge. The Minister confirmed he would take the matter forward.

Flood clean-up funding
The Minister for Finance Greg Pearce undertook to look into a $570,000 shortfall in Government Natural Disaster funding for the debris clean-up of the Queanbeyan River. Clean-up below the low level bridge is yet to be undertaken, but has been programmed.

Updating Queanbeyan’s community vision

In 2006 Council engaged a company to develop a community vision for Queanbeyan to 2021 and after some extensive consultation, the community identified a number of priorities. When this exercise was undertaken it was envisaged that a major review would be conducted after five years. In early October Council appointed People Place and Partnership (PPandP) to conduct the review and the majority of the engagement process will be undertaken during November. The success of this review is dependent on the community taking ownership for the vision and letting PPandP know how you want to see Queanbeyan in the future. Residents of the Queanbeyan Local Government Area are invited to attend and participate in the following events.
Thursday 10 November 6pm-8pm: Two simultaneous workshops will be held for both urban and rural residents. Rural residents can attend a workshop at the Fernleigh Park Community Hall. Whilst urban residents can attend a workshop at the Council Chambers in Crawford Street.
Saturday 12 November 10am-12 noon: A Have a Say Day will be held at the Riverside Plaza in Queanbeyan.
Saturday 12 November 2.30pm-5.30pm: A large community summit will be held at the Jim Snow Room of the R B Smith Community Hall, in Crawford Street and all local organisations, residents, business and industry are invited.
Saturday 26 November 11am to 2pm: A Have a Say Day will be held in conjunction with the Queanbeyan Gift and Family Fun Day at Queanbeyan Park.

Throughout November and December an online survey will be offered to residents via Council’s website at www.qcc.nsw.gov.au. All residents of the Queanbeyan Local Government Area are encouraged to participate in the activities and can obtain more information by emailing

qbn2021(_AT_)qcc.nsw.gov.au
or calling 6285 6000.

Free entry to races on Monday

On Monday, 7 November, all Queanbeyan residents will be able to attend the Queanbeyan races free of charge. Free attendance at two designated race meetings each year is in response to an ongoing sponsorship arrangement between Council and the racing club. The Queanbeyan Racing Club is an integral part of the community and for some years Council has been a sponsor of the Club. Gates open for the eight-race program at 11.30am.





Community Meeting on Thursday 13 October


Queanbeyan City Council will be holding a Community Meeting at the Jerrabomberra Community Centre on Thursday 13 October from 6pm-8pm. All residents are invited. Items on the agenda include:

  • Crawford St Lifestyle Precinct
  • Googong/Tralee developments
  • Council's Sustainability Policy
  • Responsbilities of dog owners
  • Road and other infrastructure projects
  • Cultural events - The Q and Markets

Residents will also be able to ask questions of Council representatives.





Working together with Crawford St businesses


Last Friday representatives from Council and Hansen Yuncken met with businesses in Crawford St to discuss the construction of the Lifestyle Precinct. Since their last meeting Council and Hansen Yuncken had been investigating a number of possible changes to the construction program which would deliver a time saving. The changed program was presented to businesses last Friday and it is envisaged it will trim about four weeks off the construction program. To achieve this Crawford St will be completely closed to traffic for about 4.5 weeks. The commencement of this closure can’t be finalised at the moment, but it’s thought that it will start during the week commencing 17 October. During this period two-way access will be provided to the Mid City Motor Inn and pedestrian access will remain open. While the street is closed the contractors will be able to install the remainder of the stormwater drain which runs from the eastern side of Crawford St to the western side. They will also be able to undertake kerb works and construct the road near the intersection. While Crawford St is closed to traffic Council will be trying to maximise the visibility of pedestrian access along Crawford St and is looking to bring down some fences as soon as possible. Updates on the street closure will be made available on Council’s website at www.qcc.nsw.gov.au, Facebook (Queanbeyan City Council) and Twitter (@Queanbeyancity).

High Court dismisses Council’s challenge

Council’s challenge against ACTEW’s Water Abstraction Charge and Utilities Tax came to an end during the week when the High Court of Australia dismissed our challenge against the Federal Court of Australia’s determination. In September 2010 the Federal Court of Australia found in favour of ACTEW in regards to both matters and Council appealed this decision to the High Court, but was unsuccessful. Council first challenged these charges in 2007 it was generally understood at that time that it would be finally determined in the High Court of Australia. Both the Utilities Tax and Water Abstraction Charges are not only levied on Queanbeyan City Council, but for all water consumers in the ACT. Annually the Water Abstraction Charge costs Council around $3 million and the Utilities Tax costs around $700,000. The cost of this legal action is totally funded from Council’s reserves in the water fund and the costs have not impacted on the service we provide for roads, parks and open spaces, drainage and other Council services. Council is up to date with payments to ACTEW for both charges.

Summer Sunset Markets return

The Summer Sunset Markets return to Queanbeyan today and I’m told this year’s version will be amazing. The Markets have a strong focus on supporting and encouraging high quality local handmade arts and crafts practitioners, local produce suppliers as well as providing an opportunity for local entertainers and performers to entertain marketgoers. The Markets will be held from 5pm-8pm on the first and third Friday of the month in the courtyards around the Conference Centre and Library in Crawford St, with outdoor and indoor Markets stalls and good parking nearby. The Markets will run each fortnight until 16 December before breaking for Christmas and they will return on Friday 3 February.


Council helps out local schools

At its September meeting, Council agreed to make donations to two of the city’s schools to assist with their participation in the Tournament of the Minds National Championships which will be held in Hobart in October 2011. Council agreed donate $2,000 to Queanbeyan Public School and $1,000 to Karabar High School to reduce some of the costs associated with the Tournament.





Cr Peter Bray elected Deputy Mayor


Congratulations to Cr Peter Bray who was elected Deputy Mayor at Wednesday’s Council meeting. Cr Peter Bray was elected to Queanbeyan City Council in September 2008. Cr Bray served in the Regular Army for some 40 years, retiring in 1996. Following his military career Cr Bray became increasingly involved in the disability sector at community and State levels. He has held appointments of Vice President Queanbeyan Special Needs Group Inc. and President Meals on Wheels Queanbeyan Inc. He continues to fundraise for local charitable purposes. Cr Bray's vision for Queanbeyan is to see area grow into a mature and vibrant place for people to live; a place that is safe and environmentally sustainable in a rural setting. Cr Bray will now serve as Deputy Mayor up until the Local Government Elections which will be held in September 2012. I particularly thank Cr Sue Whelan for her assistance over the past three years as Deputy Mayor. Cr Whelan is the longest serving Councillor on Council and continues to make a significant contribution to the community and its council.

BURRA’s push to join Queanbeyan

At our meeting on Wednesday night, Council agreed to initiate a review by the Minister of the Burra Urila Residents and Ratepayers Association’s (BURRA) submission for a boundary adjustment to enable the area of Burra, Urila and Royalla to be transferred to the Queanbeyan Local Government Area from Palerang. BURRA made an application to the Minister Local Government in 2007 to be transferred to the Queanbeyan Local Government Area, however the Minister rejected the claim in 2009. Council will now seek to initiate a review by the Minister of the local government boundaries that currently exist between Queanbeyan and Palerang that would allow the area identified in BURRA’s 2007 submission to be transferred to the Queanbeyan Local Government Area. Some of the reasons behind BURRA’s submission include
• community interest and geographic cohesion
• historical ties to Queanbeyan
• what they see as financial advantages due to Queanbeyan’s economy
• improved access to elected representatives
• likelihood of better services and response times.

Discussing future public transport

Council will hold a public forum on Thursday 27 October 2011 to discuss the city’s future public transport needs. The forum will assist Council in the preparation of a Queanbeyan Transport Strategy which will accommodate the previously adopted Googong and Tralee Traffic Study (2031), the proposed construction of Dunns Creek Rd and a number of other transport-related issues. The forum will allow the community and Council to explore roles, expectations and constraints in the provision of public transport. The forum will help determine strategies that Council may use to help the community better understand Council’s role with respect to public transport and inform the Council on community expectations around the provision of public transport and pedestrian facilities. Queanbeyan’s transport system will come under increased pressure over the next 20 years as the city’s population rises from 40,000 to around 70,000. Registration details will be advertised soon.

Aquatic Centre gears up for celebration

The Queanbeyan Aquatic Centre will celebrate its 50th birthday with a free open day on Sunday 13 November 2011. The Aquatic Centre, formerly the Queanbeyan War Memorial Olympic Swimming Pool, was opened on 11 November and will this year celebrate its 50th birthday. The Aquatic Centre is one of Queanbeyan’s most popular public facilities with more than 130,000 using the centre during the 2010-2011 financial year. To celebrate the Centre’s 50th birthday Council will hold a free open day at the Pool with a number of activities to be provided.





Come along to our next meeting


Queanbeyan City Council’s next meeting will be held this coming Wednesday, 28 September in the Council Chambers starting at 5.30pm. As with all Council meetings, members of the public are encouraged to attend and can make presentations to the Council on any item on the agenda. Persons wishing to address the Council should arrive at the Council Chambers before 5.30pm and register with the Clerk of Meeting. You can obtain a hardcopy of the agenda from Council’s Customer Service Centre and the Queanbeyan Library, both at 257 Crawford St or you can download a copy from Council’s website at www.qcc.nsw.gov.au.

Election of Deputy Mayor

The September meeting is always important as most councils across NSW elect their Mayor and Deputy Mayor. Here at Queanbeyan we only hold an election for the position of Deputy Mayor as the position of Mayor is determined by the community when the Council is elected and holds that position for the entire four-year term. That four-year term comes to an end in September 2012 when the Local Government Elections are held across NSW.

