News items from October 2008 – February 2009
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28 February 2009
Palerang By-election news
Pre-poll voting opens on Monday, 2 March
Prepoll voting for the Palerang by-election opens on Monday, 2 March. Pre-poll voting will be available until Thursday 13 March at Palerang Council offices in Bungendore or Braidwood.
Voters who anticipate being absent on Polling Day, 14 March 2009, but are unable to attend the pre-polling centre on the other side of the Shire should apply for a postal vote (PDF 35 kb). Applications for postal votes close at 5.00 pm on Monday, 9 March 2009.
A full list of by-election polling places is available from the AEC website. This list includes the Burra Community Hall. Please note: Queanbeyan East Primary School is not listed as a polling place for the by-election.
Meet the Candidates evening in Wamboin
The Wamboin Community Association is holding a Meet the Candidates Forum on Tuesday 3 March.
Members of the community will have the opportunity to listen to and ask questions of the three candidates for the Palerang By election to be held on 14 March 2009.
The candidates are Anne Goonan (Bywong), Richard Holding (Bywong) and Mark Horan (Bombay, via Braidwood).
The Forum will be held in the Wamboin Community Hall, Bingley Way , Wamboin, commencing at 7.30pm. Members of the Burra, Urila and Royalla communities are welcome and BURRA encourages you to attend.
Refreshments (tea, coffee and biscuits) will be available.
12 February 2009
ACTEW Pipeline meeting set for 10 March
ACTEW's Water Security project will be holding a Murrumbidgee-to-Googong Pipeline meeting in the Burra Hall on Tuesday, 10 March 2009. The meeting will start at 7 pm.
On the agenda for the meeting is an update on the project and a presentation of ACTEW's preferred route for the pipeline.
ACTEW have also promised to provide information to the community on the key points in their Environmental Impact Statement before it goes on public exhibition. This will enable interested groups or individuals to start preparing their responses ahead of the 30 day window of opportunity for written submissions by the public. For more information about the approval process, visit the ACTEW website.
ACTEW will be sending a meeting notification to all people who have registed with them, as well as placing advertisements in local newspapers. ACTEW have recently sent a Community Update and FAQ sheet to people on their notification list. Copies of these documents are available from the links below:
More information about the public meeting will be posted on the BURRA website as it becomes available, or contact the ACTEW Water Security Project on 6248 3563 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
11 February 2009
Three candidates to contest Palerang by-election
Three candidates will contest the Palerang by-election on 14 March. All three – Anne Goonan, Richard Holding and Mark Horan – were candidates at the Local Government elections held in September 2008.
Bywong resident, Anne Goonan, ran in the 2008 election as an independent and was the last eliminated candidate after distribution of preferences. [View candidate information sheet on AEC website]
Richard Holding, also of Bywong, was a candidate on Group B ticket headed by Terry Bransdon at the 2008 election. At the by-election, Richard is representing the Community First Group that was headed up by Cr Catherine Moore at the general election in September [View candidate information sheet on AEC website]
Mark Horan has previously served as a Palerang Councillor and ran in the 2008 election as an independent. He was the second-to-last candidate eliminated from the count at that election. Mark is a resident of the district of Bombay, via Braidwood. [View candidate information sheet on AEC website]
Voting is compulsory in the by-election
Voters who anticipate being absent on Polling Day should apply for a postal vote (PDF 35 kb). Applications for postal votes close at 5.00 pm on Monday, 9 March 2009.
Pre-poll voting will be available from Monday, 2 March to Thursday 13 March at Palerang Council offices in Bungendore or Braidwood.
A full list of by-election polling places is available from the AEC website. This list includes the Burra Community Hall. Please note: Queanbeyan East Primary School is not listed as a polling place for the by-election.
26 January 2009
Australia Day Honour for Jim Maclachlan
Congratulations to Burra resident and former Palerang Mayor, Jim Maclachlan, who has been recognised for years of community service with the awarding of an Order of Australia (OAM) today.
