As the year draws to a close I wanted to update you on what the ACT Legislative Assembly has been up to. From advocating for a breast milk bank in the ACT to improving basic services like healthcare and waste collection, I’ve been working hard to represent you on the issues that you care about.
If you ever need to get in touch with me, please call me on 6205 0100, email [email protected] or chat to me at one of my regular mobile offices.
What’s been happening in Belconnen?
Over the past few months a lot of work has been progressing in Belconnen:
- Green waste bin collections in Belconnen began on 3 September 2018. The program has been very popular with more than 15,000 residents opting in to the service.
- Residents are now able to return containers eligible under the Container Deposit Scheme at Vinnies Belconnen. You can donate the refunds to the charity or receive an electronic refund.
- The Belconnen Showcase was a resounding success. Local businesses, community groups and residents gathered over three days to celebrate the Belconnen Town Centre and plan for its future.
- There is clearly concern in the community about risqué advertising hoardings around building sites, including in the Belconnen Town Centre. I recently raised this issue in Parliament. The ACT Chief Planner confirmed his team is investigating how this kind of advertising could be better regulated.
Other Assembly news
ACT Labor has been working to make Canberra even better:
- The ACT Government delivered on our commitment to pass legislation for an ACT Integrity Commission, ensuring the highest levels of oversight and transparency in Government decision making. The Commission is expected to start operations in 2019.
- The Assembly passed a remonstrance motion condemning the Australian Senate’s refusal to restore Territory rights to decide our own laws on voluntary assisted dying.
- The ACT Government introduced a Bill to better protect renters. The proposed law includes a presumption to own a pet and make minor modifications without approval. Landlords will have to justify excessive rent increases and stop overcharging for breaking a lease. It will be voted on in the Assembly next year.
I Love Free Public Healthcare
Walk-in centres are an important part of the free healthcare service the ACT Government proudly provides. The Belconnen Walk-In Centre is open every day of the year, including Christmas and New Year’s Day, from 7.30am-10pm.
Join me in showing your support for walk-in centres by signing the online petition: www.actlabor.org.au/freepublichealthcare
Belconnen Twilight Market
In early October, more than 3000 people came together for the Belconnen Twilight Market at Margaret Timpson Park to celebrate everything Belconnen; our businesses, community groups, artists and musicians.
The night was even better than I imagined. The stalls were buzzing with activity, the food and drinks were free-flowing and the performers were exceptional.
Were you at the Twilight Market? Should we do another one? I’d love to get your feedback!
Congratulations to the winners of the Belconnen Town Centre photo competition!
As part of the Twilight Market, I sponsored the inaugural Belconnen Town Centre photo competition. Among many beautiful photographs submitted, a community vote determined three clear winners. Congratulations!
Business: Nara O'Neil
Nature or landscape: Michael Reid
Community or people: Davey Barber
Breast milk bank in the ACT
There is a demand for breast milk in Canberra.
Many families encountering issues with lactation, supply and illness need donated breast milk. Others have an excess supply they would like to donate. But the supply isn’t getting to those who want it.
You see, in the ACT there is no physical location for donating, screening and storing breast milk to be supplied to families in need.
In October, I moved a motion in the Assembly calling for a formal breast milk bank in the ACT. The ACT Government is now looking at how to make it happen.
Green bins in Belconnen!
Belconnen residents can now opt-in to have their green waste collected.
Since the bins first rolled into Belconnen in September 2018, more than 15,000 households have had their green waste collected. A one-off fee of $50 (free for concession card holders) supplies you with a green bin to have your garden waste—such as grass clippings, branches, flowers and weeds—collected. Register at: www.actgreenwaste.jjrichards.com.au
I wish you, your family and your friends a safe and happy holiday period.
Until next time,