Celebrating Queanbeyan’s proclamation

Queanbeyan will celebrate the anniversary of its proclamation on Wednesday 28 September at 5pm in the Council Chambers Foyer with the cutting of the Proclamation Day cake. Queanbeyan has a long rich history, and one of the key events is when it was first proclaimed a settlement in 1838. Residents are invited to attend this small ceremony.

Crawford Street Lifestyle Precinct - update

Construction of the Crawford St Lifestyle Precinct is continuing to move along well and just recently myself and also a number of councillors have met with businesses in the affected area to talk about their issues. Representatives from Council and contractors Hansen Yuncken have since met to discuss the construction program and are considering an altered program of works aimed at reducing the construction timeframe wherever possible. This plan will be presented to businesses in the affected area at a special meeting. The details of this meeting are yet to be confirmed and businesses in Crawford St will be invited when it is finalised. It’s very important that businesses take the opportunity to come along to this meeting to have further input into the process.

More sporting success for Queanbeyan

The winter sporting season is now complete and once again Queanbeyan teams and individuals have sparkled. Below is a list of the winning teams from Queanbeyan – as there are quite a few it is possible that I missed one and I apologise if this is the case.
Rugby league: The Queanbeyan Kangaroos won their second straight Canberra Raiders Cup with victory over fellow locals the Queanbeyan Blues. The Roos under-18 team also tasted success in their grand final, also defeating fellow locals the Queanbeyan Blues.
In the junior rugby league Queanbeyan United was runner up in the under-16 Zone 2 competition, the Kangaroos won the girls competition, United Blue won the under-10 Zone 1 competition and United Black was runner up in the under-10 Zone 3.
AFL: The Queanbeyan Tigers reserve grade team won their third straight AFL Canberra reserve grade title.
Rugby union: The Queanbeyan Whites colts under-20s team defeated Tuggeranong in the grand final and the Queanbeyan Whites under-9s won the Canberra Cup. Individually, Jesse Collins earned selection in the Australian under-16 Indigenous rugby union team.
Basketball: The Queanbeyan Yowies women’s team made the semi-finals of the NSW State Waratah League competition.
Hockey: Queanbeyan United women’s teams won the under-13, under-15, division two and division seven grand finals in the Canberra hockey competition.
Netball: Waratah defeated Sunrise in the local netball competition.

Congratulations to all of these teams and individuals on their success.





Busy night for Council


Council had a very busy night in the Chambers on Wednesday night with 24 reports made to the Ordinary Council meeting. These reports ranged included policy reviews, donations, program updates and development applications. The minutes of this meeting will be available on Council’s website next week.

Community groups receive donations

One of the key items on the agenda on Wednesday was the distribution of funds under the General Donations Scheme. Each year Council puts significant funds in the Operational Plan to cover donations to community groups and organisations. This year there was $40,000 set aside in the budget for donations with $34,500 allocated for distribution and $5,500 set aside for emergency donations. This scheme is always very popular with Queanbeyan community groups and 2011 was no different with 27 separate organisations receiving funding to assist with the development of their group or to assist with the hire of Council facilities.

CityCARE program making a difference

Council received a report which updated it on the progress of the CityCARE works program which has now been in place for over a year. The CityCARE program was developed in 2009 to address a shortfall in the maintenance and renewal of Council’s roads, footpaths and parks and sportsfields. To fund this program Council undertook extensive consultation with the community and gained support to apply to the Minister of Local Government for a Special Rate Variation of 5.8%. The Minister approved this for an initial period of three years and work commenced in July 2010. This increase allowed Council to raise an extra $1.048million in rates for the 2010-2011 financial year. Of this amount, $64,000 worth of pensioner concessions were provided. The first year of Council’s CityCARE program resulted in 758 footpath defects being repaired, 17 roads resealed, three roads stabilised and five parks and sportsfields receiving much-needed upgrades. Council was unable to complete the resealing of a section of Wanna Wanna Rd during the financial year and it will be completed as part of the 2011-2012 resealing program. The original program for 2010-2011 included the upgrade of water supply at the Queanbeyan Showground. Due to some planning issues this was transferred to 2011-2012 and replaced with the installation of a shade structure in Queanbeyan Park which is complete. In 2011-2012 the Special Rate Variation will raise $1.011 million for Council to spend exclusively on the CityCARE program. The works program for 2011-2012 is as follows:
• Pavement rehabilitation of four sections of local roads - $350,000
• Footpath repairs - $196,760
• Bitumen resealing of around 10 local roads - $165,000
• Replacement of equipment and soft fall at Cassinia Park - $35,000
• Upgrade of water supply at the Queanbeyan Showground - $45,000
• Replacement of soft fall and upgrade of equipment at Railway Park - $45,000
• Upgrade of amenities at Blundell Park - $75,000
• Erosion control, grass cover on banks of Halloran Drive - $25,000
• Upgrade of lower amenities at Wright Park - $75,000

Council staff have already commenced work on the footpath repair program while the pavement rehabilitation and resealing of local roads is likely to be undertaken between October and December. Planning has commenced and quotes have been sought for the six projects concerning Queanbeyan parks and sportsfields.





Let's make the Queanbeyan Gift bigger and better


The Queanbeyan Gift and Family Fun Day is Queanbeyan’s most popular community event and Queanbeyan City Council is seeking the assistance of businesses to make it even better. The event is held annually in November in Queanbeyan Park and attracts hundreds of athletes from all parts of Australia and thousands of spectators and Family Fun Day participants from around the region. As with all Gifts around Australia there has been a significant difference in prizemoney between men and women and this is something Council wants to change. Council is committed to a gender equity program and was last year awarded a bronze award for its progress. Due to this commitment Council will be offering equal prizemoney for both male and female competitors at this year’s Queanbeyan Gift. Obviously this will result in an increased cost for the event and Council is seeking expressions of interest for sponsorship of the Gift and Family Fun Day. Sponsorship is available from as little as a few dollars to a few thousand or in the form of valuable in-kind support with no financial outlay. The Gift Carnival and Family Fun Day will be a great chance to advertise yourself or your business and to have your branding or logo seen by thousands of people across Queanbeyan and Canberra in the lead up to, and on the day of the event. Further information about sponsoring this event can be obtained by contacting Council’s Debbie Sibbick on 6285 6000 or emailing

debbie.sibbick(_AT_)qcc.nsw.gov.au
.

Crawford St Lifestyle Precinct - update

Construction of the Crawford St Lifestyle Precinct continues to progress well. Last week all 10 trees from Crawford St were transferred to Council’s nursery for rehabilitation. The contractors are now preparing to demolish the existing road surface on the eastern side of Crawford St. Since last week the contractors have installed a footpath which provides pedestrian access from the temporary carpark on the site of the former Queanbeyan Age building on to Crawford St. For updates visit www.qcc.nsw.gov.au, www.facebook.com/qbncity or http://twitter.com/#!/QueanbeyanCity

Queanbeyan Art Award exhibition wraps up

The Queanbeyan City Council Art Award exhibition closed last Saturday with the naming of the People’s Choice award winner. For the second year in a row, talented Queanbeyan artist Margaret Hadfield was the winner of this highly-sought after award for her oil on canvas piece titled ‘Misty Mountain Stream Series #1’. The People’s Choice award was voted on by visitors to the exhibition which was open from 2-13 August. The winner of the Queanbeyan Art Award was announced on 2 August and for the second time since the inception of the award the winner was Timo Nest, while Debra Boyd-Goggin claimed the Highly Commended Award. I congratulate Margaret, Timo and Debra on their success and look forward to next year’s Queanbeyan City Council Art Award.

Your chance to ask questions

A reminder that Council’s next Public Forum will be held on Wednesday 7 September at 5.30pm in the Council Chambers, 253 Crawford St. If you wish to ask a question at the Public Forum it must be submitted in writing to the General Manager’s Office or emailed to

public.forum(_AT_)qcc.nsw.gov.au
and must be received prior to 5pm on the Monday preceding the Public Forum. Forms can be collected from the General Manager’s Office, 253 Crawford St, Queanbeyan, downloaded from Council’s website at www.qcc.nsw.gov.au or by contacting Margaret Simonovski on 6285 6223.





Talks continue with ACT Government


The relationship between Queanbeyan and the ACT is vitally important to the future growth of our fine city. To ensure this relationship remains healthy and productive I have been holding regular meetings with the ACT Chief Minister. These commenced in 2009 when Jon Stanhope was Chief Minister and I was pleased to continue these meetings with the new Chief Minister, Katy Gallagher a few weeks ago. At that meeting the main discussion point was the need for extra lanes and bus priority  measures on Canberra Avenue, the Queanbeyan sewerage treatment plant, the proposed Queanbeyan ring road and Canberra’s centenary which coincides with Queanbeyan’s 175th birthday. We had some in-depth discussions around the $8.2 million of capital funding for bus lanes on Canberra Avenue with both parties agreeing that while the project remained an important first step, consideration for a second stage development taking the project right to the Queanbeyan border was needed. The 2010‐11 ACT Budget included funding over four years to provide a bus lane along Canberra Avenue from Fyshwick east to Hume Circle however, it was agreed that over time the ACT Government will need to look at extending the development to deal with increasing traffic pressures. These meetings are held every four months and I will report back on the outcome of the next meeting in November.

Housing group wins award

Last week one of Queanbeyan’s many community groups won $2000 in the Local Government and Shires Association of NSW (LGSA) Empowering Communities competition. The Karabar Housing Tenants Group was formed to look at significant issues in the area and was recognised by the LGSA at the awards function in Sydney. Cost of living is a major concern for the group and it has developed some strategies to help empower the residents to try and escape the poverty cycle. I congratulate the Karabar Housing Tenants Group on their success and hope their good work continues into the future.