The announcement on the Governor-General's website lists Jim's service to the community through roles in the Palerang and Yarrowlumla Shire Councils, the Rural Fire Service, the Scouting movement and other service and sporting organisations including:
Mayor, Palerang Council, 2006-2008; Councillor, 2004-2008;
Deputy Mayor, Yarrowlumla Shire Council; Councillor, 1991-2004;
Current Treasurer, Burra Rural Fire Brigade; Deputy Captain; Training Officer; Fundraiser; Assistant Catering Officer; active member, for 24 years; Life Member;
Chairman, Legacy Club of Queanbeyan, for 4 years; Treasurer, for 2 years, Member, Homes Management Committee for Legacy Village; Member, for 10 years; Life Member;
Chairman, Fire Management Committee, Lake George Zone, NSW Rural Fire Service, for 17 years;
Various appointments including District Commissioner, District Cub Leader, Group Leader, Venturer Leader, Scout Leader and Cub Leader, Scout Association of Australia, ACT Branch (originally the Canberra-Monaro Area of the NSW Branch);
Volunteer Umpire, Queanbeyan Bowling Club, Member, since 2001;
Volunteer and fundraiser, Laverton Heights School;
Volunteer and fundraiser, Mawson Public School, ACT; and
- Volunteer and fundraiser, Queanbeyan Public School.
Medal recipients will be awarded by the Governor-General, Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce, AC at a ceremony later in 2009.
25 January 2009
ACTEW buys land for gas-fired power station at Williamsdale
According to a report in the Canberra Times, ACTEW Corporation have completed the purchase of block of land at Williamsdale and are now considering a proposals for the land use, including the construction of a 500 megawatt gas-fired power station on the site.
This news comes despite assurances to the contrary given by ACTEW CEO Mark Sullivan outside the Palerang Council meeting on 6 December 2008. At that meeting, several Palerang Councillors were critical of the proposal – particularly its siting next to residents in NSW – and a representative of BURRA stated that the development was not wanted by the local community and would face opposition from nearby residents.
In discussions with representatives of BURRA outside the meeting, Mr Sullivan said that he had "got the message loud and clear" and undertook to make this known to the ActewAGL board, of which he is a member.
The property in question is located at Williamsdale (Block 1653, District of Tuggeranong). The property abuts the Monaro Highway and the southern border of the ACT. Maps of the property location can be viewed online at ACTMap i by searching for the Rural Block number.
The community group 'Canberrans for Power Station Relocation' (CPR Inc) have researched the potential impacts of the large gas-fired power station, which was originally proposed for a site adjacent to the Canberra suburbs of Macarthur and Fadden. Information about the potential impacts of the large peaking plant can be found at CPR Inc's website.
BURRA will be seeking further advice from ACTEW and the relevant NSW and Federal Government Ministers and elected representatives about this proposal.
17 January 2009
No referendum on wards at by-election
Palerang Council has rescinded a motion to hold a constitutional referendum on the establishment of wards in conjunction with the forthcoming by-election on 14 March. Council did not rule out holding a constitutional referendum at a later time during the term of this Council.
The original decision to conduct the constitutional referendum on wards had been carried at the Council's December meeting following a statement from a member of the public at that meeting. The motion had not been listed on the meeting's business papers, thus no other member of the public was able to put forward a contrary view nor had the matter been widely canvassed before the vote took place.
According to the meeting's Business Papers, wording for the referendum question would need to be prepared and approved by council at its 5 February meeting and submitted to the NSW Electoral Commission by 9 February. Clearly, this short time frame would not allow for any meaningful public consultation on the subject. Council officers had also expressed concern at short timeframe available to prepare and publicise explanatory material that would present a balanced case both for and against the proposition put to electors.
The recision motion, along with another on the siting of a waste transfer station at Bungendore, took place at an Extraordinary Meeting of Council on Thursday, 15 January. This meeting had been rescheduled from an earlier meeting held on 8 January which was adjourned due to a lack of quorum.
17 January 2009
Non-Residential Electors Roll applications open
Persons wishing to be included on the Roll of Non-Residential Owners of Rateable Land or the Roll of Occupiers and Ratepaying Lessees for the forthcoming by-election on 14 March 2009, must apply in writing by Monday, 2 February 2009.
Electors wishing to be included on this roll for the 14 March by-election must reapply even if a claim was made for inclusion for the Palerang election held in September 2008.
A form is available from the Palerang website. The form must be completed and returned to Palerang Council on or before 6.00pm on Monday, 2 February 2009. Details on how to submit the form are included on the form.
