RRA ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
6.00 pm Wednesday 29 March 2023
Mercure Hotel, Ainslie Avenue
Guest speaker: Max Bourke AM
Topic: Heritage – a reflection
Our guest speaker, Max Bourke AM, has made an exemplary contribution to heritage, agriculture and conservation. He was Director of the Australian Heritage Commission from its inception in 1976 & participated in the preparation of Australia’s first nomination files for the World Heritage List. More recently Max was Executive Director of The Thomas Foundation and past President of the Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens. For more information on Max’s brilliant career pls see:
Please join us for the meeting and afterwards for dinner. It’s an enjoyable evening and an opportunity to catch up with your neighbours. We would be delighted if you would consider joining the Committee – nomination form is at www.reid.northcanberra.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/NOMINATION-FORM.pdf.
DRAFT INNER NORTH & CITY DRAFT STRATEGY & DRAFT TERRITORY PLAN
Please note that comments & submissions have been extended until COB 3 March.
- The Inner North & City Draft Strategy can be located here: https://yoursayconversations.act.gov.au/act-planning-review/draft-inner-north-and-city-district-strategy
- The link to the Draft Territory Plan is too long so we suggested you ‘Google it’.
As the ACT Government website states the changes:
will influence your suburb, your shops, your travel options and your access to employment, parks and waterways. Your feedback will help us understand your future needs and priorities and make sure they are reflected in the district strategies and Territory Plan.
The 49 Recommendations of the Legislative Assembly ‘Inquiry into Planning Bill 2022’, are salutatory
See also Markus Mannheim’s news article (ABC RN Breakfast, 23 February) ‘North Canberra to grow rapidly, southern districts may shrink as ACT government plans for population of almost 800,000’ www.abc.net.au/news/2023-02-23/population-projections-for-canberra-suburbs/102002504
- The inner north is projected to grow the most — an extra 77,000 people in 2060 compared with today — as more higher-density housing is built in the already well-established area.
- Civic, which has fewer than 6,000 residents, is expected to become home to more than 31,000 people
The ACT Treasury’s report ‘ACT Population Projections 2022 to 2060’ can be viewed at
Please also read Paul Costigan’s CBR City News article 3 Dec 2022 ‘Planner proposes planning change that suits planners’ who states ‘What is being proposed is a re-write of the former planning regime to become a system designed with less access by and less consultation with the residents. It will not be simpler – it will be more complicated and less accessible.’
Costigan refers to, and urges, residents read Richard Johnson’s Analysis of the Planning Bill at https://kingstonandbarton.files.wordpress.com/2022/11/planning-bill-rj-8.11.22.pdf. Richard is well placed to comment on this important bill with a lifetime experience working in the disciplines of architecture and planning.
TWO BIG ANNIVERSARIES
Next year is the 80th anniversary of RRA and we would like to hear of ways in which residents and former committee members would like to celebrate.
In another 5 years, the suburb of Reid will turn 100. We would love to put together a book to celebrate that milestone with chapters on social history, architecture, characters who here and so on. Any ideas you might have on content or possible funding would be most welcome. It’s an ambitious project! Please talk to the Committee when you see us about or through the email@example.com.
‘THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY’
Everything is looking so green throughout our suburb and gardeners have smiles on their faces. Of particular note have been the roses. The flip side of good growth is that it isn’t selective and the Vinca major, with its pretty blue flowers and glossy leaves, is thriving too. It’s certainly a huge effort to get rid of it so it’s good to see that it has been declared a pest plant and its propagation and supply are prohibited. And then there’s Agapanthus! There’s an excellent Canberra Times article (8 April 2021) ‘Responsible gardener should consider the potential weed status of any plant selected for the garden’ from John Gabriele. He points out ‘… strap leaf plants such as agapanthus have also become environmental weeds in many regions but with good plant management practices can still be grown by simply removing the developing seed heads before they release seeds.’ So we urge you to behead those Nile lilies as soon as they have finished flowering.
To continue with the ‘bad’, this is a really good time to trim your hedges. Hedges are an integral part of the streetscapes of Reid but they become a real nuisance and potential hazard when so overgrown they make it difficult to walk on the footpath without getting whacked in the face. The ACT Government’s Hedges in Heritage Precincts at www.environment.act.gov.au/heritage/development-at-heritage-sites/policy_2 states that the Conservation objective is:
To conserve the original hedge patterns separating public from private domain and ‘framing’ the view of each dwelling and its front garden.