Crawford St trees relocated to Nursery

Work on the Crawford St Lifestyle Precinct is continuing to move along nicely. During the week the 10 trees which ran up the centre of Crawford St were carefully removed by the contractors and relocated to Council’s nursery where they will be rehabilitated. Council originally hoped to re-plant these trees in the completed Lifestyle Precinct, however we have received advice that this would place too much stress on the trees and they would be unlikely to survive. Instead we will purchase some advanced trees of the same species for the Lifestyle Precinct. The trees which have been relocated to the nursery will be used in a future project.

Celebrating Queanbeyan’s best businesses

Queanbeyan has some outstanding businesses and they will be honoured at the inaugural Queanbeyan Business Excellence Awards in September. The awards are being organised by the Capital Region Business Enterprise Centre and the Queanbeyan Business Council and there are seven categories up for grabs. Nominations have been promising so far and businesses have until Friday 15 August to submit their application. The gala awards night will be held at The Q on Saturday 10 September and you are encouraged to get in early to secure a ticket to avoid disappointment. Tickets are $100 per person and include a three-course dinner, entertainment and a great opportunity to network with other businesses. For more information on the awards visit www.qcc.nsw.gov.au and to book a ticket contact Tracey Lamont at the Visitor Information Centre on 6299 7307.





Welcoming our Sister City visitors


On Wednesday Council welcomed nine visitors from our Sister City, Minami Alps in Japan. Queanbeyan and Minami Alps have enjoyed a successful Sister City relationship since 1992 and it was great to welcome the Minami Alps representatives to Queanbeyan for the first time since I have been Mayor. Due to the outbreak of Swine Flu in 2009, a delegation from Minami Alps has not visited Queanbeyan since 2007. While in Queanbeyan the six students and three chaperones from Minami Alps will be billeted out to local families. The delegates will be dropped to Council each weekday morning where they will board a bus for their day of activities before they are returned to their host family each night. The host family will entertain their guests over the weekend. Council’s Sister City Committee has organised a very busy itinerary for the Minami Alps representatives and includes an overnight visit to the South Coast, a tree planting ceremony at Sister City Park; a visit to Karabar High School; tour of Canberra icons, including Parliament House, National Museum and Questacon and a trip to Gold Creek Station. Queanbeyan will again send a delegation of students and chaperones to Minami Alps next year and will be calling for nominations in early 2011. Keep an eye on this column, Council’s regular advertisements in the Queanbeyan Age and Chronicle and our website for more information.

20th anniversary of Sister City relationship

Next year will be the 20th anniversary of Sister City relations between Queanbeyan and Minami Alps and they have indicated they would like to visit Queanbeyan to celebrate this milestone. It is planned a group consisting of five officials and an unknown group of adults will be visiting in either February or November 2012. Council is currently discussing the visit with representatives from Minami Alps.

Council Careers Expo this Saturday

As part of Local Government Week, Council will be holding a Careers Expo on Saturday at 10.30am at The Q. Council offers a broad range of career opportunities and a special presentation has being organised for the general community to provide practical information on the range of careers and jobs available in Council, and how best to find and apply for them. Council staff will be on hand to answer any questions you may have about working for Council and the benefits associated. For more information contact our Human Resources department on 6285 6000.

Crawford St traffic changes

As many of you would have noticed, Stage 1 of the construction of the Crawford St Lifestyle Precinct commenced earlier this week. Stage 1 involves the removal of the mid-street planter and demolition and reconstruction of centre of the road. During Stage 1 traffic will be reduced to one-way and single lane along western side on Crawford St (Sam’s Warehouse side) in a north-bound direction. Motorists will still be able to turn left and right from Monaro St into Crawford St and continue along Crawford St in a northerly direction. Traffic will not be able to turn right or left from Morisset St into Crawford St or go straight from the Crawford St/Morisset St lights in a south-bound direction. Pedestrian access to shops along Crawford St remains available. For more information visit our website at www.qcc.nsw.gov.au, www.facebook.com/qbncity or via Twitter @Queanbeyancity.





Community sends clear message on Tralee


The Queanbeyan community sent a strong message to the NSW Government last Sunday when over 500 residents attended a community organised rally to support the rezoning of Tralee. It was quite encouraging to see such a large crowd in attendance to show their support for this development which will provide much needed infrastructure for Jerrabomberra and Queanbeyan residents also. The process to rezone Tralee has dragged on for almost 10 years with necessary variations to Council’s long term Residential and Economic Strategy - as approved by successive NSW Ministers for Planning, and a number of legal challenges initiated by the Canberra Airport Group. From planning and legislative points of view the Tralee development meets all of the standards and requirements set by the NSW Government and will also allow the airport to expand with no detriment to its ultimate capacity growth projections. I believe there is no legal or technical reason why South Tralee cannot be approved and I remain hopeful that the NSW Government will make the correct decision. In November last year Council approved the Draft Local Environmental Plan for South Tralee and sent it to the NSW Minister for Planning. Since then there has been further legal action instigated by the Canberra Airport Group in which the court found in favour of Council and the NSW Department of Planning. The Draft LEP is still with the Minister of Planning and recently he informed Council that any decision on the Tralee matter would be postponed until he received advice from the Commonwealth in regard to the timing of two aviation studies - one a national airports study and the second concerning aviation capacity at Sydney Airport. We await the Minister’s decision.

Stage 1 works commence on Monday

Residents would have noticed that some work has commenced on the Crawford St Lifestyle Precinct earlier this week. Contractors commenced preliminary work on western side of the street on Tuesday and this resulted in one lane of traffic being closed. The contractors are expecting to commence stage 1 of the project on Monday and there will be some significant traffic changes. Stage 1 is expected to take 18 weeks to complete and during that time traffic flow in Crawford St will be reduced to one lane in a northbound direction along western side of Crawford St (Sam’s Warehouse side). Motorists will still be able to turn left from Monaro St into Crawford St and continue along Crawford St in a northerly direction. Traffic will not be able to turn right or left from Morisset St into Crawford St or go straight from the Crawford St/Morisset St lights in a south-bound direction. There will be no parking available on the eastern side (Continental Cakes) during stage 1 but parking will be available on the site of the former Queanbeyan Age building and that can be accessed via Fallick Lane. For more updates visit www.qcc.nsw.gov.au, www.facebook.com/qbncity or follow us on Facebook @Queanbeyancity.

Dog behaviour the owner’s responsibility

Dogs are great companion pets, but if they are not looked after properly some can become a danger to the community. Many councils across NSW, including Queanbeyan, have recorded a disturbing number of dog attacks over the past year. In Queanbeyan there have been 39 dog attacks over the past 12 months and that has resulted in 26 human victims. A dog owner is fully responsible for the actions of their dog and large fines apply for dogs involved in attacks or simply found roaming the streets. There are a number of methods owners can use to limit the chance of their dog being involved in an attack and for more information just email

council(_AT_)qcc.nsw.gov.au





Crawford St Lifestyle Precinct


I am using this week’s Mayoral Column to talk to you about the construction of the Crawford St Lifestyle Precinct. The Lifestyle Precinct will be the most significant upgrade the Queanbeyan CBD has ever seen. Contractors are expected to move on-site next week and will commence work in the coming days. Below is some information on the construction timeframe, traffic changes and more.

What is the Crawford St Lifestyle Precinct?

The Lifestyle Precinct will see the section of Crawford St between Monaro and Morisset Sts turned into a pedestrian-friendly area where alfresco dining and a new mix of retail will be encouraged. When complete, traffic flow will be reduced to a single lane in both directions. The footpaths will be significantly widened and levelled to create a much more pleasant place to enjoy a meal or entertainment or just shop. Existing parking spaces will be retained when construction is complete.

How long will construction take?

It is expected that construction will take around 43 weeks to complete. This time frame may change depending on weather conditions. The project has been split into two stages. Stage one is expected to take 18 weeks to complete (around December) and will involve the removal of the mid-street planter and demolition and reconstruction of centre of the road. Stage two will continue for the rest of construction and will see the western side of the road demolished and reconstructed, footpaths leveled and widened with new lighting and plantings.

What will happen first?

Contractors will move into the area during the week 25-29 July. Over the next four weeks it is planned that the following works will be undertaken:
• Establishment of a project office and amenities.
• Detailed survey of existing services (water mains, electricity etc).
• Establishment of a temporary carpark on the site of the former Queanbeyan Age building (204-214 Crawford St). Access to this carpark will be available via Fallick Lane.
• Removal of road blisters near the Royal Hotel and works to establish through traffic from Monaro to Morisset St.
• Erection of perimeter fencing at northern end of Crawford St and set up of traffic management.
• Temporarily relocate trees from mid-street planter to Council’s nursery. Trees will return to Crawford St when construction is complete.
• Commence demolition of existing roadway.

How will traffic flow be affected?

During stage one traffic will be reduced to one-way and single lane along western side of Crawford St (Sam’s Warehouse side) in a north-bound direction. Motorists will still be able to turn left from Monaro St into Crawford St and continue along Crawford St in a northerly direction. Traffic will not be able to turn right or left from Morisset St into Crawford St or go straight from the Crawford St/Morisset St lights in a south-bound direction. During stage two traffic will be moved to the centre of the street and will be two-way, single lane with access with Crawford St open at both ends.

Will parking be affected?

Parking will be affected during construction. During the first stage of construction there will be no parking available on the eastern side (Continental Cakes side) of the street. To offset this the site of former Queanbeyan Age building has been leased to allow for extra parking. This carpark can be accessed via Fallick Lane. There is ample carparking available nearby for customers. A parking map is available on Council’s website to be printed off.

What will happen to the bus interchange?

The bus interchange will be relocated to the corner of Lowe and Morisset Sts.

How can I keep up to date?