14 January 2009
Revamp for Burra tennis courts
The tennis courts at Burra Park are in line for a much needed refurbishment thanks to a $15,000 grant from Palerang's share of the Federal Government's Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program.
Work will include resurfacing the courts and replacing the lines on both courts. An additional $5,000 will be provided by the Burra Community from gatetakings from the Burra Open Gardens.
The Tennis Club's successful bid was considered by a subcommittee of Palerang Council made up of Crs Bransdon, Cockram and Graham. In total, Burra received $16,150, with the additional $1,150 to be spent on repairs to the Burra Hall to replace doors and install new lever-type handles on the external doors.
Burra's successful bid is listed amongst 13 other community's projects from around Palerang. Council recommendations now had to be submitted to the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government for approval.
A spokesman for the Council subcommittee allocating the grants said it had been difficult as Palerang communities had nominated almost a million dollars worth of projects.
"These all were worthy projects," he said. "So as well as taking into account the Federal Government's guidelines for the grants we had to establish our own supplementary set of criteria to fine-tune the allocations.
"These included demonstrated needs within each community, whether projects would assist local business and employment and if they would provide benefits for Palerang residents beyond the locality proposing the project."
Work on all approved projects and expenditure of the funds had to be completed by September 30, 2009.
4 January 2009 (Updated 9 January 2009)
Palerang by-election set for 14 March
Palerang voters will go to the polls on Saturday, 14 March to elect one councillor. The vacancy arose following the resignation of Cr Judith Miller in November.
All electors enrolled on the Commonwealth/State electoral roll as at 6.00pm on Monday, 2 February 2009 residing in Palerang Council will be included on the roll for the by-election. Voters can check their enrolment details online via the Australian Electoral Commission website.
Voting in local government elections is compulsory for all electors included on the residential roll. Enrolment forms and Postal Vote applications can be downloaded from the NSW Electoral Commission website.
Claims for inclusion on the Non-residential Roll must be completed and lodged with Palerang Council on or before 6.00pm on Monday, 2 February 2009.
Candidate nominations close on 11 February 2009. Details of all nominating candidates will be published on the BURRA website after this date. In the event that only one candidate nominates, that candidate will be declared elected and the by-election will not take place.
Referendum (updated 9 January 2009)
During its December meeting, Palerang Council resolved to conduct a referendum to be conducted in conjunction with the by-election to consider the introduction of Wards.
This referendum is now in doubt as Council has called and extraordinary council meeting – originally scheduled to be held on Thursday, 8 January but rescheduled to 15 January due to a lack of quorum – to consider a motion to rescind the decision to have a referendum on wards. Business papers for this meeting are available from the Palerang Website.
An update on the status of the Referendum will be published on the BURRA website when known.
3 December 2008
ACTEW pipeline community meeting set for 9 December
Senior staff from ACTEW's Murrumbidgee to Googong pipeline project will attend a community meeting in Burra on 9 December. The meeting in the Burra Hall will run from 7 pm to 8.30 pm, with ACTEW staff available to discuss the project from 6.30 pm.
The meeting has been called to give ACTEW an opportunity to respond to a number of concerns and issues about the project that were raised by residents at a BURRA Community Forum in November. Residents with an interest in the project are encouraged to attend to discuss the project or the forthcoming environmental assessments with ACTEW staff.
BURRA has formed a Pipeline Working Group who have forwarded a list of questions to ACTEW that will be addressed at the meeting. The Pipeline Working Group plans to lobby ACTEW and Local, State and Federal governments to ensure that ACTEW sticks to its original plan to route the pipeline along the Williamsdale and Burra Road reserves rather than traversing private property. The Working Group will also work to ensure that ACTEW meets all environmental requirements to protect the Burra Creek. The Pipeline Working Group can be contacted via this special e-mail contact form.
ACTEW have prepared a leaflet about the meeting that will be distributed to all households in Burra and Urila over the next few days. The leaflet also has contact details for the Water Security project.
1 December 2008
ACTEW Pipeline on Palerang's agenda
Representatives from ACTEW will make a 20 minute presentation to Palerang Council at the Council meeting on 4 December in Bungendore.
Council requested the briefing as a result of being alerted to the community's concerns about the pipeline at the recent BURRA community forum held on 13 November which was attended by Councillors Bransdon, Graham and Moore .
