News items from November 2009 – January 2011
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9 January 2011
ACTEW Pipeline Community Information sessions
The ACTEW Water Security Project team have announced the dates and times for the Community Information Sessions to be held in Burra during January. Two sessions will be held in the Burra Hall:
The information sessions provide an opportunity to talk directly to key members of the project team
regarding construction of the pipeline and to better understand how construction might impact you.
Members of the construction team will provide information on how the pipeline and associated
infrastructure will be built and how ACTEW intend to manage the impacts of construction to ensure minimal
disruption to the communities of Williamsdale and Burra. Sandwiches and refreshments will be provided.
Construction of the Murrumbidgee to Googong Water Transfer is expected to commence early in 2011
and take approximately 18 months to complete. The pipeline will cross the Monaro Highway at Williamsdale near Angle Crossing Road and in Burra will follow a route along Williamsdale Road to the outfall at Burra Creek. Traffic delays and diversions are expected along the route at various times during the construction.
Project site offices are currently being established on the
corner of the Monaro Highway and Angle Crossing Road, with the project team expected to relocate to
site in early February.
For more information about these sessions or this project, please contact Adina
Cirson on the Water Security Projects information line on (02) 6248 3563 or by email at
3 December 2010
ACTEW pipeline construction to start early in 2011
Following approval by the Federal Minister for Sustainability,
Environment, Water, Population and Communities,
the Hon Tony Burke ACTEW have announced that they will start construction of the Murrumbidgee to Googong pipeline early in 2011.
Construction of a site facility on the corner of the Monaro Highway and Angle Crossing Road have commenced and are expected to be completed in January 2011. Hours of work are from Monday to Friday,
7.00am to 6.00pm and Saturday from 8.00am to 1.00pm.
Establishment of additional site compounds at Angle Crossing and elsewhere along the
pipeline route are anticipated to commence in January 2011.
Public information sessions in January
The imminent commencement of
the pipeline construction works will impact on residentsof Burra and Williamsdale. ACTEW have undertaken to continue to work closely with the local community
and landowners to ensure they are aware of the impact of
construction and ways in which ACTEW will attempt to minimise
these impacts. This includes developing specific property
interaction plans with landowners affected by the pipeline
either in or near their property and working together to
agree on landscape reinstatement plans.
As part of ACTEW's wider community engagement program, community drop in sessions will be held in Burra during January so the
community and landowners can speak directly with the
construction team. Further information about these sessions will be
provided in the near future.
7 August 2010
A second quarry for Williamsdale?
Williamsdale farmers, Brett and Michael McDonald, have announced plans for a second quarry on their land at Williamsdale. The news of this proposed hard rock quarry was publicised on ABC radio earlier this week when the McDonalds made a new pitch to change the route of the water pipeline to Googong Dam.
According to the McDonalds, the current alignment of ACTEW's planned water pipeline from the Murrumbidgee River to Googong dam would "sterilise" a potential rock quarry on the farm. They say the proposed quarry would be worth around $1 billion to a developer and $2.6 million in royalties to them and have called for increased compensation from ACTEW. Brett McDonald says ACTEW intitially told them it would pay $10,000 for removing the accesss.
ACTEW and local residents say that this is the first they have heard of the quarry reserve and the McDonald's plans to exploit the resource.
Speaking on ABC radio, ACTEW Chief, Mike Sullivan, said that he believed that the announcement of the proposed quarry was a "
negotiating position, in terms of the compensation for the easement".
The existing quarry on the McDonalds land, which is currently operated by Hansons, was established in the late 1990s. It was the subject of objections from local residents of both Burra and Williamsdale. Yarrowlumla Shire Council approved the development application for the quarry.
7 August 2010
Field of eight to contest Eden Monaro
Eight candidates will contest the seat of Eden Monaro at the Federal Election to be held on 21 August 2010.
The field includes the sitting Member, Dr Mike Kelly (ALP), Burra resident David Gazard (Liberal), and Palerang Councillor Catherine Moore (Greens). The other candidates are from the Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group), Liberal Democrats (LDP), Family First and two Independents candidates.
Dr Kelly won the seat in 2007 with a recorded swing of 6.7%. An electoral boundary change during this term of Parliament, which removed the area around Tumut and added in the coast town of Bateman 's Bay, has resulted in his margin cut to 2.3%.
The candidates as they will appear on the ballot paper are:
QUILTY , Olga
Liberal Democrats (LDP)
Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group)
16 May 2010
Burra resident to contest Eden-Monaro
Burra resident, David Gazard, has won Liberal Party preselection to contest the marginal Electorate of Eden-Monaro at the federal election due later this year.
