Home' The Canberra Times : Chronicle 13.9 Contents THE CHRONICLE, Tuesday, September 13 2011 - 10
Police station's final days
Current and former members
celebrated the 35th anniversary of
the Belconnen Police Station last
month, above, and the official
opening of the station in 1976, right.
station's 35 years
THE first police officers to walk the
beat in Belconnen have celebrated the
35th birthday of the local police
They joined with current
Belconnen-based ACT Policing of-
ficers recently to mark the occasion
and to remember the history of the
This will be the last major milestone
to be celebrated at the site. The
building will be decommissioned when
a new station opens on Belconnen Way
early next year.
ACT Chief Police Officer Roman
Quaedvlieg was on hand for the
celebrations and helped cut the cake
with the station's inaugural officer-in-
charge Peter Dawson.
Mr Dawson led the Belconnen team
in the early years of the station before
later in his career he became the ACT's
chief police officer in 1992.
He said the original officers to work
at the station all lived in Belconnen and
this gave them a special sense of pride
"No-one wanted to transfer out of
the place," Mr Dawson said.
"When you police an area in which
you live it provides an added motiv-
ation to make sure the peace is kept
and people are protected."
While at the station Mr Dawson
introduced the suburban policing
model and each Belconnen suburb was
looked after by one constable.
He said this worked extremely well.
"I always thought the best of
policing could be found in small
country towns where everybody knows
the constable and the constable knows
everyone," Mr Dawson said.
He said at the time domestic
violence was a problem in Belconnen
-- as it still was throughout Canberra --
but there was also a lot of theft from
building sites as suburbs were develo-
"The Belconnen Way Hotel was the
main drinking hole in those days, but
there weren't too many problems," Mr
This changed for Belconnen in the
years after he was promoted to another
The former booming night life of
Belconnen required the establishment
of a dedicated team of officers known
as the "Hoodlum Patrol".
The three-strong team operated
every Thursday, Friday and Saturday
and spent much time patrolling estab-
lishments such as the Blind Beggars
Inn, Captain Greggs, Hungry Horse
and Pot Belly as well as at local clubs
in Kaleen, Jamison and Kippax.
Mr Dawson said he had enjoyed his
time in such a proud and tight-knit
station and had a great team of
He said he was staggered at the way
things had changed since he first
started as a police officer.
"I get the clear impression that the
officers today are better educated and
trained, better led and supported and
they certainly have better career pro-
gression," Mr Dawson said. He said as
time went on he realised how fortunate
he had been because Canberra had
such an accountable and ethical police
"Canberra is pretty lucky I guess,
we've got a population I reckon is law
abiding, it's a very safe city," he said.
"That's partly attributable to police I
believe but mainly attributable to the
people who live here."
Belconnen Community Council
President Shirley Gourgaud
Belconnen Farm has now been
granted permanent heritage listing.
Congratulations to the Belconnen
Community Council's sub-
committee 'Historical and Natural
Heritage', chaired by Brian
Rhynehart, and to other participants
for their efforts here.
You will recall previous meet-
ings where the proposal for a new
Murrumbidgee and Ginninderra
Gorges National Park was tabled.
Read the Proposal in detail, see great
photos and background material
and, in general, keep in touch with
developments at the new website,
Thanks to the efforts of our late
Executive Committee Member,
Charlie Thompson, a new ramp exit
from the Community Bus Inter-
change is being built and will be
operational from the end of Sept-
ember. This ramp exit is close to
Chandler Street and bus commuters
will no longer have to use the
emergency stairs opposite the Labor
Kuga N Kugathas, Acting Senior
Manager, Transport Planning &
Projects, will come to the September
meeting to present that part of the
ACT's Strategic Transport Plan as it
relates to Belconnen. The Strategic
Transport Plan outlines short,
medium and long term plans for
service and infrastructure improve-
ments of public transport. Investi-
gation is currently in progress on the
• park 'n' ride
• bike 'n' ride
• bus lanes
• real time information systems
• major upgrades to bus stops
• enabling of implementation of
light rail systems
The Belconnen Community
Council meeting will be held at
7.30pm on September 20 in the
Community Room, upstairs Bel-
connen Library, Chandler Street.
It is anticipated that this Sept-
ember meeting will generate more
queries and problems that can
effectively be dealt with during one
session. Come along with you
questions and ideas and be part of
creating a list of issues for accessi-
bility, transport and parking in
Belconnen that can be addressed
further at our November meeting.
Search on for
A joint initiative to find Belconnen
residents' lost superannuation
payments was launched last week.
A CAMPAIGN has been launched to
help Belconnen residents search for
their lost superannuation.
Federal Member for Fraser Andrew
Leigh and Member for Ginninderra
Chris Bourke launched the joint cam-
paign last Thursday.
"Canberrans are owed more than
$240 million in unclaimed superannu-
ation. There is an opportunity cost in
lost future earnings. If you have too
many accounts the administration
charges mount up," said Mr Leigh.
"According to a national survey,
people living in the Belconnen suburbs
covered by the 2615 postcode are
owed more than $45 million so our
campaign will start there."
Dr Bourke said the survey found
more than 46 per cent of Australians
were missing part of their superannu-
ation. On average there is one lost
super account for every two working
Australians. Nearly 16 per cent of peo-
ple surveyed knew they had unclaimed
super but did not know how to act on
it. "Some of the suburbs with the
highest amounts of unclaimed super
include Charnwood, Spence and Holt
so we will be visiting shopping centres
in those suburbs and surrounding areas
to show people how easy it is to find
their lost super," Dr Burke said.
The Australian Taxation Office has
a Superseeker tool on its website to
help people find their lost and unclai-
med super and transfer it into one
account. This service is free and a
phone service is also available 24
hours a day. Mr Leigh said most
people now had several jobs during
their working lifetimes and many had
several part-time jobs at once.
''It's easy to lose track of super but
there are great benefits in finding all
your super accounts and consolidating
them into one account."
Dr Bourke said at a time when many
Canberrans were planning for their
retirement, having one super account
was the most effective way of manag-
''We are happy to show Canberrans
just how easy it is to consolidate their
accounts. All you need is your tax file
number, your name and date of birth.
The ATO's Super Seeker Tool will do
SUSPICIOUS PACKAGE CLOSES
A BELCONNEN school was closed
yesterday morning after a
suspicious package was
discovered on the grounds.
About 8am ACT Policing were
notified of a suspicious package on
the grounds of Macquarie Primary
Police cordoned off the area and
the Specialist Response and
Security Bomb Response Team
attended the scene.
The package was moved by the
Bomb Response robot to the oval,
while police cordoned the perimeter
of the oval.
An x-ray of the package was
conducted and it was deemed safe.
Part of Macquarie Primary School
was closed in the morning but
school activities returned to normal
A spokesman from the Department
of Education and Training said the
students had been moved onto the
oval as they arrived from school
and had used the time to practice
jump rope for heart activities.
He said the students regularly
practised evacuation and lockdown
procedures and so everything had
HEADSPACE ACT celebrated its
third birthday last Friday.
More than 2000 young Canberrans
have benefited from the innovative
youth mental health initiative at the
University of Canberra since it
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