The pipeline proposal will be referred to the NSW State Government as a matter of State significance. Palerang Council will be asked for its input as part of the State government's consideration and determination of the proposal.
The Council meeting commences at 5.00 pm. Members of the public have an opportunity to address Council at the start of the meeting by indicating that they wish to address a specific item listed in the business paper or an unlisted item that is relevant to council business. There is a time limit of 3 minutes person, although Council can, by resolution, provide an extension for any speaker. Councillors and staff will not enter into debate with speakers but it is a chance to provide a personal or community view on a particular agenda item, including the ACTEW pipeline proposal.
The ACTEW pipeline presentation to council is listed as item 9.1 on the agenda.
ACTEW has previously informed the community that the pipeline would largely follow the route of the Williamsdale Road. On this basis there was little local opposition to the pipeline. However, ACTEW now intends to route most of the pipeline across private property to the detriment of some landholders. ACTEW has previously acknowledged that the construction of the pipeline will bring very little benefit to the local BURRA community, and now that the preferred route appears to be substantially across private property, this problem is amplified.
BURRA has formed a Pipeline Working Group to lobby at local, State and Federal government levels for ACTEW to stick to its original plan to route the pipeline along the road. The Working Group will also work to ensure that ACTEW meets all environmental requirements to protect the Burra Creek. The Pipeline Working Group can be contacted via this special e-mail contact form.
22 November 2008
Albanese gives thumbs-down to 24/7 airport plan
Federal Transport Minister, the Hon. Anthony Albanese MP, has rejected Canberra Airport's 2008 draft master plan saying that it did not provide enough detail.
In a media statement, Albanese said "Canberra Airport's 2008 draft master plan does not provide the necessary detail to meet the statutory purposes of a master plan and enable well informed public consideration of the proposed 20 year plan for the Airport. Canberra Airport has been on notice since February 2005 when the previous government identified similar deficiencies in detail that should be addressed in subsequent master plans".
Albanese, whose Sydney electorate of Grayndler is seriously affected by aircraft noise from the nearby Kingsford-Smith airport, also criticised Canberra Airport's response to community concerns about noise and increased traffic from the proposed 24 hour freight hub.
"Many members of the community raised concerns about the proposal for a freight hub, for example, and the airport's response has not adequately addressed the substance of their concerns. The public should be advised of the potential truck, plane and machinery noise they might face if the freight hub proposal develops as significantly and rapidly as suggested in the 2008 draft master plan" he said.
Albanese said that the public have a right to know how this development could impact on their homes, and the airport's response to these concerns had been inadequate.
Canberra Airport's plan to turn the facility into a 24/7 freight hub, which has the potential for around-the-clock flights into or from the airport at two minute intervals, has been the subject of a protest campaign spearheaded by a coalition of community associations who formed Curfew4Canberra. Represenatives of Curfew4Canberra made a presentation about the Canberra Aiport proposal at the recent BURRA Community Forum.
Curfew for Canberra president, Jenni Savigny, welcomed the Minister's decision, saying the community had been given shoddy information about the noise from a freight hub and looked forward to seeing the facts.
''The public have a right to know how this development could impact on their homes, and the airport's response to these concerns has been inadequate.'' she said.
Canberra Airport has 180 days to prepare a new draft master plan and submit it to the Federal Minister for consideration. The existing 2005 master plan remains in force until a new master plan is approved.
19 November 2008
All welcome to Palerang Council's Burra Management Committee meeting
Palerang Council's Burra Management Committee (BMC) will meet on Tuesday, 25 November 2008 at 7.30pm in the Burra Hall. All residents are invited to attend the meeting.
The BMC is appointed by Council under Section 355 of the Local Government Act. There is a similar 'Section 355 Committee' in every community that has Council-owned facilities such as reserves, a cemetery, or a community hall. The purpose of the Committee is to exercise Council's delegated authority for the care, control and management of the Council's facilities, and the expenditure of such monies as the Council may vote.
The BMC is responsible for the management of the facilities at Burra Park and Cargill Park in Urila.
Members of the S355 Committee are usually nominated by the community and appointed by Council for a specified term.
