Every year we wait anxiously to see whether the ACT Budget will provide any goodies for our local neighbourhoods.  This year we welcome the  Government’s  announcement that the 2015/16 Territory Budget will have a ‘suburban’ focus.

We have been advised by the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services that the budget will include new money for increased lake and pond cleaning, increased tree and shrub maintenance, an extra mowing across the city, and additional capacity to mow high visibility public areas.

Hopefully a good share of these funds will be invested in the inner south to improve the look and amenity of our suburbs.

The Inner South Canberra Community Council has been working constructively with the Government to solve the impasse over the proposed relocation of the Manuka Childcare Centre to land owned by Telopea Park school, to make way for the Canberra Services Club.

The Chief Minister has indicated that the school might be allowed to retain its land if another site can be found for MOCCA.  MOCCA is keen to remain on its current site as part of the new Services Club complex and we are investigating whether that might be feasible.

ISCCC continues to promote the need for a strong national planning presence in Canberra to help preserve our beautiful suburbs and hinterland from excessive development. We were disappointed when the Federal Government recently announced plans to emasculate the role of the National Capital Authority.

Now we discover that the ACT Government has asked the Federal Environment Minister not to place Canberra on the National Heritage List. There should be no be secret government deals in these important issues – community views must be sought.

The ISCCC has written to the Government opposing changes to planning arrangements that would allow dual occupancies to be built on many cleared ‘Mr Fluffy’ asbestos blocks.  This will seriously compromise the garden city values of Canberra and impact detrimentally on neighbouring blocks.

Gary Kent, Chair

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