Council’s website (www.qcc.nsw.gov.au) will have a page dedicated to the Lifestyle Precinct and will be updated as required. Council will also be using Facebook and Twitter to communicate updates as they come to hand. To get these updates either like us on Facebook (Queanbeyan City Council) or follow us on Twitter (@Queanbeyancity)





Heather McKay opens Indoor Sports Centre


On Tuesday Council held a ceremony to officially open the Heather McKay Indoor Sports Centre. It was great to see Heather at the ceremony and assisting Dr Mike Kelly with the unveiling of the plaque to commemorate the opening. Council agreed to name the centre in Heather’s honour in February and I must say there is no one more deserving of such a tribute. Heather is one of the greatest sportspeople this country has ever produced and her dominance of international squash during the 1960s and 70s is unprecedented. In fact, Heather only lost two matches during her career and won an amazing 16 consecutive British Open titles. She also excelled in both field hockey and racquet ball. The Indoor Sports Centre has been operational for a number of weeks and both team and individual nominations are being accepted. To nominate visit www.niccweb.com or phone 0405 425 662.

Eight athletes inducted into Gallery

Also on Tuesday at the Indoor Sports Centre, the new-look Queanbeyan Sporting Gallery was unveiled and eight athletes were inducted making a total of 110 state and national representatives. The Gallery has been moved from the Queanbeyan Conference Centre to the Indoor Sports Centre and was jointly opened by Canberra Raiders coach, former Australian league representative and Sporting Gallery member David Furner and the man who gave life to the Gallery, Jim Woods. A new electronic terminal is also at the Centre and includes the profiles of all athletes. The athletes inducted on Tuesday were:

  • Damien Bowen – Australian representative in javelin at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games.
  • Terry Campese – Australian and NSW rugby league representative.
  • Robbie Coleman – Australian Sevens (rugby union) representative at 2010 Commonwealth Games and ACT Brumbies player.
  • Bob Harrow – Coach of Australian men’s and women’s softball teams
  • Sepi Langi – Samoan representative in netball at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and 2012 World Championships.
  • Anthony and Saia Faingaa – Australian rugby union representatives and members of Queensland’s 2011 Super Rugby championship-winning team.
  • Andrew Blair – Australian representative at World Cross Country (mountain biking) Championships.

I congratulate these eight athletes and welcome them to the Sporting Gallery which includes some of this country’s best sports people. While at the Centre on Tuesday I had a further look through some of the athletes in the Gallery and there is no doubt that Queanbeyan is truly a city of champions.

Apply now for funding

A reminder to residents and community organisations that applications for Council’s General Donations Scheme and Heritage Assistance Scheme close on Friday 29 July. These two schemes provide great assistance to the community and I encourage interested persons and organisations to obtain a copy of the criteria and submit a nomination before the closing date. Criteria and nomination forms are available from Council’s website at www.qcc.nsw.gov.au or by calling Margaret Simonovski on 6285 6223 (General Donations) or Glenda Kells on 6285 6276 (Heritage Assistance).

Morisset St works finished

It is expected that the roadworks on Morisset St will be finished this afternoon. Council apologises for the delays in completing this work and I thank motorists for their patience during the repairs to the sewer main and related roadworks.





Highlighting a quality performance


I would like to use this week’s column to highlight the performance of Queanbeyan City Council as an organisation over the last few years. Operating any kind of business has been challenging over the past 3-4 years and it’s pleasing to see Council come through the tough patch, which included the Global Financial Crisis, in a very strong financial position. This hasn’t been through good luck – it has been the result of tireless work by Council, particularly our staff to ensure the organisation’s healthy financial position. I have included a number of matters which you may not be aware of.

Integrated Planning
Queanbeyan was one of the first councils in NSW to embrace the Integrated Planning and Reporting Framework and is now regarded as a Group 1 council. To achieve this Council had to prepare a 10-year Community Strategic Plan, four-year Delivery Program and an annual Operational Plan by 30 June 2010. The 10-year outlook has allowed Council to better plan for what’s ahead and gives us a more realistic view of what the future holds.

Financial management
Remaining financially stable over the past 3-4 years hasn’t been an easy task but Council has introduced a number of financial management measures which have helped keep a healthy bottom line. A number of cost-saving measures have been implemented to ensure we continue to operate with a budget surplus and Council’s investments have performed very well.

Asset maintenance
One key thing the Integrated Planning and Reporting Framework showed was that this Council had a history of not adequately funding the maintenance and renewal of its assets. As such there was a significant backlog of maintenance that had to be undertaken or Council would have found itself in a hole. To assist with this shortfall, and with general community support, we applied for and gained approval for a Special Rate Variation of 5.8% for an initial period of three years. While it’s never easy asking for more rates, I believe it was a sensible decision by Council to ensure the long-term life of community assets.

Division of Local Government Better Practice Review
The measure of a good organisation comes via an independent review. In 2009 Council shone when the Division of Local Government conducted an audit review as part of the Promoting Better Practice Program. The review team closely evaluated the effectiveness and efficiency of key aspects of Council’s overall strategic direction, checked our compliance, examined appropriate practices and ensured that we had frameworks in place to monitor our performance. The review team only made six recommendations, all of which were addressed immediately. The average number of recommendations made (for other councils) before our report was 36, while the lowest was 15.

Building for the future
A further sign of the strength of Council, and also the Queanbeyan community, is our capital works budget for 2011-2012. Council proposes to spend more than $31 million on a number of capital projects, including Stage 2 of the Edwin Land Parkway extension, the Crawford St Lifestyle Precinct and the relocation of the library, just to name a few. The majority of these works will be funded from grants, State and Federal Government funding and developer contributions. Council will be borrowing about $6.65 million which increases our debt service ratio to 2.1%. This is still a healthy position with councils similar in size to us averaging 7.1% and the Division of Local Government’s guidelines saying anything under 10% is healthy.

Congratulations
As we have now entered the new financial year it’s timely to congratulate all of Council’s staff on their efforts over the past 12 months. Also I am pleased to advise that Council resolved on 22 June to renew Gary Chapman’s contract as General Manager for a further five years. I look forward to continuing to work with Council staff to tackle the challenges ahead.





Tapping into youth's ideas


The creation of a Queanbeyan Youth Council has been a wish of the current Council since it was elected in 2008. Queanbeyan has a very diverse and motivated youth community and Council wants to tap into their ideas and thoughts to help make Queanbeyan a better place for our young people. Council initially sought to establish a Youth Council for 16 and 17-year-olds and received some  interest from local students, however a Youth Council did not eventuate due to lack of numbers. We understand that 16 and 17-year-olds have to deal with increased levels of study and are starting to look for part-time employment. As such we have revised our ages for the Youth Council and are now looking to 14 and 15-year-olds. Council staff will be holding discussions with local schools soon and will be holding an information session for prospective participants. Keep an eye on this column and Council’s fortnightly advertisements in the Queanbeyan Age and Chronicle for more information. If you are interested in joining the Youth Council contact Philippa Moss on 6285 6202.

Get along to see Blood Brothers

One of the must-see shows of The Q’s season opens on Wednesday night. Blood Brothers is one of two in-house shows that will appear at The Q this season and I have heard nothing but positive news coming out of rehearsals. The cast has been preparing for the show over the past few months under the watchful eye of The Q’s Program Manager Stephen Pike who is directing the play. Blood Brothers is a powerful story which is both hilariously funny and deeply moving. Blood Brothers is set in Liverpool and is a story of twin brothers separated at birth who reunite and become friends in their childhood, unaware they are related or of the consequences their relationship will bring.  Regarded as one of the all time great British musicals, Blood Brothers has been playing on London’s West End for over 20 years. The opening night of the show is Wednesday 6 July and shows will be held from 6-9, 13-17 and 20-23 July with a total of 16 performances. Tickets are selling well - for  bookings contact The Q on 6285 6290 or visit the website, www.theq.net.au

Look out for City Life

Residents should be receiving the next edition of the City Life newsletter in their mailboxes over the next week. This newsletter is Council’s most important communication tool and this edition contains a wealth of important information for residents. If you would like to receive the newsletter electronically email

ricky.tozer(_AT_)qcc.nsw.gov.au
Also, if you don’t receive your copy of the newsletter please let us know through the above email address.

Road closures continue in Morisset St

The roadworks at the intersection of Morisset and Collett Sts are likely to enter a third week. Council employed a contractor to undertake the work, which required replacing a collapsed sewer main 8m under the road, but unfortunately there have been a number of problems and the expected finish date is currently being revised. The following road closures will remain in place until work is complete:

  • Morisset St will be closed to through traffic in an eastbound direction (heading towards the low-level bridge) between Crawford St and Carinya St. Access to the Woolworths and City Link Plaza carparks will not be affected.
  • Collett St, between Morisset and Antill St, will be closed to traffic in both directions. Local access to carparks will not be affected.
  • Drivers approaching the Collett St roundabout from the south (Queens Bridge direction) will only be able to turn left.




High Court challenge


Queanbeyan City Council’s challenge against the legality of the ACT’s water abstraction charge and utilities tax was heard in the High Court on Tuesday. The High Court has reserved its decision and has not indicated as to when a decision will be handed down. This has been the subject of ongoing legal proceedings since 2007 between Council and the ACT Government with the matters being heard before the Federal Court and then subject to appeal before the Full Federal Court.  Annually the Water Abstraction Charge costs Council and therefore Queanbeyan consumers about $3 million and the Utilities Tax about $700,000.