If you are interested in seeing the workings of the BMC, understanding how your rates are spent on Council facilities in Burra, or in nominating for the Committee, then come along to the meeting on 25 November.
3 November 2008
BURRA Community Forum on Thursday, 13 November
Residents of Burra and surrounds, including Royalla, Williamsdale, Little Burra, Mount Campbell and Fernleigh Park are invited to attend the BURRA Community Forum to be held on Thursday, 13 November 2008. The meeting will start at 7 pm.
Due to the cross-border nature of many of these issues, BURRA has invited the Councillors and General Managers of Palerang and Queanbeyan City Councils, as well as local Federal and State members Dr Mike Kelly and Steve Whan.
We have also invited representatives from ACTEW, Curfew4Canberra, the Jerrabomberra Residents Association and Canberrans for Power Station Relocation.
For directions to the Burra Hall, see the Visiting Burra page on this website.
Agenda - view links for more information on agenda items
||Burra Boundary Submission progress update [More information]
||ACTEW Murrumbidgee to Googong Pipeline - Guest speaker, ACTEW Representative [More information]
||Williamsdale Gas-Fired Power Station [More information]
||Increased aircraft noise resulting from the Canberra Airport Preliminary Draft Master Plan 2008 - Guest speaker Brian Brown, Curfew4Canberra [More information]
||Minerals exploration and possible future mining operations in Burra [More information]
||Palerang Draft LEP, increased residential subdivision in Burra [More information]
For more information about this meeting, please contact Wendy Bell via the BURRA contact form.
3 November 2008
Residents' meeting to discuss ACTEW Murrumbidgee to Googong Pipeline
Thursday 13 November, 5.30 pm, Burra Hall
Burra resident Penny Lockwood is organising a meeting for residents interested in and/or affected by the Murrumbidgee to Googong Pipeline.
The meeting will be held in the Burra Hall between 5.30 and 6.45 on Thursday 13 November 3008. Penny will then present a report to the meeting of the Burra Urila Residents and Ratepayers Association which commences at 7.00 pm the same evening.
For more information about this meeting, contact Penny on 6236 3015 or 0407 483 474.
3 November 2008
More aircraft noise predicted in Canberra Airport Draft Master Plan
The Canberra Airport Preliminary Draft Master Plan (PDMP) has significant implications for increased aircraft noise over the rural residential areas south of Queanbeyan.
The full version of the PDMP can be downloaded from the Gungahlin Community Council website. The document, issued by the Canberra International Airport, is available to download as a PDF (30 MB).
Briefly, the PDMP seeks to exploit the lack of curfew at Canberra Airport by developing the airport as the only 24-hour 747 and A380 capable airport between Melbourne and Brisbane. This is likely to include 24-hour domestic and international freight operations and passenger services through which the Canberra International Airport will alleviate capacity problems at the over-congested Sydney Airport .
The PDMP projects overall passenger traffic will exceed 7.9 million per annum by 2027/28, plus freight arrivals and departures.
This is predicted to result in an annual total of 122,086 night-time aircraft movements, or 334 planes per night. This will include nine Boeing 747s, nine Boeing 777s, 10 Airbus A330s, 55 Boeing 737 800s, 29 Airbus A320s, and 35 Boeing 757 freighters each night. Discussions with key domestic and international air freight operators has led Canberra Airport to predict significant night freight operations commencing in the short term.
Page 84 of the PDMP says "A curfew is not necessary at Canberra International Airport now or in the future. A curfew is not in the best interests of the Community ".
Further information about the Canberra Airport expansion plans can be found at the Curfew 4 Canberra website.
3 November 2008
Williamsdale power station impacts revealed
The community group 'Canberrans for Power Station Relocation' (CPR Inc) have researched the potential impacts of the large gas-fired power station, which was originally proposed for a site adjacent to the Canberra suburbs of Macarthur and Fadden.
The plan to build the very large peaking power supply/second power source at Williamsdale is in addition to plans for a smaller (three-turbine) gas-fired power station to power the proposed Data Centre at adjacent to Macarthur and Fadden.
Information about the potential impacts of the large peaking plant can be found at CPR Inc's website.
3 November 2008
Burra is NSW minerals excavation 'hotspot'
The NSW Department of Primary Industries has listed Burra as a 'hotspot' for exploration for major metallic deposits.
