Letter to the Editor, Canberra Times
Canberra is a relatively new city and it is vital we protect our comparatively few heritage precincts for the benefit of future generations. It is astonishing that more is not being done to protect the fine historical and environmental values of Oaks Estate, a community of several hundred citizens located in the ACT just north of its border with Queanbeyan.
Oaks Estate is blessed with a marvellous natural environment, adjacent as it to the junction of the Molonglo and Queanbeyan Rivers. It has a built heritage stretching right back to colonial times. To walk through Oaks Estate, as I did the other day with members of the Oaks Estate Progress Association (OEPA), is to witness in microcosm the story of the development of Canberra through early settlement, Federation, wars, depression and prosperity.
Regrettably, due to its small electoral enrolment, Oaks Estate has not received its fair share of attention from successive Federal and ACT Governments going back many decades.  Failure to adopt much needed heritage and environmental plans, the potentially adverse impact of industrial development just across the border in Queanbeyan and inadequate cross-border governmental dialogue is threatening the future of this special corner of the ACT.
Earlier this year the Inner South Canberra Community Council proudly accepted the OEPA as a constituent member and we will be working hard to promote the interests of the Oaks Estate community and the benefits to all Canberra of protecting this historic place.  Discussions occurring this month between the OEPA and the ACT Government and Queanbeyan Councils will hopefully produce a way forward after years of neglect.
Gary Kent
Chair, Inner South Canberra Community Council

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