Tralee decision postponed

Late last week Council received information from the NSW Minister of Planning, the Hon Brad Hazzard regarding the progress of the draft Tralee Local Environmental Plan (LEP). The Minister has advised Council that the determination of the draft Plan would be postponed to allow a report by the National Airports Safeguarding Advisory Group (NASAG) principles for land use planning and the Joint Study into Additional Aviation Capacity for the Sydney Region to be completed. Mr Hazzard said he had asked the Commonwealth Government for urgent advice to be provided to him within the next six weeks on the expected timeframes for the completion of both the NASAG principles and the Joint Study. Despite the delay Council remains confident that the draft Plan will be approved in due course.

Department store development approved

At our meeting on Wednesday night, Council approved a development application for the reconfiguration of City Link Plaza to allow a discount department store to be developed. As with all development applications, Council is required to consider the application in terms of compliance with planning legislation and control plans. Should the redevelopment take place, residents will have access to new shopping facilities that were only previously available in the ACT. Council is aware that preliminary discussions have taken place with a number of City Link businesses as to an alternative site or sites for those businesses within the CBD.

Changes made to Draft Operational Plan 2011-12

Also at our meeting on Wednesday night, Council adopted its Operational Plan for 2011-2012. There were a number of changes made to both the Operational Plan and Schedule of Fees and Charges following the public exhibition phase where Council received more than 20 submissions. These changes included making funding available for external painting of the Aquatic Centre, establishment of the Karabar Community Centre and additional funding for weeds management and improvements to sports fields. The documents will be available in hard copy and on the Council’s website next week.

Road closures continue in Morisset St

Due to unforseen delays, work to repair a collapsed sewer main at the intersection of Morisset and Collett Sts is expected to continue until Friday 1 July. The following road closures will remain in place until work is complete:
• Morisset St will be closed to through traffic in an eastbound direction (heading towards the low-level bridge) between Crawford St and Carinya St. Access to the Woolworths and City Link Plaza carparks will not be affected.
• Collett St, between Morisset and Antill St, will be closed to traffic in both directions. Local access to carparks will not be affected.
• Drivers approaching the Collett St roundabout from the south (Queens Bridge direction) will only be able to turn left.





Get out to the Enviro Expo this Sunday


With the price of electricity rising rapidly and the given the community is becoming more concerned about climate change there is more reason than ever for us to make our homes and gardens more sustainable. There are numerous methods we can undertake to make our home or garden more sustainable and a wide range of these methods will be on show at the 2011 Enviro Expo which will be held on Sunday 5 June from 10am-4pm in and around the Queanbeyan Conference Centre at 253 Crawford St. More than 30 exhibitors will take up a stall at the Enviro Expo and will be able to provide professional information. The exciting program includes workshops on wormfarming, home energy efficiency and cooking with Kate Shelton. Guest speakers will talk about the local platypus population as well as sustainable homes and gardens and community agriculture. There will also be demonstrations and displays of hybrid and electric vehicles, no-dig gardening, chooks, and alternative energy. A free bike check-up (with the chance to win a service) is also on offer so get on your bike and head to the Expo on Sunday to celebrate World Environment Day. For more information check out the eight-page feature in today’s Queanbeyan Age.

Interest sought for library relocation

Last week Council called expressions of interest for the relocation of the Queanbeyan Library. The Library, currently located at 257 Crawford St, will move to the former Parks and Wildlife Building which is located in Rutledge St. Council has budgeted $1.5 million for the relocation and associated works required to bring the building up to standard and we will hold a workshop in the coming weeks to further discuss the project and the scope of works required. By relocating the Library, Council will free up considerable space in the administration building to establish an integrated customer service centre or ‘one-stop’ shop for all Council enquiries.

Queanbeyan celebrates reconciliation

On Tuesday hundreds of Queanbeyan students and residents joined Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders for the annual Reconciliation Walk which ended at the Reconciliation Garden in Queanbeyan Park. It was quite a sight to look back along Monaro St to see hundreds of people waving an Aboriginal, Torres Strait Island or Australian flag. Once again the Reconciliation Walk was very well attended by the Queanbeyan community and I encourage all residents to continue to push the message of reconciliation.

Assessing Integrated Plan submissions

The submission period for Council’s draft Integrated Plans for 2011-2012 closed last Friday with 22 submissions received. Those submitters who indicated they would like to make a presentation to councillors will do so following next Wednesday’s Planning and Development Review Committee Meeting. Following these presentations councillors will assess the submissions before adopting the final plans at the Council meeting on 22 June.





Significant step forward in Tralee development


The development of Tralee took another significant step forward late last week when the Land and Environment Court dismissed Canberra Airport Group’s challenge against the Tralee Local Environmental Plan (LEP). This is a welcomed result for Council and we now look forward to moving ahead with the process of developing the land known as South Tralee. The claims made by the Airport that challenged Council’s planning processes including claims of bias, were shown to be unfounded. The Court dismissed the challenge on all counts and ordered the Airport to pay Council’s and the Department’s costs. In November 2010 Council agreed to submit the draft LEP to the Minister of Planning for his assessment. The draft LEP is currently with the Minister of Planning awaiting his assessment.

Planning Proposal sent to Minister

At Council’s meeting on Wednesday night Council agreed to remove five parcels of land from a Planning Proposal which sought to reclassify 13 lots from community land to operational land. More than 75 members of the public attended the meeting with three making presentations to councillors. After lengthy discussion Council agreed to remove parcels of land located at 97 Munro Road, 8 Hayley Cres, 42 Candlebark Rd, 6 Morrison/8 Conway Streets and 29 Allumba Street from the Planning Proposal. The Planning Proposal will now be amended to mirror last night’s outcomes before it is forwarded to the Minister of Planning with the recommendation it be finalised. The Planning Proposal has been a lengthy process, but one with extensive community consultation and engagement by the Council. We have listened closely to the community during the public exhibition phase and again at the public hearing. The deletion of the five lots from the proposal should be viewed as a good result all round in my view. Even though Council agreed to proceed with the reclassification of some of the smaller lots, there were a number of community concerns on the potential for over development and resultant loss of amenity. Council resolved to place a restriction to only allow one single story dwelling on a number of parcels as a limit to future development. Should the reclassification process be complete and Council determines to dispose of the small parcels of land, the funds generated can be allocated to improve our larger and well-established parks and other public facilities.

Looking after our River

When people think of Queanbeyan they think of the Queanbeyan River. Council is developing a River Plan of Management and we are very keen to have wide input. Community members are invited to any of five public events over the next week to have an input into the development of the plan. The following events will be held:
• Thursday 2 June, 5pm-8pm: Open display at the Riverside Plaza Food Court.
• Saturday 4 June, 10am-12noon: Open display at The Q, rear of 253 Crawford St.
• Saturday 4 June, 1pm: Walk along the river corridor between the CBD and Glebe Park. Meet at front of The Q.
• Sunday 5 June, 7am: Walk along the river corridor between River Drive and Barracks Flat. Meet at River Drive Reserve
• Sunday 5 June, 10am-4pm: Council’s Enviro Expo at the Queanbeyan Conference Centre, 253 Crawford St.
The community will also have further opportunity to comment when the Draft Plan of Management is on public exhibition at the end of 2011. 





Edwin Land Parkway construction underway


After years of planning and some unavoidable statutory planning delays the extension of Edwin Land Parkway is underway. Federal Minister for Eden-Monaro, the Hon Dr Mike Kelly and myself turned the first sod of soil on the construction site on Wednesday afternoon to signal the start of construction. Kenoss Contractors will now take over the site and expect work to take around eight months to complete, meaning that we should see cars driving between Karabar and Jerrabomberra on this road during early 2012.

Planning proposal report available

At the public hearing into Council’s draft planning proposal a number of attendees asked to be notified of when the Council report relating to the proposal was available. The report was made publically available yesterday afternoon and members of the public are invited to pick up a copy of the report from Council’s Customer Service Centre or the Queanbeyan Library, both at 257 Crawford St or visit our website to download the documents. To access Council reports click on the ‘Meeting Information Updates’ link on the right-hand side of the home page and follow the links. Council staff have sent a letter to all residents who made submissions and attended the public hearing advising them of the availability of the Council report. As stated previously, no decisions have been made on the blocks of land and they will be individually determined at the meeting of Council this Wednesday evening, commencing 5.30pm at the Council Chambers.

Time running out to comment on plans

Time is running out for residents to make a comment on Council’s Integrated Plans for 2011-2012. The closing date for submissions on the draft Operational Plan and draft Schedule of Fees and Charges for 2011-2012 is next Friday, 27 May 2011. The submissions will be collated and taken into consideration by councillors before the plans are adopted at the Council meeting on 22 June. The documents can be viewed at www.qcc.nsw.gov.au by clicking the ‘Documents on Exhibition’ link on the right-hand side of the front page.

Nominate now for awards

Nominations are now open for the 2011 NSW/ACT Regional Achievement and Community Awards. I was pleased to participate in the launch of the awards this week and I encourage local businesses to nominate for these awards. The Awards provide opportunity for recognition for many community groups, businesses and individuals of Queanbeyan.  For more information on how you can nominate or to pick up nomination forms please contact the local awards office on 1300 735 445 or visit the website at www.awardsaustralia.com. Nominations close – Friday 5 August 2011.





Acknowledging Jon Stanhope's work as Chief Minister


I would like to commence this week’s column by acknowledging outgoing ACT Chief Minister, Mr Jon Stanhope. Mr Stanhope on Monday announced his resignation from the top job and I must say it has been a pleasure working closely with him during my almost three years as Mayor of Queanbeyan. I have enjoyed a strong and positive working relationship with Mr Stanhope and his Government, particularly on cross-border issues including transport and roads infrastructure. I look forward to continuing this strong working relationship with the incoming Chief Minister. I understand Deputy Chief Minister Katy Gallagher is expected to be nominated unopposed.

