ACT Council of Social Service Inc.

Justice | Equity | Social Inclusion | Reconciliation

Riverview development People & Place Group: Review of activities

8 July 2016

By Susan Helyar, Director

ACTCOSS and a number of our members have been part of a consultations by West Belconnen developers.

The first meeting of the People & Place Group was in December 2013 and since then there have been 10 meetings – an average of one every 3 months.

The early meetings had agendas set by the group and these were very useful in identifying issues of interest/concern to the community.  These issues were discussed and, in some cases, involved a member of the project team with expert knowledge coming along to present/answer questions, and they included:

  • Affordable housing
  • Potential impact of electricity pylons through the development
  • Demographic/population projections
  • Traffic
  • Provision of community services through the development
  • The multi-purpose centre being built on the Strathnairn site

As we’ve discussed, the project team and especially David Maxwell have appreciated the feedback, ideas and often frank comments/questions/critiques.

The People and Place Group also had two focused workshops in 2014:

  • One with the ACT Community Services Directorate on its new Human Services Blueprint
  • One with the project’s futurist – ‘A future scenario planning’ workshop

Then from late 2014 through 2015, the People and Place Group was asked to discuss and workshop possible names and themes for the whole development, the suburbs and the streets.  This was done with the full support of the ACT Place Names Committee and they greatly appreciated the suggestions submitted in late 2015 and early 2016.  This was a rigorous process with various members of the group researching and making presentations about key themes (community, environment, indigenous).  The ACT Place Names Committee has commented on a number of occasions about what a good process this has been (the term ‘best practice’ has been used more than once).

Finally, and often separate from the meetings, members of the group have provided input and asked questions that have been very helpful to the project including:

  • Suggestion for a West Belconnen community/business directory
  • Ideas around particular services in the new development (eg childcare, places of worship, health)

If organisations would like to get involved, please contact Susan Helyar [email protected] or call 02 6202 7200.