Mr Gazard is a former journalist and previously worked as a press secretary for John Howard, Tony Abbott and Peter Costello while the Coalition was in government. He is founding parter of
founding partners of Advise, a specialist communications and government relations consultancy. Mr Gazard is a regular contributor to the online opinion forum, The Punch.
After winning preselection, Mr Gazard told the Sydney Morning Herald that he believed that the seat can be won from Labor.
"My experience in politics tells me that every fight is tough ... but I've just got to get my head down and do what I need to do," he said.
"People in the seat are fed up with the waste and mismanagement they've seen from this government," he said, raising concerns about the botched insulation scheme, government debt, and rising interest rates.
Eden-Monaro is held by Labor's Mike Kelly who secured a 6.7% swing in the 2007 election to take the seat from the sitting member Gary Nairn. A electoral boundary redistribution since the last election has resulted in Kelly's 3.4% margin being trimmed to an estimated 2.3%. The new electoral boundaries include Bateman's Bay (previously in the electorate of Gilmore) and a loss of Tumut and Tumbarumba, which return to the electorate of Riverina.
Palerang Councillor and former deputy Mayor, Catherine Moore will contest the election as The Greens candidate. Ms Moore has previously contested the State seat of Monaro on behalf of The Greens.
10 March 2010
Rural residents raise concerns about proposed zoning options in Palerang LEP
Palerang Councillor, Dr Anne Goonan, has written an open letter to residents regardinzoning options in the new Palerang Local Environment Plan (LEP):
You may be aware that currently Council is working on the preparation of the first Palerang Local Environmental Plan (LEP). Since amalgamation, Palerang council has been working with multiple LEPs inherited from its different shires such as Yarrowlumla and Tallaganda.
The basic LEP template/document is provided by NSW Department of Planning, and is the same for all NSW Councils — with mandatory sections and clauses where Councils can put their own 'stamp' on the document by adding in specific additional requirements.
The NSW Government template has range of zones to allow for many different types of land usage with objectives that characterize each particular zone. Zones can be included or excluded as appropriate.
What is concerning residents is the apparent rezoning by Palerang staff of the current rural residential areas to Zone E4 — Environmental Living, while another rural-residential type zone, Zone RU4 - Rural Small Holdings, has been excluded (see descriptions of these zones below).
On the Palerang website you can see the starting LEP document currently under discussion. Council additions are in red print, and though small and hard to read, there are maps at the back of the document (bigger maps can be seen at the Council offices).
If you have concerns about the zones that are being applied to your land, you have an opportunity at this early stage to have your say, either addressing Council/Councillors at one of the Extraordinary Meetings being held for LEP disucssions.
You can also email Council and all Councillors, or write to the General Manager at PO Box 348 , Bungendore NSW 2621.
This is an important stage in getting the basics right — before the 'Draft' leaves Council hands.
Please be proactive if you have concerns about how your land will be zoned, and make your views known.
Cr Anne Goonan
About Zone E4 —Environmental Living zone
The Zone E4- Environmental Living zone has two mandatory objectives (see first two dot points below). Palerang additions are in italics. Activities are also listed.
to provide for low-impact residential development in areas with special ecological, scientific or aesthetic values;
to ensure that residential development does not have an adverse effect on those values.
To encourage the retention of the remaining evidence of significant historic and social values expressed in existing landscape and land use patterns.
To minimise the proliferation of buildings and development that is visually intrusive and ensure compatibility with the existing landscape character
To ensure that the development and management of the land has proper regard for the environmental constraints of the land and has a neutral or beneficial impact on environmental assets including waterways, riparian land, wetlands and other surface and groundwater resources, soil fertility, remnant native vegetation, and potential and existing fauna movement corridors
To provide for the effective management of remnant native vegetation, including native vegetation regeneration, noxious and environmental weed eradication, and bush fire hazard reduction
To ensure that development does not unreasonably increase the demand for public services or public facilities
To minimise conflict between land uses within the zone and land uses within adjoining zones
(2) Permitted without consent
(3) Permitted with consent
Bed and breakfast accommodation; Building identification signs; Businessidentification signs; Cellar door premises; Community facilities; Dwelling houses ; Dual occupancies; Earthworks; Electricity generating works;Emergency services facilities ; Environmental protection works; Extensive agriculture; Farm buildings; Flood mitigation works; Home based child care;Home business; Home industries; Intensive plant agriculture; Neighbourhood shops; Places of public worship; Recreation areas; Roads; Roadside stalls;Secondary dwellings; Waste or resource transfer stations; Water recycling facilities
Industries; Service stations; Turf farming; Warehouse or distribution centres;
Any other development not specified in item 2 or 3
About Zone RU4 — Rural Small Holdings
The other rural residential type zone (Zone RU4 - Rural Small Holdings) that has so far been excluded from the current LEP draft has the following mandatory objectives:
To enable sustainable primary industry and other compatible land uses.