Major construction about to commence

Since Council awarded tenders for both the Edwin Land Parkway extension and Crawford St Lifestyle Precinct a couple of weeks ago I have received many questions from the community as to when work will commence. Unfortunately the process isn’t as simple as award the tender and start work the next day. But I can give an assurance that commencement is not far away with final planning being undertaken. Council staff have met with both of the successful tender companies to firm up a starting date for the projects. Kenoss Contractors are likely to commence preliminary work on the Edwin Land Parkway extension towards the end of May and I was informed earlier this week that it’s likely that the first sod for the Crawford St project will be turned around mid-July. While physical work isn’t happening in Crawford St at the moment there is plenty going on behind the scenes with Council staff meeting with the contractor to establish a traffic management plan. The Edwin Land Parkway extension will have a minimal impact on the community during construction phase, but the Crawford Street project will cause some disruption. To deal with the disruption to traffic flow in Crawford Street, Council will be making regular announcements regarding the situation. During the construction phase residents are also encouraged to visit our website regularly for updates, check us out on Facebook (Queanbeyan City Council) or follow us on Twitter (QueanbeyanCity).

2011 Enviro Expo is nearing

The 2011 Queanbeyan Enviro Expo is not far away with stall holders preparing for the event on Sunday 5 June. The Enviro Expo was first held in 2009 and attracted an encouraging crowd and as such Council agreed to continue running the event on a bi-annual basis. This year the Expo will be a one-day event and will include plenty of activities, stalls and workshops. The Enviro Expo will run from 10am-4pm in and around the Queanbeyan Conference Centre at 253 Crawford St and a full program will be available on Council’s website in the coming weeks. Also on the theme of the environment, at its last meeting Council agreed to develop a draft Community Climate Change Action Plan. This Action Plan follows on from two community workshops which were held earlier in the year. I am proud to be part of a Council leading the way on environmental matters and community concerns and look forward to working with Council staff and community representatives to develop this plan. It is hoped that a draft plan will be completed in early 2012.





Contractors appointed for Edwin Land Parkway and Crawford St Lifestyle Precinct


At its meeting on Wednesday night, Queanbeyan City Council awarded two of the most important tenders this city has seen for some time. Contractors have now been appointed for the long-awaited Edwin Land Parkway extension and the construction of the Crawford St Lifestyle Precinct. Combined these projects are worth more than $16 million with the Federal Government allocating $6 million for the Edwin Land Parkway extension. The balance of the funding will be from Section 94 developer contributions, reserves and loans. The Edwin Land Parkway extension has suffered from a number of unavoidable statutory planning delays and it’s pleasing to see the project finally move ahead. This project will see the suburbs of Karabar and Jerrabomberra connected with a 2.3km single carriageway (apart from a slow lane for the climb from Old Cooma Rd). The road will provide residents will alternate routes out of their suburbs. The Crawford St Lifestyle Precinct hasn’t been on the boards for as long as the Edwin Land Parkway extension, however it’s also very important to this city’s future. The Lifestyle Precinct will see the section of Crawford St between Monaro and Morisset Sts completely transformed into a pedestrian friendly area where alfresco dining will be encouraged. The community reaffirmed the CBD as an area of long standing concern when Council undertook an extensive survey in 2006. Further, council supported the development the CBD Master Plan following a Notice of Motion put forward by myself in 2005. The Crawford St Lifestyle Precinct will be the first project undertaken from the CBD Master Plan. Council will now finalise contracts with the preferred tenderers and will hopefully have a commencement date in the coming weeks. The Edwin Land Parkway extension is expected to take around eight months to complete and construction will cause little disturbance to traffic in the area. The Crawford St Lifestyle Precinct is expected to take 6-9 months to complete and due to the high amount of traffic in the area there will be some disturbance. Council will work closely with the contractor to ensure the public is made fully aware of partial road closures during the construction phase and also alternate parking spaces. The commencement of these two projects will be an exciting time for the Queanbeyan community as we prepare the city for the future.

Chance to comment on plans

Also at its meeting on Wednesday night, Council agreed to place its draft Operational Plan and draft Schedule of Fees and Charges for 2011-2012 on public exhibition. Residents are invited to make comment on the two documents and can do so until Friday 27 May 2011. The draft Operational Plan outlines the projects and programs Council will be undertaking during the financial year an d how these will be financed, while the draft Schedule of Fees and Charges outlines Council’s proposed fee structure for the next financial year and also includes its Revenue Policy. Residents wishing to view the documents can obtain hard copies or electronic copies from Council’s Customer Service Centre or Library at 257 Crawford St or can view the documents online at www.qcc.nsw.gov.au Comments can be made in a number of different ways:

  • In writing to the General Manager, Queanbeyan City Council, PO Box 90 Queanbeyan NSW 2620 and be marked ‘Draft Operational Plan submission’.
  • Via email to
  • By filling in an e-form on Council’s website.

Residents who make a comment on the draft plans and wish to address councillors on their submission can do so on Wednesday 8 June immediately following Council’s Planning and Development Review Committee meeting (about 6.30pm). This will take place in the Council Chambers at 253 Crawford St and residents wishing to address council should advise accordingly in their written submissions.





Music festival to attract thousands of visitors


In years gone by Queanbeyan has lacked a national event which attracts thousands of visitors to the city. I am pleased to announce that Council agreed at its April meeting to host the 2012 Australian Independent Music Festival and associated awards. This is a major plus for the city of Queanbeyan with the festival to be held from 13-15 January, a period when Queanbeyan is generally very quiet with many of our residents heading away for holidays. Local businesses have struggled to attract business during this period, however with organisers anticipating thousands of out-of-towners we should see a significant boost to the Queanbeyan economy. To secure the event Council agreed to make a cash donation of $5000 towards to running of the festival while another $5000 will be made available to subsidise venues and other support services. Council fully supports this event and we will work closely with the organisers to drive this festival forward and help put Queanbeyan on the music events map. Organisers expect the event to attract 95% non-Queanbeyan residents with a projected 70% aged under 30. The event will be held in a number of venues across the city including the Queanbeyan Showground, The Q, the Conference Centre, various sections of Queanbeyan Park, the Aquatic Centre, various pubs and clubs around Queanbeyan while also encouraging street busking. An event of such quality will be significant to the Queanbeyan community. One only has to look at the affect similar events have on other country towns and cities to realise how important this will be to Queanbeyan. The range of music slated for the festival is extensive and includes dance, country, folk, reggae/R&B, urban hip-hop, rock, heavy metal, choirs, jazz, blues.

Markets to be held fortnightly

Also at our meeting in April, Council agreed to continue the Summer Sunset Markets. The Markets were held every Friday during daylight saving in 2010-2011, however Council agreed to change the frequency of the markets to fortnightly. The 2010-2011 Summer Sunset Markets were an overall success despite a number of markets having to be cancelled due to inclement weather. In 2011-2012 the Markets will be held on the first and third Fridays of the month with Council and our partners in the Markets, the Queanbeyan Children’s Special Needs Group, believing this will be the best format to move the Markets forward.

Giving youth a voice in community

Council is calling on Queanbeyan’s youth to come forward and be part of a Youth Council. Queanbeyan has a very active youth community and Council and is keen to tap into their ideas to help make Queanbeyan a better place for the younger generations. Council is hoping to attract a Youth Council of at least 10 16-17-year-olds who will then elect a Mayor and Deputy Mayor by secret ballot. An information night will be held on Thursday 12 May 2011 in the Council Chambers at 5pm and I encourage anyone interested in joining the Youth Council to come along.

Hazard reduction burn on Saturday

Residents are advised that the Rural Fire Service plans to undertake a hazard reduction burn in the North Terrace area on Saturday 7 May. If the burn cannot be conducted on that date an alternative date will be advised. If residents have any concerns regarding the burn they should contact NSW Rural Fire Service on 6297 1840.





Public hearing into proposal to reclassify land


Next Tuesday, 19 April Council will hold a public hearing into its proposal to reclassify 13 parcels of land from community to operational land. The proposal recommends that Council reclassifies 13 parcels of land which would allow Council to explore the possibility of selling or redeveloping the land. Council staff undertook an assessment of Council-controlled land and determined that some small holdings do not have any strategic value and their use is not matched by the ongoing maintenance costs being incurred. This proposal was placed on public exhibition in February/March and Council received 43 submissions along with numerous phone enquiries. As part of the reclassifying process, Council must now hold a public hearing controlled by an independent chairperson who will present a report to Council. All submitters have been invited to the public hearing and it’s also open to any other members of the community. This public hearing is the most important step in the reclassifying process. Despite what some people may think, this proposal is far from finalised. In fact, when Council receives the report from the chairman it will vote on each parcel of land separately and may agree to progress with the reclassification of some and not others. The 13 parcels of land in the proposal make up about 0.36% of Queanbeyan’s total amount of open space. These are mainly located in residential areas, with one located in an industrial area. If the proposal goes ahead it will reduce a number of small pocket parks usually associated with high maintenance costs which are generally in close proximity to other areas of open space. If Council determines to dispose of a number of the small parcels of land, the funds generated will be allocated to improve our larger and well-established parks and other public facilities. Residents are invited to the public hearing at 5.30pm in the Queanbeyan Conference Centre, 253 Crawford St, Queanbeyan. Any enquiries should be directed to Council’s Strategic Development section on 6285 6276.

