A few weeks ago our WVCC column drew attention to the ACT’s urgent need to increase the number of aged care beds and highlighted this as one of the most pressing issues for many older citizens in the Woden Valley . We also highlighted the broader community concerns that judicious land use planning should not be compromised to achieve quick-fix siting solutions for aged care facility developments. This, it seems, is also a concern of the ACT Planning and Land Council which was established to provide independent, expert advice to the Planning Minister and ACTPLA.
In Woden, which has Canberra ‘s most rapidly ageing demographic, we have ACT Housing’s former Burnie Court site close to all amenities. After some years of being empty land, less than one fifth of it is now being used to build 24 older persons units. The balance was destined for 248 private – and undoubtedly expensive – units. The sale of the land, has however not been successful, and the WVCC in a meeting with Minister Wood, 17 March 2004, expressed the Woden Community’s interest in what happens to this land. We were to be included as stakeholders in considering its possible future uses, but unfortunately we have not heard from the Minister since.
In the meantime other sites in Woden which present a number of planning difficulties, are under consideration for potential aged care sites. We look forward to discussing this matter with the Ministers concerned.
WVCC’s AGM is Wednesday 1 Sept 2004, 7.30pm in the Orpheus Room upstairs at the Hellenic Club, Woden. The topic “ Canberra International Airport – proposed developments and implications for Woden” will provide an opportunity for presentations from various stakeholders and discussion and questions. We hope many of you will be able to attend.
David Menzel is Chair of Woden Valley Community Council and can be contacted on 62810096