To maintain the rural and scenic character of the land.
To ensure that development does not unreasonably increase the demand for public services or public facilities.
To minimize conflict between land uses within the zone and land uses within adjoining zones.
9 February 2009
Palerang seeks comments on working-draft LEP
Palerang Council will hold the first of several special council meetings this Thursday to consider the working draft of the Local Environment Plan (LEP).
Palerang Deputy Mayor, Richard Graham has written to residents seeking their views on the newly-released Draft Local Environment Plan (LEP). With his agreement, we publish the text of his letter to residents:
Dear Constituents and Friends,
I'm writing to bring your attention to the business papers for a special series of Council meetings that begin this Thursday [11 February 2010]. This is the first time that the councillors will be considering the working-draft LEP document prepared by the planning staff.
You may be interested in perusing the draft document and see not only what is proposed for the whole of the shire but also your own property. The internet link to the document is below. From the maps starting on page 108 you should be able to locate your property and see what zoning the staff propose (note the zone letters such as RU1 or R2). Then starting at the bottom of page 19 you'll find the proposed land uses for your zone. This section sets out what will be permissible and not permissible.
With regards to subdivision, you can find staff's minimum lot size proposal starting at the bottom of page 8. Additional proposed conditions begin at page 50.
The meeting is open to the public and starts at 4pm and you are welcome to attend. You are also welcome to speak (up to 3 minutes) at the start of the meeting if you would like to make any comments about the proposal, whether generally or specifically about your property. If you also have any particular zoning recommendations or requests that you would like the councillors to consider, you could let us know your thoughts.
Presently the meetings are scheduled to be the second and forth Thursday of the month until the work is completed. It's not certain how many meetings will be required - it could be several or we might be surprised and it only takes a few. So if you have something, which you what to have considered, I suggest you get it into the discussion as soon as possible.
I'm writing to you as an individual councillor and not as an official Council communication. I wanted to make sure you and other interested parties didn't miss out on this very important process that will shape the development, lifestyle and economic aspirations possible in Palerang for years to come.
All the best,
6 January 2010
Federal Government announces digital TV plans
The Federal Government has announced plans to
implement a satellite service to provide digital television to viewers in regional blackspot areas.
Under the plan,
all free-to-air digital television services, including the original three commercial and two national channels, as well as new digital services such as ABC2, ABC3, SBS TWO, GO!, 7TWO and ONE HD, will be available to all Australians.
The satellite service will provide regional viewers with access to the local news currently broadcast in their TV licence area via a dedicated local news channel.
Under an agreement reached with all television broadcasters across Australia, broadcasters will upgrade more than 100 existing regional analog 'self-help' transmission facilities to operate in digital, while the Government will fully fund and build a new digital satellite broadcasting service for regional viewers who are unable to receive digital television from those facilities.
The TV antenna on Mt Urila is classified as a 'self-help' transmission faciliity (maintained by Palerang Council), but it is unknown if it will be one of the sites to be upgraded.
The Government is currently consulting with broadcasters to identify the list of 'self-help' sites to be upgraded to digital for announcement in the first half of 2010.
According to a media release issued by the Minister for
Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, viewers who currently rely on 'self-help' sites that will be upgraded by broadcasters under this agreement will simply need to install a high definition set-top-box to access a full suite of digital television channels.
Any regional households not able to receive digital television from the upgraded 'self-help' sites will be served by the new satellite, which will also carry the full suite of digital channels. In order to access the new satellite service, these households will need to install a satellite dish.
"The Government will provide a satellite conversion subsidy to eligible households currently served by 'self-help' transmission sites which are not upgraded to digital by the broadcasters," Senator Conroy said.
About 155,000 households in areas across Australia where councils have funded retransmission towers will be entitled to a $300 subsidy on a satellite receiver that would normally cost about $600.
The analog signal in Canberra and surrounding areas is to be switched off in the first half of 2012. Approximately 350 households in Burra and Urila would benefit from the digital upgrade to the TV antenna on Mt Urila.
1 January 2010
Are you connected?
NSW Parliamentary committee seeks the views of the bush
The NSW Legislative Assembly's Standing Committee on Broadband in Rural and Regional Services is conducting an inquiry into the availability of telecommunications (including broadband) and other technology services in rural and regional communities.
The inquiry has a particular focus on:
Differences between advertised service availability and consumer experiences of service levels;
Gaps in service provision in particular regions; and
- Options for improving service availability.