Smoke alarms compulsory for vans

Owners of caravans, campervans and other similar vehicles are reminded that it is now compulsory for their vehicles to carry a smoke alarm. These changes apply to all new and existing moveable dwellings where people sleep – which includes caravans, campervans, holiday vans, park vans, annexes and associated structures. Smoke alarms cost as little as $15 but will save something more precious than money – human life. These changes to NSW law came into effect on February 25 2011. However, there’s a six-month grace period to August 25 2011. Further information is available at www.fire.nsw.gov.au or www.planning.nsw.gov.au

Heritage Festival continues to excite

The Queanbeyan Heritage Festival continues to create plenty of interest around Queanbeyan and tomorrow I will announce the winners of the 2011 Heritage Awards. The festival commenced on 7 April and runs until 25 April with a number of exciting displays around the city, especially at the Queanbeyan Library and our two museums. The Heritage Awards will be presented tomorrow (Saturday 16 April) at 12 noon at the Queanbeyan Museum in Farrer Place. This will be followed by the launch of the Museum’s latest exhibition “From Settlement to Town”.





Tenders called for Crawford St redevelopment


The redevelopment of Crawford St is a step closer with Queanbeyan City Council calling for tenders for construction of the project. The redevelopment will see the section of Crawford St between Monaro and Morisset Sts turned into a pedestrian friendly lifestyle precinct. This is an exciting project for Queanbeyan and one which has been warmly supported by businesses in the area. Tenders for the project close on Thursday 7 April 2011 and a report will be made to a Council meeting soon after where we will appoint a preferred tenderer.

Have your say at community meetings

Council will be holding three community meetings during March and all residents in the Local Government Area are invited to attend. The meetings will be held at the following times and locations:

• Carwoola/Queanbeyan
Tuesday 15 March 2011
Queanbeyan City Council Chambers
253 Crawford St, Queanbeyan at 6pm

• Jerrabomberra
Thursday 17 March 2011
Jerrabomberra Community Centre at 5.45pm

• Googong/Fernleigh
Tuesday 29 March 2011
Fernleigh Park Community Hall
17 Swan Drive, Googong at 6pm

Council prides itself on its communication with the community and we have found these meetings to be an effective way of keeping residents up to date with what’s happening at Council. These meetings provide members of the community with a chance to come along and find out what’s happening at Council, to put forward recommended projects for possible inclusion in Council’s budget and also ask questions of Council representatives. If you can’t make the meeting designated for the section of Queanbeyan which you live in, feel free to come along to one of the other meetings. Alternatively, if you can’t make any of the three meetings you can ask a question of Council by attending one of our Public Forums, which are held on the first Wednesday of each month. Items to be discussed at the community meetings include Council’s budget for 2011-12, its integrated planning process and the development of Googong and Tralee. Residents are invited to add items to the agenda and can do so by contacting Margi Simonovski on 6285 6223. Following the agenda items, attendees will be able to ask questions of the Council representatives.

Meet the Candidates a success

Council hosted another very successful Meet the Candidates night on Tuesday with around 150 residents from Queanbeyan and the surrounding region attending The Q. The three candidates for the seat of Monaro – current member Mr Steve Whan (Labor) Mr John Barilaro (Nationals) and Mr Paul Cockram (Greens) – attended and were asked a variety of questions relating to the Monaro electorate and also NSW as a whole. The evening was professionally moderated by Professor John Warhurst, the Professor of Political Science at the Australian National University, and I thank him for his services.

Regatta and rodeo on tomorrow

There will be no shortage of action around Queanbeyan tomorrow with two of the city’s most popular events to be held. The Queanbeyan Regatta and Queanbeyan Rodeo will take centre stage tomorrow – and the best part is you can get to both. The Queanbeyan Regatta will be held on the banks of the Queanbeyan River in Trinculo Place and will run from 2pm-5pm while the Queanbeyan Rodeo commences at 4pm at the Queanbeyan Showground. It promises to be an exciting day of entertainment and residents are encouraged to get out and enjoy themselves at both of these events.





Road improvements the priority for Queanbeyan


The NSW State Election is just three weeks away and Council has approached all three candidates for the seat of Monaro to outline our priorities. The candidates have been made fully aware of the Council’s wishes for the future and you, as members of the public, will be able to question them on these priorities and other important matters next Tuesday, 8 March when Council hosts a Meet the Candidates night at The Q starting at 7pm (see item below). Council has discussed its priorities at length and has approached the three candidates individually to outline them. Council’s community priorities are:
• Funding the design and environmental work for the Ellerton Drive Ring Road Extension and upgrading 13 intersections.
• Funding preliminary design and environmental work for further stages of Old Cooma Rd and Dunns Creek Rd.
• Funding support for the relocation of the School Bus Interchange and creating a Park and Ride Facility at the Collett St carpark.
• Government funding of $300,000 for community engagement and concept design work for a regional sports precinct and aquatic centre in the Jerrabomberra Valley

Once again the future of Queanbeyan’s road network is our No1 priority, and rightfully so. To ensure this city continues to grow and is an inviting place to live and visit we must ensure that the road linkages can handle the increased traffic that will frequent our roads over the coming 20-25 years. The Ellerton Drive Ring Road Extension is the most important piece of infrastructure for Queanbeyan and to ensure it’s complete by 2018 we need to commence planning now.

Meet the Candidates – Tuesday 8 March

Residents of Queanbeyan and surrounding areas will get an ideal opportunity to publically question the candidates for the seat of Monaro on Tuesday 8 March when Council hosts a Meet the Candidates night at The Q starting at 7pm. All three candidates will attend the evening and they are:
• Current member, Mr Steve Whan (Labor)
• Mr John Barilaro (Nationals)
• Mr John Cockram (Greens)

The Meet the Candidates night will give the candidates about 10 minutes to introduce themselves to the audience before questions are taken from residents – all under the watchful eye of moderator Professor John Warhurst. Following the questions, candidates will be given a short amount of time to sum up. All residents of Queanbeyan and surrounding areas are encouraged to attend the Meet the Candidates night which will be held in the 340-seat theatre at The Q (bookings/tickets not required).





Indoor Sports Centre almost complete


Queanbeyan’s newest sporting facility is looking fantastic and should be completed within the coming weeks. Earlier this week I inspected the Queanbeyan Indoor Sports Centre in Taylor Park and I was very impressed with what I saw. The contractors are expecting to apply the finishing internal touches over the coming week. A carpark with the capacity for 38 vehicles will also be constructed before the centre is opened – along with landscaping works. This is a very exciting step forward for Queanbeyan as this city has wanted and needed an indoor sports facility for some time. The next significant step in the development of the Indoor Sports Centre will occur next Wednesday night when Council considers two reports at its meeting. The first report will allow Council to appoint an operator for the centre. Council staff conducted interviews with prospective operators earlier in February and Council will discuss its options and consider appointing an operator at the meeting. Following the appointment Council and the operator will enter into a licensing agreement. The second report will recommend a name for the Indoor Sports Centre. The Indoor Sports Centre will comprise of two multi-purpose indoor sports courts, spectator viewing areas and a kiosk with outdoor seating. The design allows for further extension in the future with the construction of a third court.

Resealing of Queanbeyan’s roads – CityCARE

Earlier this week Council commenced its bitumen resealing program for 2010-2011. Between now and Friday 25 February a number of roads in Queanbeyan will be resealed and minor traffic delays are expected in the affected areas. A portion of the 2010-2011 reseal program has been funded by Council’s CityCARE Levy. In 2010 the Minister Local Government approved Council’s application for a Special Rate Variation of 5.8% for an initial period of three years. This variation allows Council to spend $978,000 on long overdue maintenance and renewal of the city’s roads, footpaths and parks and sportsfields.

Chance to question candidates

Candidates for the seat of Monaro will face the Queanbeyan community on Tuesday 8 March 2011 when Council hosts a Meet the Candidates night at The Q, starting at 7pm. The three candidates for the seat of Monaro have indicated that they will be attending the event, so make sure you come along to listen to and ask questions of the candidates before the Saturday 26 March election. To ensure the event runs smoothly, Council has appointed Professor John Warhurst as the external moderator. All residents of Queanbeyan and surrounding areas are encouraged to attend the Meet the Candidates night which will be held in the 340-seat theatre at The Q (bookings/tickets not required)

Busy and exciting month ahead

The next month will be busy and exciting for Queanbeyan with a number of major community events organised, they are:

• Summer Sunset Markets – every Friday until the end of March between 5-8pm at 253 Crawford St.
• Queanbeyan Multicultural Festival – Sunday 27 February from 10am-5pm in Queanbeyan Park.
• Mayor’s Cup pre-season Invitational Soccer – Queanbeyan City Football Club v Monaro Panthers FC on Sunday 6 March at 4pm Seiffert Oval (curtain-raiser matches; U16’s at 12 noon and Women’s at 2pm(.
• Clean up Australia Day -  Sunday 6 March between 9am and 1pm in Queen Elizabeth Park
• Queanbeyan Regatta – Saturday 12 March between 2pm and 5pm on banks of Queanbeyan River.
• Queanbeyan Rodeo – Saturday 12 March from 4pm at the Queanbeyan Showground.





Edwin Land Parkway construction nearing


Queanbeyan City Council has moved closer to commencing work on one of the city’s most important infrastructure projects with tenders called for the construction of the Edwin Land Parkway extension. This extension has been coming for a long time and will be very beneficial to Queanbeyan residents and visitors to our city. The 2.6km extension will connect the suburbs of Karabar and Jerrabomberra and will give Jerrabomberra residents an alternate route out of their suburb. The extension will be constructed as a single carriageway to match the existing Edwin Land Parkway, with the exception of an additional slow lane for the climb from Old Cooma Rd. Tender submissions must be lodged with Council by Friday 4 March 2011. Council officers will collate the submissions and put forward a report to Council’s March meeting where we will select the preferred tenderer. The construction of this extension is just the start of a big year in road infrastructure improvements for Queanbeyan. Earlier this week Council completed the public exhibition phase for Stage 1 of upgrades to Old Cooma Rd. The Stage 1 works will see the windy section of road which travels past the quarry replaced with a much safer and wider stretch of road. Council will receive a report at an upcoming meeting on the submissions received. If Council agrees to proceed with the project it’s expected that tenders will be called before the new financial year. Stage 2 of the Old Cooma Rd upgrade won’t be undertaken for some years and will see Old Cooma Rd, from the intersection with Edwin Land Parkway to the intersection with Googong Rd, upgraded to be a dual lane road.

