Community Alliance Party candidates for Murrumbidgee, Michael Lindfield and Nancy-Louise Scherger have taken up the concerns of Curtin’s Reynolds Street residents and those who live in close proximity to the proposed new rain gardens and ponds to be built on community owned and much used green space.
Residents have previously expressed their concerns to the proponents; the Federal and ACT Government managers of the ACT Healthy Waterways project. They are worried about a range of serious adverse outcomes if the project proceeds, in particular, storm water runoff leaving a soft boggy area of land that gives way underfoot, trapping hazardous wastes such as road oil, grease and other motor liquids, disposable nappies, plastic bags, used syringes and household rubbish generally. The site is even more hazardous after torrential rain, turning it into a smelly, decaying quagmire that may trigger respiratory conditions.
Rain gardens are planted depressions that allow water to pool and soak into the earth, leaving behind all of the muck and sediment that has run off from urban built areas.
Residents’ spokesperson, Phil Aungles, said “we are supportive of environmental best practice, however on this occasion more community consultation is definitely required for residents to make informed and considered decisions, ask questions and generally be involved in the decision-making process.
“My fellow residents and me – over 100 households – will be directly affected, and other groups, like childcare centres, an aged care public housing facility and hundreds of daily open green space users such as mothers’ walking and cycling groups, horse riders, motor scooter users, and child playgroups are ‘right next door’ to the proposed site.
Community Alliance Party candidate for Murrumbidgee, Michael Lindfield said, “the public consultation phase of just three hours per session is far too short for residents to appreciate the full implications of ‘rain garden’ concept, let alone understand the meaning of the technical jargon used in the consultations and pamphlets (refer photo).
“I think it would be prudent for the proponents, especially representatives of the ACT government, to continue on-going public consultations with residents, local businesses, users of this green space, and the aged care public housing facility about this proposal, while remaining open to consideration of an alternative site.
“I understand that the ACT Government has reserve sites earmarked that could be used, so let us all get together and examine these sites in detail so that we can achieve a win for the environment and not encroach on community-owned and much used green open space,” Lindfield said.
Lindfield added, “If I am elected I will be the first knocking on the ACT Environment Minister’s door lobbying for more discussions with all interested parties.”
Background and reference points
Contact: Reynolds Street Residents spokesperson Paul Aungles 0407 248 144.