Home' The Canberra Times : Chronicle 14-01-2014 Contents THE CHRONICLE, Tuesday, January 14 2014 - 10
Odes to beloved Red Hill
The Red Hill Regenerators member Michael Mulvaney and local poet Paul Williamson collaborated to create
a moving book, Moments from Red Hill.
WHEN Red Hill Regenerators
member Michael Mulvaney writes
about the beloved nature park it s often
in the languages of science and law.
But a collaboration with renowned
local poet Paul Williamson has
allowed the group to express their
passion for the area s flora and fauna
with less heat and more heart.
Moments From Red Hill, launched
late last year, is a collection of poetry,
nature notes, photographs and line
drawings celebrating one of the most
important woodland remnants of
The project grew from discussions
between Mulvaney and Williamson
while volunteering for St Vincent De
Paul and took about 12 months to
Mulvaney said his friend s poems
perfectly captured the essence of why
the community loved the area.
"The Red Hill Regenerators has
been going for 25 years and it s hard to
believe but twice a year somebody
wants to drive a bulldozer somewhere
on Red Hill.
To fight those developments we
have to use the language of science
and law. It s not the language . . . that
really conveys why we re involved on
the hill," he said.
"When I read [Williamson s
poetry], it was just the language I
wanted to speak about why we re here.
If you speak to the person that goes
jogging or riding a bike in the evening,
they re not really up here because Red
Hill has got 30 rare plants or is a
nationally endangered woodland -- it s
the notion of spirit, soul, wellbeing
and connection that you get when
you re up here."
About 15 Regenerator group mem-
bers contributed to the creation of the
book, while a segment on children s
television program Prime Possum
provided a good backing for the
accompanying nature notes.
Mr Mulvaney said he hoped the
book would inform passersby and
create a sense of community.
"It s trying to be informative as well
as giving that sense of love and awe. It
talks about how this time of year
butterflies don t have a dating agency,
so to get together they head to the
highest landscape. It s called
hill-topping, so butterflies from
around here will fly towards the hill
and the males sort of stake out a
territory," he said.
"If you start to have a community
understanding you can start appreciat-
ing the same things. People will be
able to understand why there were all
those butterflies and be able to share
that with other people they know and
it ties the community together."
Mr Williamson believed the book
would also appeal to a wide range of
people from outside and within the
"I think the book will hopefully be
enjoyed by people who feel a connec-
tion already, to celebrate that connec-
tion," he said.
"A lot of people are buying gifts for
people who have lived in the area as a
memory. People get quite attached to
the environment, including people
The ACT Government is often criti-
cised for failing to properly consult on
vital issues affecting residents.
It is quite appropriate, then, that we
give credit where credit is due.
Recent government decisions show
ministers are listening to concerns
raised by community councils.
Most recently, the government has
agreed to cancel a technical variation
to the Territory Plan which would have
diminished solar access requirements
for new homes.
It will hold a workshop for key
industry and community stakeholders
this year to consider this issue further.
In addition, ACTPLA convened a
meeting of community council
representatives to consider the issue of
technical amendments, which we
believe were being used to introduce
important changes to the Territory
Plan, bypassing the need for com-
Last year the community vented its
anger about a loophole in the planning
processes which enabled the demoli-
tion of a duplex without the need for
any notification to the owner of the
In response, the government
announced in December that neigh-
bours will have an opportunity to
comment on plans for demolition or
substantial alteration of duplexes and
to allow ACTPLA to assess the
proposal to protect the amenity and
integrity of the adjoining dwelling.
Shortly after, the government
released a discussion paper on ways to
improve regulation of construction
design and building certifiers, to
improve local amenity and tackle poor
quality design and documentation.
For details of these initiatives, and
the other issues on which we are
engaging with the government, visit
our website at isccc.org.au.
Gary Kent is the ISCCC chairman.
Life and death a daily challenge
graduated as an
paramedic at a
A FORMER primary school teacher
has gone to the top of the class as one
of just two new recruits to graduate at
the highest clinical level for an
ambulance officer in a recent cere-
mony recognising paramedics.
Jonathan Holmes graduated as an
intensive care paramedic with almost
two dozen other recruits to the ACT
"I came into ambulance after doing
a few different things, Mr Holmes
said. "I trained as a primary school
teacher. When I moved to Canberra in
2007 I joined the public service for a
couple of years and did a few different
things but wasn t really happy with
where I was at.