Submissions from individuals, groups and suppliers are invited. Submissions close on 26 February 2010.
For more information about the inquiry, visit the inquiry home page on the NSW Parliament website.
1 January 2010
Transforming Life Outside Cities: the Potential of Broadband Services
The NSW Legislative Assembly's Broadband in Rural and Regional Communities Committee is conducting an inquiry into the benefits and opportunities for rural and regional communities of having access to telecommunications (including broadband) and other technology services.
The committee is seeking submissions from the public with a particular focus on:
improving government services and efficiency in service delivery, including in the areas of education, health and justice services;
improving the level of engagement of rural and regional communities in public life through new technologies; and
- investigating the potential economic benefits from new technology on commercial and business opportunities in rural and regional communities.
Submissions close on 26 February 2010. For more information, visit the inquiry home page on the NSW Parliament's website.
24 November 2009
ACTEW considering "early upstream" outfall option
ACTEW is conducting environmental studies into an "early upstream" outfall of the the proposed Murrumbidge to Googong water pipeline into the Burra Creek at the end of Williamsdale Road. A number of submissions from the public favouring this option were presented to ACTPLA and the NSW Department of Planning during the public exhibition period for the project's EA and EIS.
The early upstream option is an alternative to the current proposal to build the outfall into Burra Creek near the bridge on Burra Road. If adopted, up to seven private properties in Macdiamid and Lagoon Roads would be be spared from having the pipeline easement and associated earthworks. This section of the pipeline is particularly contentious for landholders as it passes close to existing homes and would see the construction of eight noisy air valves.
The early upstream outfall is proposed for Burra Creek near to and upstream of the low-level vehicle crossing on Williamsdale Road (see photo below). A mini-hydro generation plant that will generate approximately 30% of the electricity used to pump the water would be constructed on the disused part of Williamsdale Road that was by-passed when the road was realigned in 2007. A schematic drawing of the alternative outfall and mini-hydro plant supplied by ACTEW's Water Security Project is available to download in PDF format (204KB).
Above: Site of proposed "early upstream" outfall into Burra Creek, near the low-level crossing on Williamsdale Road. Burra Road can be seen on the other side of the creek.
Below: Site of proposed mini-hydro plant near the proposed "early upstream" outfall for the Murrumbidgee to Googong pipeline. The hydro plant would be set into the cut and screened from view with plants and some earth mounding.
The early upsteam outfall option would reduce the length of the pipeline by approximately 1.7 km. This will result in significant savings for ACTEW in the form of reduced construction costs and fewer landholders to compensate for loss of amenity and disruption during the construction period. ACTEW have indicated that they would negotiate with landholders to undertake the rehabilitation of approximately 2km of Burra Creek downstream from Williamsdale Road including weed eradication, planting suitable indigenous vegetation, and the stabilising the creek bank in two locations. This work would be in addition to the proposed community legacy funds that are to be made available.
Other benefits of the early upstream outfall are:
Removing the need for blasting near Lagoon homestead;
Reduced traffic hazards on Burra Road during the construction process, especially where the pipeline would pass under the road near the bridge; and
Reduced risk to European heritage sites such as the original Lagoon homestead site;
ACTEW's Water Security Project will be consulting directly with landholders near to the proposed early upstream outfall and Native Title owners of crown land. ACTEW are are keen to hear community views on the early upstream option. Further information about this proposal, including artist/architectual impressions of the outfall and mini-hydro plant are being prepared for public exhibition.
For further information contact Adina Cirson, Community Engagement and
Stakeholder Management Leader, ACTEW
Water Security Project on
6248 3563 or via email at email@example.com
10 November 2009
Palerang releases rural lot size discussion paper
Palerang Council staff have prepared a discussion paper on rural lot size averaging to inform the long-awaited Palerang LEP.
The discussion paper was presented to Council at its meeting on 5 November. It notes that the LEP standard instrument
controls all subdivision by the use of a minimum lots size provision and a lot size
map. There is currently no average lot size standard clause in the standard
instrument. The NSW Department of Planning has indicated that rural lot size averaging was unlikely to be allowed in new LEPs and that the
Department intended to release a guideline or practice note to this effect.
Monaro LEP 1999 (Rural) and the Yarrowlumla LEP 2002 are
understood to be the only LEPs in NSW to apply averaging in the general rural zone,
although averaging provisions applying in rural residential zones are a feature of 22
The discussion paper canvasses advantages and disadvantages of minimum lot sizes versus average lot sizes under the broad headings of administrative/planning, environmental and agricultural.
The paper is available to download as part of the Business Papers for Palerang's November meeting (PDF 2 MB). The rural lot size discussion paper and associated information starts at page 103.