Home' Queanbeyan Chronicle : Q Age 17-1-17 Contents queanbeyanagechronicle.com.au/opinion
Tu esday January 17, 2017
THE CHRONICLE/THE QUEANBEYA N AGE
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(02) 6280 2211
9 Pirie Street,
HE captain of the Australian Rugby
Sevens team will be in Queanbeyan
as the Australia Day ambassador to
celebrate with recipients of citizens
of the year awards and with those becoming
citizens at a citizenship ceremony. There will
be a family event in town park from 6pm,
with live music, food, children’s entertain-
ment and fireworks at 9pm. There will be
Australia Day awards ceremonies at a break-
fast in Bungendore, morning tea at Captains
Flat and lunch in Braidwood. Further details
available on the council website.
Ellerton Drive Extension
The council received the final environ-
mental approval for Ellerton Drive Exten-
sion and preliminary clearing work has
begun in preparation for the construction in
mid-2017. The Australian and NSW govern-
ments have each committed $25 million
towards the project which will improve
travel efficiency in Queanbeyan. The
Ellerton Drive Extension will connect east
Queanbeyan, where the existing Ellerton
Drive ends with Karabar at the Edwin Land
Parkway intersection with Old Cooma Road.
The preliminary clearing work is expected to
be completed by the end of January. More
information is available on the council’s
Summer fun with Q-One
The week of summer fun kicks off next
week. The family events start at 4.30pm and
are jam-packed with a jumping castle, safe
archery, water volleyball, bubbles, soccer,
mini tennis, bean bag toss and cricket
equipment to have fun with. A kids movie
will then be played on an inflatable outdoor
cinema screen. Captains Flat pool starts
all the fun on Wednesday January 25, with
Finding Nemo from 8pm. On Thursday Jan-
uary 26, Bungendore pool will be the venue
and Despicable Me 2 will be the movie.
On Friday January 27, the Braidwood pool
will be Frozen from 8pm. The Queanbeyan
Aquatic Centre will then show Finding
Nemo on Saturday January 28.
Keep NSW Beautiful is again advertising
for community groups to apply for grants
to clean up a space in their local area. Any
community group can apply for a litter
grant: youth groups, scouts and guides,
surf clubs, pony clubs – not just your usual
environmentally-focused teams. These are
projects designed to connect groups with
the world they live in and the community
they love. Visit the Keep NSW Beautiful web-
site or chat with the council’s environment
staff for more information.
EDE approval granted, grants up for grabs
TO A HAMMER EVERYTHING IS
"Though the dogs bark, the caravan moves
on" (Arabic proverb).
Constructing an Ellerton Drive Extension
was first conceived in the 70s, shortly after
demise of the horse and buggy era. In 50
years since much has changed in demo-
graphics, knowledge attitudes, electric
vehicles and transport needs. In attempting
to market it to an unaccepting populace
the former federal member labelled it a
"bypass", somewhat reminiscent of Humpty
Dumpty's assertion: "When I use a word, it
means just what I choose it to mean"!
Council's figures demonstrate traffic on
Monaro Street would be minimally reduced,
hence leviathan B-doubles would still
thunder through. The premises on which
EDE was predicated would now require
serious re-evaluation. Economist John
Maynard Keynes famously said: "When
the facts change I change my mind...". No
such change to thinking has taken place in
Despite Senate and Greens challenge,
construction is scheduled for mid-2017.
About six years ago the proposed project
was sold at $50m, but figures tossed about
now put the cost at $80m. The latter figure,
with pledges of $25m each from federal and
state governments, leaves a whopping $30m
to be found!
The crash, or crash through, attitude
to this project is indicative that the "post
fact" era has descended. Research, to be
published by the University of Melbourne,
unsurprisingly, indicates a growing disen-
chantment with democratic systems. Money
is the source all power. The ballot box has
Albert M. White, Queanbeyan
ELLERTON DRIVE EXTENSION
Preliminary work has commenced on the
EDE, the most vital piece of infrastructure
to ensure the road network can handle the
growth that will occur in the city over the
next 10-15 years.
The EDE has been on the maps since
the 1970s and has been supported in some
form by eight successive councils. The road
has been subject to many studies, reviews,
modelling and community consultation,
with approvals provided by state and federal
Googong has around 400 occupied
houses. In 10-15 years, that will rise to 5500
meaning an additional 15,000 residents.
Traffic modelling shows arterial roads like
Cooma St, Monaro St and Queens Bridge
would fail well before Googong reaches
capacity without the EDE. The EDE will
provide an alternate route for traffic from
Googong, Jerrabomberra, Karabar to central
and northern Canberra and east of Quean-
beyan. The EDE provides a route for quarry
trucks, which will be required to use it.
The Googong and Tralee Traffic Study
(2031) looked at many options. The study
showed the EDE provided the best solu-
tion. Dunns Creek Rd is required if further
residential development occurs beyond that
already planned at Googong and Tralee,
however the EDE is the priority.
Some argue the EDE will dump additional
traffic on Ya ss Rd. In fact, the EDE will
allow that traffic to bypass the CBD and
get where they’re going quicker. Planning
is underway to duplicate the first stage of
Pialligo Avenue from the NSW/ACT border
towards the airport. The estimate for the
EDE is $86m, of which the NSW and federal
governments have contributed $50m. The
remaining will be funded by long-term, low
interest loan taken out by council to be fully
repaid by developer contributions, including
interest. This is standard practice to ensure
infrastructure is built well before the road
network fails. There will be no increase to
rates to fund the construction of this project
and maintenance will be built into council’s
budget. Major construction is expected to
commence mid-2017 and will take about
Peter Te gart, interim general manager,
Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council
EDE: An artist's impression of the bridge set to be built as part of the Ellerton Drive
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
CENTRELINK DEBT RECOVERY
I have been deeply concerned about the
accuracy of Centrelink’s debt recovery pro-
gram which appears to be hitting decent,
My office has been inundated with calls
and emails from people who have been
notified by Centrelink that they owe
thousands of dollars.
This is despite the fact that many have
done the right thing and reported their
income to Centrelink.
It is right for the community to expect that
people who do the wrong thing, by taking
advantage of our social security system,
will be investigated and asked to repay
However, any action taken by the govern-
ment to recover money should be done
in a way that ensures the integrity of our
social security system.
Unfortunately, debt notices are currently
being sent to people who have not actually
done the wrong thing.
Societies are judged by how they treat the
People who access our social security
system are our family and friends.
They are good community members and
if they are not breaking any rules they
deserve to be treated with respect.
If you believe that the debt recovery
letter you have been sent by Centrelink is
incorrect, there are a number of things that
you can do.
■ - asking Centrelink for a full explanation of
■ providing Centrelink with as much
information as you have available;
■ lodging an internal review – Centrelink will
review the decision made regarding your
■ If your debt has gone to a recovery agency
start repaying as much as you can afford.
If Centrelink find your debt is incorrect they
will repay the money to you.
If you believe the internal review decision
to be incorrect, you can seek an external
review from the Administrative Ap-
peals Tr ibunal.
Dr Mike Kelly,
Federal member for Eden-Monaro
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