After weighing up his career options
he found his motivations and skills led
him toward a career as a paramedic.
"A lot of the things lined up with
ambulance work, he said. "I applied
and everything turned up in my favour
and I got a job. I ve just completed
four years of training.
"I enjoy helping people, which is
obviously a core part of our work. I
enjoy a job that is different every day.
Getting out into the community is a big
part of what we do.
ACT Ambulance Service chief
officer David Foot said it was a
fantastic achievement for all gradu-
Mr Foot said graduating at intensive
care paramedic level was the highest
clinical level to aspire to in frontline
Minister for Police and Emergency
Services Simon Corbell congratulated
ACT Ambulance Service members
graduating at various clinical levels,
including non-emergency patient
transport, ambulance paramedic, and
intensive care paramedic.
"These 23 students have studied
incredibly hard in their respective
courses, which range from one to four
years commitment, covering theore-
tical and on-the-job practical studies,
to receive their qualifications," Mr
"Today s graduation is evidence of
the ongoing commitment of the ACT
government to supporting the ambu-
lance service by strengthening its
ranks in response to increased
"It pays appropriate tribute to the
ongoing commitment of frontline
members and I congratulate each
Awards presented to graduates
included Certificate III in non-
emergency client transport, diploma of
paramedical science as ambulance
paramedics, and an advanced diploma
of paramedical science as intensive
During the ceremony simulated
drills displayed some of the advanced
skills learned during the training.
"The safety of our community is
paramount and graduates are now fully
equipped for the day-to-day chal-
lenges of working for the ACT
Ambulance Service," Mr Corbell said.
Two members from the ACT Ambu-
lance Service in the Emergency
Services Agency Communications
Centre were also recognised at the
ceremony for services to the com-
munity and improved work practices.
A NSW police officer from
Queanbeyan Station also received an
ACTAS Chief Officer s Commenda-
tion for heroic actions at a motor
vehicle accident in 2012.
Aranda shops owners try
to get derelict site viable
CONSIDERABLE effort is being
made to reinvigorate the derelict
Aranda shops, with several pos-
sibilities being considered.
The ACT government recently
served owners of the shops, Gaha
Holdings, with a notice of intention to
terminate their Crown lease after
residents raised a number of safety
concerns about the site.
Company director Gabriel Gaha
said he was very surprised to receive
such a notice and his family company
had been working hard over the past
six to 12 months to develop concepts
for a viable local shopping area.
I don t think people realise the
efforts that have been going to, Mr
I m happy to sit down and talk to
residents and discuss what I ve been
He said the financial climate cou-
pled with the proximity of Jamison
shopping centre and the changes to
access from Gungahlin Drive Exten-
sion made Aranda a difficult site.
I have a concept to keep it local,
Mr Gaha said.
I would like to take everything to
a new level but trying to make that
work financially is a challenge and
finding the right operator is a bigger
He said he wanted to see something
really good happen on the site and had
been in discussion with potential
An organic grocer was one idea but
he was nervous about talking about
plans that might not happen.
However, he did hope to work more
closely with residents about their
concerns and encouraged people in
Aranda to contact him.
He was shocked by the notice to
terminate the Crown lease.
The government is aware of what
is happening with the businesses so I
have no idea what is going on, Mr
Everyone was really surprised. I
have been really put off by it. I find it
The ACT government said it was
working with the owners of the Aranda
shops to address a range of matters.
The site was fenced off recently
after residents raised safety concerns
about the derelict building in the
months leading up to Christmas.
Late last year, the government took
the rare step of serving Gaha Holdings
with a notice of intention to terminate
its Crown lease.
Such a notice has only been served
a few times since territory land titles
were created almost 90 years ago. No
such terminations have actually taken
place since self-government in 1988.
The lessee of the old Aranda Shop
site is working co-operatively with the
Environment and Sustainable Devel-
opment Directorate to address a range
of matters including public safety
hazards, an ACT Planning and Land
Authority spokeswoman said.
In relation to the progress of
enforcement action on the site there is
no further information that is available
to the public at this time.
The site was a vibrant shopping
centre a few decades ago but fell into
disrepair. A handful of businesses and
community groups have used the site
since, but it has been empty for years.
In the mid-2000s a $3.5 million
development combining commercial
and residential units was proposed but
never went ahead.
Residents can contact Gabriel Gaha
or his sister, Nicole Gaha, about the
shops on 0402 555 777.
Links Archive International Day For Persons With Disabilities Chronicle 21-01-2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page