Hedges form a significant component of the heritage values of the Garden City Precincts and the Tocumwal Housing Precinct. The important hedges are generally those on both the front and side boundaries.
The future for hedges and specific impacts of changes to hedges should be considered in the light of the following:
- Existing hedges that are not ‘Environmental Weeds’ as listed in Pest Plants and Animals Declaration 2009(1) should be maintained.
- Existing hedges of species that are ‘Environmental Weeds’ as listed in Pest Plants and Animals Declaration 2009 (No 1) should be replaced with non-weed species or maintained to minimise environmental issues.
- The re-planting of original hedges no longer present along front boundaries and side boundaries forward of the building line is encouraged.
- Installation of new hedges or replacements should reflect the original hedge plantings if possible.
- Hedges should be pruned to achieve a height of 1.2 metres above adjacent ground level measured from the verge side of the boundary. Most hedge species require regular pruning to maintain a height of 1.2 metres.
- All hedges should be evergreen.
- Suitable Hedge Species include:
|Species Name||Common Name|
|Buxus sempervirens||English Box|
|Hebe ‘Blue Gem’||Veronica|
|Punica granatum var. ‘Nana’||Dwarf Pomegranate|
|Choisya ternata||Mexican Orange|
|Escallonia macrantha||Common Escallonia|
|Photinia glabra var. ‘Rubens’||Japanese Photinia cv|
Riffing on the final element, we have the ‘ugly’, the street signs that lean on an angle after being knocked by a falling branch or a car or truck. We hope not a danger to anyone but not a good look either. Let’s hope that TCCS can find the time one day to straighten things up.
CANBERRA & REGION HERITAGE FESTIVAL
Sharing Stories: 11–30 April 2023
Both RRA and St John’s Reid will be hosting several events during this festival. The RRA will be hosting Reid Reminiscences on 16 April from 2–3.30 pm. These will be based on stories found in RRA archives and others that we hope you will share with us. We are lucky enough to have residents’ memories, in their own words, of Reid in the 30s to 50s.The idea is that people will be guided on a walk and stop at various places to hear the reminiscences of those who live or lived there.
St John’s Church and Schoolhouse Museum also have many stories to share with the local and wider community and will stage two events.
- 14th April will be the commemorative planting of the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee tree in the Church grounds.
- 25th April will feature a ‘Gunfire Breakfast’ after the Dawn service, as well as Anzac Day tours of the Church and Churchyard. The Schoolhouse Museum will complement both events with displays featuring regal visits and our historic wartime connections.
NATIONAL TRUST (ACT) AWARD
We are delighted to have been one of the organisations that are the recipients of a ‘Significant Award’ by the National Trust (ACT) for the project ‘Reviving Inner North’s pillar signpost’ – Phase 1: Reid and Braddon: Reid Residents’ Association Inc, with Principal Contractor Conservation Works Pty Ltd. A very big thank you to the Reid team of very generous volunteers who did such an excellent job painting the street name plates. Our heartiest congratulations to all the award winners and definitely ‘hats off’ to the three fantastic winners of the Outstanding Awards:
- ANU Birch Building Refurbishment: Hassell, working with Lovell Chen and Hindmarsh Builders
- Lake Burley Griffin Ecological Project: Friends of Grasslands project
- Tidbinbilla Heritage Precinct: Tidbinbilla Pioneers Association Inc. and the ACT Parks and Conservation Service.
For more information please see: www.nationaltrust.org.au/act-heritage-awards-2022/
Reid Park (the Park) is part of the heritage and history of Canberra. As you would know, the huge trees were part of Charles Weston’s plantings and it is part of one of the most important vistas in Canberra being near the Australian War Memorial. The Reid Sports Ground, which now has a second oval for Cricket and AFL, dates back to the very beginning of Reid. Hockey and Cricket were the two sports played on the original oval and it’s good to see so many other groups and individuals using the grounds for other sports and exercise and of course, for walking our dogs at appropriate times.