Burra is located in the mineral-rich Lachlan Fold Belt. According to the NSW Dept of Primary Industries website, large tracks of Burra are subject to minerals exploration licenses. Exploratory drilling at the London Bridge deposit has outlined a small body of high-grade zinc-lead-silver mineralization.
In November 2007, Universal Resources, an Australian mineral exploration and development company, announced that it had farmed-out the exploration project to Claremont Resources (PDF 323 Kb), who plan to spend up to $6.5 million on exploration in the area over a period of six years. According to pages 15 - 17 of the March 2006 quarterly report, test drilling at the site has been conducted.
Maps of the subject areas can be found on page 37 of Universal Resources March 2008 Quarterly report (PDF 2.4 Mb) and page 14 of their June 2008 Quarterly report (PDF 786 kb). Other Universal Resources reports, and information about the company, can be found on their website.
27 October 2008
Queanbeyan City Council supports the BURRA boundary submission
Queanbeyan City Council (QCC) has voted 8 to 2 in favour of supporting BURRA's submission to unite Burra, Urila and all of Royalla with Queanbeyan.
The decision, made at QCC's 22 October meeting, came after BURRA members Penny Lockwood, Wendy Bell and Ros Bush attended an earlier QCC meeting on 8 October to brief Councillors on the BURRA submission.
The full resolution reads:
- That council support the application by the B.U.R.R.A. residents to become part of the Queanbeyan City Council Local Government area.
That the Boundary Commission be advised accordingly; and
That Council request that a Public Inquiry be conducted to inform all stakeholder groups and Council on the financial impacts of any boundary adjustment.
Queanbeyan Mayor, Tim Overall, who voted in support of the BURRA submission, said that the submission had been on the table for over a year, and that BURRA residents had worked hard to have their views heard and deserved an answer from Council as to whether it supported their submission or not.
Palerang Council have previously agreed to acknowledge the BURRA submission, and to discuss it further at the Council's first public meeting on 2 October 2008. Unfortunately this further discussion did not occur and Council's final submission, due with the Boundaries Commission on 24 October 2008, has not been discussed in open Council.
8 October 2008
Boundaries Commission seeks public input on boundary adjustment
The NSW Local Government Boundaries Commission (LGBC) is currently considering BURRA's boundary adjustment submission to transfer Burra, Urila and all of Royalla Estate from Palerang to the Queanbeyan City Council area.
The LGBC is seeking comment on the proposed boundary adjustment and has called for written submissions from the public. BURRA urges individuals to write to the LGCB in support of the boundary adjustment.
Written submissions from individuals with an interest in putting forward their point of view relating to the proposal may address some or all of the points below. For guidance, the full BURRA submission is available to download from this website in PDF format (1.6 Mb).
What will the LGBC consider?
The LGBC will examine and report on the proposal in accordance with the Act, having regard to the factors set out in section 263(3):
the financial advantages or disadvantages (including the economies or diseconomies of scale) of any relevant proposal to the residents and ratepayers of the areas concerned
the community of interest and geographic cohesion in the existing areas and in any proposed new area
the existing historical and traditional values in the existing areas and the impact of change on them
the attitude of the residents and ratepayers of the areas concerned
the requirements of the area concerned in relation to elected representation for residents and ratepayers at the local level, the desirable and appropriate relationship between elected representatives and ratepayers and residents and such other matters as it considers relevant in relation to the past and future patterns of elected representation for that area
(e1) the impact of any relevant proposal on the ability of the councils of the areas concerned to provide adequate, equitable and appropriate services and facilities
(e2) the impact of any relevant proposal on the employment of the staff by the councils of the areas concerned
(e3) the impact of any relevant proposal on rural communities in the areas concerned
(e4) in the case of a proposal for the amalgamation of two or more areas, the desirability (or otherwise) of dividing the resulting area or areas into wards
(e5) in the case of a proposal for the amalgamation of two or more areas, the need to ensure that the opinions of each of the diverse communities of the resulting area or areas are effectively represented
- such other factors as it considers relevant to the provision of efficient and effective local government in the existing and proposed new areas.
Submissions must be lodged by 24 October 2008 and can be sent by e-mail to email@example.com, or by mail to:
Local Government Boundaries Commission
Locked Bag A5045