Latest Blog Posts

October 8, 2016 David Pollard
Giralang shops For a brief history of the Giralang shops saga, you can visit the Giralang Residents Action Group website. Giralang used to have local shops.  Over a decade ago, the shops begun to close, until finally they were all gone.  The shops sat derelict for some time, until the site owner and developer begun the rebuilding process.  A few rejected development applications later, and one was approved.  It was set aside by the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal 5 months later.  A fourth development application was submitted and again approved (this time using call-in powers). What happened next ties up the development application in legal red tape for 5 years, until expired, and then the case was finally heard and ruled against the complainants. That is to say, the 5 year delay should never have happened. What happened to the Giralang community shouldn't have happened to them.  It also shouldn't happen to anyone else in the future.  The solution to this problem must include the lessons learned, and fixes to the flaws in the system that allowed this to happen. Law's and measures should always consider the bigger picture, and I will need to seek further advice on this, however I propose that a failed court action should pause the life of a development application.  If we remove this mechanism to essentially veto a development application, it is possible that this would never have gone as far as it did, and the shops might even be open today.

October 6, 2016 David Pollard
Public transport for all of Canberra Public transport connects people who need it the most.  Students wanting to get to recreation or work, seniors wanting to do the grocery shopping, single parents wanting to visit their families.  Many of us have our own cars - usually two per family - but those who don't rely on public transport to live their lives.  Both the major parties are promising to heavily invest in public transport this election, so obviously everyone agrees it is important. Hall does not have access to public transport.  There are services that address some of the population, but there is not a single ACTION bus service that goes to Hall.  Services travel to Gold Creek Village only 3km away, but Hall is neglected.  The nature of Hall means that they are not going to fill services regularly, but there is a demand there which we should at least try to meet.  One repeated comment was that Hall residents often wanted to travel for entertainment like taking in dinner and a movie or lunch and a show, but public transport being unavailable was the key reason they couldn't go. Lack of public transport also has ramifications on employment choices for Hall residents, but also Hall businesses looking to hire staff from the rest of Gungahlin. The Greens have said they believe that everyone should have access to affordable, convenient public transport.  They have said they "won't stop until every Canberran has the best quality public transport".  Unfortunately for Hall, the focus has been on Light Rail.  A simple solution exists for Hall - get a bus there now.  Even starting with a shuttle bus between Hall and Gold Creek, Casey, or Gungahlin Marketplace to measure the patronage would be a good start.

October 4, 2016 David Pollard
Empowering communities – sports Our local sporting clubs are an important part of our community. We have clubs playing a huge variety of sports including Cricket, Netball, Baseball, various codes of Football, and many more.  We have to make sure these clubs are supported so that they can continue giving back to the community. Our Rugby Union club, the Gungahlin Eagles, are turning their long standing "charity round" in to "charity of the year".  This year they raised $10,000 for the Cancer Council ACT, and next year they hope to give back even more.  It's important that we empower our clubs as they not only provide health and social benefits to their members, but also give back to the wider community. These clubs support a diverse range of competitions, including men's, women's, juniors and seniors divisions.  There is something for everyone here.  If you want to get involved, you can find contact details for many of these on the My Gungahlin directory for sports. The grounds at Gungahlin Enclosed Oval are good, though scheduling and maintenance has to be planned properly to ensure the best quality surface for our teams to play on week in and week out.  Our suburban fields are also important for community sports, and need to be adequately maintained, and in some cases, upgraded.   I also support developing playing fields on the land in Throsby zoned for community use. While all our sports groups are doing amazing things in the community, I'd like to give a shout out to two in particular that share roots with my old college, Daramalan.  Gungahlin Eagles Rugby Club and North Canberra Gungahlin Cricket Club both have a history with Daramalan, and both still have the eagle logo.  While the footy is wrapping up for the season, North Canberra Gungahlin Cricket Club are just beginning their season this weekend - why not get out and watch the trial matches or their upcoming 1-day matches?