Listening to community’s climate change ideas

On Tuesday night Council hosted the first session of the Community Workshop on Climate Change. Council had a very pleasing response to the workshop with 30 residents attending. The same 30 people will attend the second session which will be held on 22 March. During Tuesday’s session the workshop looked at climate change-related changes that had occurred in the community over the past five years and where it wanted to see the community in five years. The workshop also discussed the roles of State, Federal and Local Governments and individuals in climate change. There were some interesting ideas put forward by members of the workshop and Council will research and explore these before reporting back to the workshop during the second session.

Nominate now for Heritage Awards

Council is calling for nominations for the 2011 Heritage Awards. Queanbeyan has some stunning heritage properties which add considerable heritage value to the city. Queanbeyan will this year celebrate its 173rd birthday and it’s pleasing to see so many residents recognising the city’s heritage by restoring commercial and residential buildings. There are seven categories in the Heritage Awards and nominations can be accepted from the property owner or any other member of the community. The award winners will be announced as part of Council’s Heritage Week celebrations on Saturday 16 April at the Queanbeyan Historical Museum.





Council commences budgeting process


Queanbeyan City Council has already commenced its budgeting and integrated planning process for the 2011-2012 financial year. While the beginning of the new financial year is still some five months away it’s critical for Council to begin this process now. To achieve legislative requirements Council must update its current Long-Term Financial Plan, review its Delivery Plan and develop an Operational Plan prior to June 30. Council received a report last week outlining the time frame for developing our integrated plans and a big part of that process is community consultation. Council will ensure the community is heavily involved in this process with public forums to be held at Carwoola, Fernleigh, Queanbeyan and Jerrabomberra in March to outline the development of the operational plan for 2011-2012. In addition to these public forums, Council’s integrated plans will be placed on public exhibition for 28 days in late April, allowing community members to make submissions regarding the plans. I will keep you up to date with the process and will make public forum dates public when they are confirmed.

Bocce to return to Queanbeyan

Council last week approved a development application to allow Bocce to be played again in Queanbeyan. Council agreed to change the use of a previous recreational facility in Morisset St to give the Queanbeyan ACT Bocce Club access to courts. Once recommissioned by the Queanbeyan ACT Bocce Club, the Bocce Courts in Morisset Street will be the only competition standard courts in the Queanbeyan-Canberra region.

Council to operate Visitor Information Centre

Queanbeyan City Council will resume management of the Queanbeyan Visitor Information Centre after agreeing at its meeting on Thursday 27 January to not extend an agreement held with the Queanbeyan Business Council. The Queanbeyan Visitor Information Centre is a very important part of the Queanbeyan community and Council believes it will be beneficial for this service to be managed  again by Council and with oversight from the Queanbeyan Development Board. The Queanbeyan Development Board is made up of representatives of the Queanbeyan City Council, The Queanbeyan Business Council, The Capital Region Business Enterprise Centre and the Community. All staff, both full time and part time, will become Council employees and will retain all entitlements.

Council donates $10,000 to Flood Appeal

Also at our meeting last Thursday, Council agreed to donate $10,000 to the Premier’s Queensland Flood Appeal. Queanbeyan dealt with its own flood, although on a much smaller scale in December, and we are still dealing with the clean up. It’s hard to believe the extent of damage and devastation caused in south east Queensland. The clean up in these areas will continue for up to two years and it’s hoped that these funds can assist families and individuals in rebuilding their lives and livelihood.

Summer Sunset Markets to recommence

The Queanbeyan Summer Sunset Markets resume this afternoon following the Christmas-New Year break. The Markets ran for nine weeks prior to Christmas and despite some unfavourable weather at times they were well attended. The Markets will run from this Friday through until 25 March and will incorporate a number of different themes. The location of the Markets has changed from last year and they will now be held in between the Council Chambers and Council’s Administration Building and also in the Conference Centre. So when you finish work this Friday afternoon, pick up the family and call into the Summer Sunset Markets between 5pm and 8pm.





Queanbeyan Park upgraded


Queanbeyan City Council has completed its first project funded by the CityCARE levy. The new, improved Queanbeyan Park playground was unveiled earlier this week and I’m sure residents will appreciate the upgrades. Improvements include new play equipment, BBQ facilities, extra seats, more secure fencing and much more. The works at Queanbeyan Park are funded by the CityCARE Levy. In 2010 the Minister Local Government approved Council’s application for a Special Rate Variation of 5.8% for an initial period of three years. This variation allows Council to raise an extra $1.04 million in rates each year to spend on maintenance and renewal of the city’s roads, footpaths and parks and sportsfields. Council will now turn its attention to upgrading Steve Mauger Park (amenities) and Wright Park (levelling and stabilising playing field) over the coming months. A contractor has been engaged to undertake work on some of Queanbeyan’s roads and is expected to commence work in mid-February, while Council is around 60% of the way through its footpath repair schedule.

Congratulations to Australia Day winners

Mother Nature turned on a perfect day for Queanbeyan’s Australia Day celebrations in Queanbeyan Park on Wednesday. It was great to see such a large and enthusiastic crowd in the Park for the annual celebrations. It was also a pleasure to present Queanbeyan’s Australia Day awards to four deserving recipients. The winners were:

Queanbeyan Citizen of the Year – Kevin Grainger
Kevin has been an integral part of the Queanbeyan community for more than two decades and has been a part of a number of local organisations including the Queanbeyan West Rotary Club, Queanbeyan Children’s Special Needs Group and the Local Area Health Advisory Group.

Queanbeyan Young Citizen of the Year – Katherine Schelberger
Katherine has been involved in local charities since commencing high school and she has continued her involvement while studying at the Gippsland Medical School. She has been involved with SIDS and Kids and the Queanbeyan Red Cross.

Queanbeyan Community Service Group of the Year – HOME in Queanbeyan
After five years of planning and fundraising, HOME in Queanbeyan opened its doors in July 2010 and provides 24-hour care for people with chronic mental illness who are without proper shelter, care, love and support.

Queanbeyan Community Event of the Year – Legacy Wards Christmas Party 2010
The Queanbeyan Legacy Club held a very successful Christmas Party at the Kangaroos Club on 5 December. More than 200 wards, carers and legatees attended the Party and they were entertained by pleasant music from a local DJ. As the music played the attendees took over the dance floor.

Old Cooma Rd information session

Council will hold its second and final public information session regarding the realignment of Old Cooma Rd on Monday 31 January. The public exhibition phase of the project will conclude on Monday 7 February and this public information session will give residents a final chance to ask questions of Council staff regarding the realignment. The information session will be held in the Queanbeyan Conference Centre, 253 Crawford St on Monday from 4pm until 7pm and interested members of the public can drop in at anytime.





Australia Day celebrations in Queanbeyan Park


Queanbeyan Park will be the place to be on Wednesday as Queanbeyan celebrates Australia Day. Council and the Australia Day Committee have put together an afternoon full of entertainment and activities which commences at 5pm. The highlight of the day will be the naming of Queanbeyan’s Australia Day award winners for 2010. The awards on offer are:
• Queanbeyan Citizen on the Year
• Queanbeyan Young Citizen of the Year
• Queanbeyan Service Group of the Year
• Queanbeyan Event of the Year.

The awards recognise the dedication and hard work of individuals and community groups in our city. Queanbeyan is privileged to have such a strong community spirit and that shows through each year when we present these awards. Other entertainment and activities during the afternoon include a flag raising ceremony, citizenship ceremony, music performances from the Sing Australia Choir, GrooveDotCom and Kait Ludwig, a free merry-go-round, face painting, removable tattoos and jumping castle. To top off the celebrations a fireworks spectacular will be commence at 9pm.

Dr Allan Hawke our Ambassador

Queanbeyan’s ambassador for Australia Day is highly-credentialed public administrator, Dr Allan Hawke AC. Dr Hawke has a long and celebrated career in public administration and has held senior positions such as Secretary of the Departments of Veterans’ Affairs, Transport and Regional Services and Defence. He completed his public service to Australia as High Commissioner to New Zealand in 2006. Dr Hawke was appointed a Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia in the 2010 Queen’s Birthday list for eminent service to public administration. Dr Hawke undertook a three-year term as Chancellor of the ANU from February 2006 and now serves on a range of public and private sector boards, has conducted a series of Government enquiries and is actively involved in a range of community and sporting organisations. Dr Hawke has not only made his home town of Queanbeyan proud but the country as a whole. We are privileged to have an Ambassador of such high standing and I look forward to hearing his address on Wednesday.

Mayor’s Cup soccer match reinstated

Council agreed in December that it would support the reinstatement of the Mayor’s Cup soccer match after receiving requests from members of the Monaro Panthers Football Club and the Queanbeyan City Football Club. The Mayor’s Cup will be contested annually and the 2010 clash will be played at Seiffert Oval on 6 March as a pre-season match. Queanbeyan has a very strong soccer community and it’s great to see such an event reinstated. More information will be made available closer to the match.

First meeting on Thursday, 27 January

A reminder to residents that Council’s first meeting of 2010 has been moved to Thursday 27 January. Council agreed to change the date of the meeting due to the clash with Australia Day. Thursday’s meeting will commence at 5.30pm in the Council Chambers at 253 Crawford St. The agenda and business paper can be downloaded from Council’s website at www.qcc.nsw.gov.au or collected from the Customer Service Centre at 257 Crawford St.





Website links


Queanbeyan City Council website
Contacting council offices
Contacting your councillors
Council meeting dates






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