Happy_New_Year02New Years Eve is here so we now need to turn our minds to 2015 and what we would like to achieve. If we don’t set any goals, don’t be surprised if we don’t achieve anything. So what are some goals the TCC should be shooting for in 2015?
There’s certainly plenty of issues that are longer term but we still need to keep them in focus or they just lose urgency. Lake Tuggeranong water quality is a good example. We know that the Fed. Govt has allocated about $80 million to improve the water quality in ACT’s waterways. We need to keep working with the ACT Govt to ensure that a reasonable part of this money is used to get Lake Tuggeranong in better health. More community education is also needed to ensure people know what they can do around their homes to reduce the level of nutrients that end up in the Lake.
We want to see a CIT campus developed in Tuggeranong. The wheels are in motion but we need  to make sure they don’t grind to a halt.
We’ve already spent a lot of energy doing our best to inform the Govt and the broader community of the motion passed by members opposing the light rail project, mainly on the grounds that it’s just too expensive and very few Canberrans will get any benefit from it. We’ve pointed out the serious flaws in the last business case but the Govt just ignores us. In early 2015, they will call tenders for the construction of Stage 1 which they want started before the 2016 election. This has the smell of desperation about it. Why the rush ? Why not delay the start until after the election? If the Govt wins, they will have a mandate and can start. A couple of months delay should not be an issue. If they lose, the Liberal Govt will cancel the project. This is important because if the Liberals win and have to terminate a contract, it will almost certainly cost the ACT ratepayer millions of dollars! Is this responsible Government?
We must continue to publicly advocate the anti light rail case so that all Canberrans can understand why the Govt has made a bad decision. The broader financial context must be considered. ACT’s finances are not in good shape and are getting worse. We shouldn’t be spending huge amounts of money on projects we don’t need. We will all be left to carry the debt which is starting to grow at a disturbing rate.
We have an ongoing challenge of broadening the demographic of our membership base. We need to get more younger people on board. It seems interacting with them via social media will be an important part of the solution. We shouldn’t be excluding people from getting involved simply because they can’t turn up at a monthly meeting.
We will keep an eye on what’s happening with the many Mr Fluffy homeowners in Tuggeranong. The Govt’s proposed solution doesn’t cater for everyone’s needs but it’s a compromise between  what we can afford and what some people would like. Even the current solution will send our budget further into deficit which means more debt for us all to carry.
Parts of the Town Centre, particularly the largely unoccupied buildings between Anketell and Cowlishaw Sts, need attention to liven up this almost dead area of the Town Centre.
We certainly aim to line up an interesting range of guest speakers at our monthly meetings. The first at the February meeting is Dr Karen McPherson who will be talking about the new, exciting community garden at Erindale. This is no ordinary community garden and I’m looking forward to hearing about it. If you have any suggestions for guest speakers, please let me know. Or if there are other goals that you think the TCC should have, please let me know.
On behalf of your Committee, I’d like to wish you all a safe, happy and prosperous New Year and hope to see you at our meetings in 2015.

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