RRA Committee members met with Minister Rachael Stephen-Smith MLA recently to discuss various concerns, particularly the poor drainage and car parking that damages the surrounding trees and the proposal for a concrete booster pump station. While there is benefit in providing recycled water for the ovals, it is important to know more about the composition of the soil substrate so that Mt Ainslie run-off doesn’t increase and further impact the trees.
Committee members proposed the development of a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) to be developed by experts to consider all the issues that impact on the heritage and health of the Park. It is hoped this CMP would provide a guide to the various areas responsible for the Park’s upkeep.
In an ideal world, there would also be a larger Master Plan to be developed with broad public consultation (beyond the sporting groups who currently use the two ovals) that would lead to improved facilities (changerooms, toilets, seating and storage) and increase enjoyment of the Park (perhaps a walking or running track around the perimeter and the return of the ACT Rangers’ office to community use).
There is an opportunity here to develop modern sporting facilities within a heritage context, to increase the use and enjoyment of the whole Park by meeting the needs of all users — both sporting and community — and to protect the surrounding magnificent treed environment.
In addition, talk of traffic lights for the intersection of Limestone & Euree streets was raised with the Minister because through traffic is a major issue for Reid residents particularly as vehicles, including large trucks, seek alternative routes due to the light rail construction, building works at the Australian War Memorial & the now stalled apartment (Doma) construction on the foothills of Mt Ainslie.
It was a great pity that one of Euree Street’s magnificent Cedrus atlantica var. ‘Glauca’ (Atlas Cedar grey/blue form) was struck by lightning recently. It was impressive to see ACT Government officers bringing this giant down with great skill. We hope to see exactly the same species, that is the ‘Glauca’ or grey/blue variety of this tree, replanted in due course. Unfortunately, this conifer does ‘throwback’ to the usual green form of Cedrus atlantica. If you do happen to have the grey/blue variety please let us know if you would like to donate it as a replacement tree in the appropriate streets: Euree, Currong South and Eilmatta streets. The ‘Gauca’ variety is, we have been told, difficult to obtain.
Our Committee members have recently walked up down the streets and lanes noting trees that are missing or that are not thriving, some replanting of inappropriate & dying trees (silver birches) and have provided a list of missing or dying trees to the Urban Treescapes Unit.
Please note that there is a planting guide to all of Canberra’s street trees, including Reid at https://www.woodcraftguild.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/ACT-STREET-TREES.pdf. It’s good to note that only one street species in Reid is now listed as invasive, Celtis australis. Despite its name, it is not an Australian native species – it is also known as European hackberry, European nettle tree, or lote tree). Steps are now being taken by the ACT Government to replace these trees with, we hope, species that will not only survive but enhance Reid’s streetscapes.
The planning behind Reid’s trees: Sulman and Weston
The Australian Institute of Architects ACT Chapter, Register of Significant Architecture citation for the Reid Housing Precinct explains the design & implementation of Reid’s street tree planting as follows:
The street tree planting in Reid reflects the ideas and advocacy of John Sulman. Single rows of one species predominate. Deciduous trees are used in the suburban streets; native species are mixed in along the perimeter streets of Limestone Avenue and Anzac Parade. Thomas Weston, who worked with both Griffin (1913–21) and Sulman (1921–24), selected the plant species, devised planting techniques and firmly established Canberra’s landscape character by using trees to reinforce the street layout in the architects’ plans. His work was fundamental to the realization of their garden city concepts.
The rhythm and themes of the street tree plantings have been maintained when replanting has been carried out, using seed from the existing trees. This maintains the species provenance and its links to Thomas Weston’s work. The general style of gardens reflects the garden suburb image with species variety and cottage garden style, although the declining popularity of hedges has resulted in some incongruous open front gardens. See p. 3
It is quite remarkable, and definitely ‘food for thought’, that so many of the trees planted originally in the early 1920s have survived for decades through these droughts: 1965–1968, 1965–1968, 1982–1983, 1997–2009 (Millennium drought) and, most recently 2017–2019. For more detail see www.bom.gov.au/climate/drought/knowledge-centre/previous-droughts.shtml
It is, of course, these trees and many more stunning trees in residents’ gardens that have contributed to coolness of Reid as cited in the 2017 CSIRO report ‘Mapping surface urban heat in Canberra’. Here’s hoping we can get the ‘right’ trees back in place in the next few months.
REID WEEDERS: we’d love more volunteers!
Just a reminder to click on www.cityservices.act.gov.au/public-land/maintenance/volunteering and fill in the form so we can get on with the weeding. Volunteering this way enables us as a registered volunteer group, to have insurance cover, assistance with equipment and removing prunings etc.
As we have said in previous newsletters it’s great to get on top of invasive grasses, English Ivy, Vinca and woody weeds such as Cotoneaster and St John’s Wort and it can be fun checking on our Gang‑gangs, having BBQs and excellent morning teas.
We are about to submit an application for grants to assist us work on the laneways and verges that need a good weeding. If you’d like to lend a helping hand, email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
NEIGHBOUR DAY 26 MARCH 2023
Neighbour Day is Australia’s annual celebration of community. Held on the last Sunday of March every year it is the perfect day to say thanks for being a great neighbour or meet new neighbours. The principle aim of Neighbour Day is to build better relationships with the people who live around you.
You can make Neighbour Day as big or small as you like, from a chat with the people next door to a cuppa with neighbours from down the road. You could even come and meet fellow Reid residents at the Mercure Hotel on Wednesday 29th March for the AGM and dinner.
OPEN HOUSE & GARDEN
This event, run in partnership with RRA and the National Trust (ACT), has been running for 15 years and is highly popular with Canberrans and visitors. If you would like to be part of this event held in early November by opening your house and garden to a select group of people or by assisting organiser John Tucker, please contact John via email@example.com
ACT NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH
The RRA Committee is working in cooperation with ACT Neighbourhood Watch Inc. Further information at www.nhwact.com.au.
Reid crime statistics for Nov 2022 to Jan 2023.
|Ainslie Avenue||Other theft||Other theft||Assault other|
|Ainslie Avenue||Other theft|
|Ainslie Avenue||Other property damage|
|Allambee Street||Theft of vehicle number plates||Assault causing ABH||Motor vehicle theft|
|Allambee Street||Burglary dwellings|
|Amaroo Street||Other theft|
|Boolee Street||Other property damage||Other theft x 2||Motor vehicle theft|
|Boolee Street||Other property damage||Other theft|
|Cooyong Street||Motor vehicle theft||Other theft||Assault other x 3|
|Cooyong Street||Burglary dwellings x 2|
|Cooyong Street||Theft of vehicle number plates|
|Cooyong Street||Other theft|
|Coranderrk Street||Assault other|
|Currong Street||Other theft||Burglary dwellings|
|Currong Street||Bicycle theft|
|Elimatta Street||Burglary dwellings|
|Gooreen Street||Assault causing ABH||Theft of vehicle number plates||Theft of vehicle number plates|
|Gooreen Street||Other theft||Other property damage|
|Limestone Avenue||Assault other||Other property damage|
|Limestone Avenue||Other property damage|
Australian Federal Police Activity Book: teaches children how the Australian Federal Police keeps Australia safe. The book introduces a number of AFP members, including Constable Paul the Platypus and Wendy the Wombat. Children can colour in and complete a series of activities, including a word search, spot the difference and maze. They are currently available at the hardware store at Majura Park or can be downloaded for printing from: www.jobs.afp.gov.au/afpactivitybook.
NEWS FROM REID’S CHURCHES
Please note that all Canberra churches will be marking Easter according to their specific denominations.
- Canberra Korean Uniting Church: see http://www.hojuchurch.com/
- St John’s Open Day 3.30 pm 18 March highlighting the various activities and ministries that go on in this precinct. Reid residents are invited to attend, to see what St John’s offers and see ways to be involved with St John’s Care, grounds maintenance or children’s church.
- St Peter’s Memorial Lutheran Church: see canberra-queanbeyan-parish.lutheran.org.au/ for current news.
REID TENNIS CLUB
An estimated 10 million tennis balls are purchased in Australia each year. Reid Tennis Club has partnered with Game On Recycling to collect and recycle tennis balls. Dispose of your unwanted and unloved ‘dead’ tennis balls in the collection unit located inside the Reid Tennis Club clubhouse. Any old but still playable balls can be put in the Reid basket alongside that anyone is free to use. https://play.tennis.com.au/reidtennisclub.