2014 Annual General Meeting

November 3, 2014

in Past Issues

Cris Brack (second from the left), Fenner School of Environment & Society, ANU – was the key-note speaker at the recent general meeting and provided an informative lecture on the history of the trees of Canberra

Griffith/Narrabundah Community Association Inc.

Annual General Meeting Minutes

Wednesday 22 October, 2014

Location: Griffith Neighbourhood Hall, Griffith.


The meeting commenced at 7.00 pm and all in attendance were welcomed by John Edquist, who chaired the meeting.

Attendance: 27 people

Keynote address

Associate Professor Cris Brack, from the Fenner School of Environment & Society at the Australian National University gave the keynote address entitled:

Are urban trees and forests in Canberra really as valuable as you thought?

He started with the observation that the earliest cities had no place for trees.  In fact, the presence of trees within a city or village was often considered a sign of decay and that the human presence in that place was deteriorating.  In Australia today, trees do seem to have a place, and in Canberra they have played and continue to play a crucial role in our city.

The urban forest in Canberra comprises ~400,000 trees.  The early plantings were mainly a mixture of exotic deciduous and confers.  In the 1970s many more native eucalyptus trees were planted and in recent years a mix of natives and exotics has been used.

Assessing the economic value of one tree, a group of trees or a forest is not easy and different economists end up with methodologies and different values.  In an urban environment trees are not cheap, they have to be planted and cared-for, but they have considerable economic value.

They provide energy savings of $0.58/m2/yr; pollution amelioration 0.16/m2/yr; hydrological amelioration $0.11/ m2/yr, where m2 is the canopy cover, and approximately $20 million over 5 years in terms of carbon sequestration.

We also know that trees provide shade in summer and windbreaks (Haig Park) throughout the year.  It has been estimated that – one mature deciduous tree is equivalent to 5 room air conditioners running 20 hours/day.

Finally trees look good and provide a feel good atmosphere that is not present in the concrete jungle of many city centres.

The talk was followed by a lively discussion on a wide range of tree related issues.


  1. Apologies

27 people were in attendance and apologies were received from Marguerite Castello, Louise Gaudry, Peter Forbes, Jennifer Murray and Margaret Fanning.


  1. 2.    Minutes of the 2013 Annual General Meeting

The Minutes of the 2013 Annual General Meeting held on 23 October 2013were circulated to members and also available at the meeting.  They were adopted unanimously as a true and accurate record of that meeting on a motion proposed by Wayne Arthur and seconded by Jane McCabe.


3.    President’s Report, including Annual Report

Copies of the President’s Report were distributed to all present at the start of the meeting and is attached to a copy of the minutes.

John Edquist thanked all committee members and members for all the hard work undertaken during the year.  He noted that, while there was no significant change in the nature of the Association’s activities, there had been a marked increase in the number of activities which the Association had to deal with.

The achievements of the Association set out in the Annual Report were noted.  Moved by Paul Russell, seconded by Leo Dobes and accepted by the meeting.

Hugh Dakin congratulated the committee on the achievements during the last year , particularly the efforts of the President and the Scretary.


4.    Treasurer’s Report

Copies of the Treasurer’s Report were distributed at the start of the meeting.  Marion Newman presented the Report, noting that, due to the successful raffle and donations from members, the finances were good, with a balance of $9,413 at 30 June 2014.  The meeting voted unanimously to accept the Treasurer’s on a motion moved by Marion Newman and, seconded by david denham.


5.    Election of Committee

The following people were elected to the committee

Wayne Arthur, Anthony de la Fosse, David Denham, Leo Dobes, John Edquist, Margaret Fanning, Sonia Hathaway, Marion Newman, Paul Russell, Venessa Tripp.

The offices of President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and Public Officer will be allocated at November committee meeting.


6.    Key issues affecting our community, and future directions

The following issues were identified as of concern to the GNCA

  1. Re-development of Stuart Flats and Gowrie Court- as part of an Omnibus Draft Territory Plan Variation to re-develop areas currently used solely for public housing.  The main concern is the government’s proposal to increase the number of dwellings from 146 to 550 at the Stuart Flats and from 72 to 150 at Gowrie Court.  It also proposes to change the zoning to RZ5, which is the highest dwelling density contained in the Territory Plan.

The GNCA will argue strongly against these increased dwelling densities.

  1. As of 1 October 2014 paid parking has been introduced in the Parliamentary Triangle.  It is expected that this will result in increased pressure for on street parking in areas surrounding the Triangle.  GNCA will closely monitor the situation.  If necessary it may require the allocation of Residential Parking Permits.
    1. The allocation and de-concessionalisation of Concessional Leases are still causing problems, particularly with the way the ‘public interest’ in the de-concessionalisation process is evaluated.  We need to improve the method and the transparency of the process.
    2. The government has agreed to install signage to Blaxland Park in early 2015.  We are hoping to develop a long term plan for the park soon with the help of a landscape architect.
    3. Trees, Verges, Open Space and Storm Water Overflow problems at Corner of Throsby & Strzelecki, and Finniss & Sprent streets.  GNCA has been working with the Government to introduce a scheme that will better protect trees and verges during development.  GNCA has started a data base to show changes to the areas of open space that are publicly available over the past 20 years.  We have been consulted regarding the mitigation of flooding hazard in two areas of Griffith/Narrabundah.
    4. The GNCA would continue to monitor Development Applications in the Griffith/Narrabundah area.
    5. The GNCA would continue to discuss with government, plot ratios in low density residential areas where buildings appear to cover the whole block and the lack of any definition in the Territory Plan for ‘Medium Density’ residential developments.
    6. The next Griffith Street Party with M16 will be held on Saturday 2 May 2015


7.    Other Business

A complaint was made about the low frequency of buses on the No 6 route.  More information is to obtained before any action is taken

The meeting closed at 9.10pm

All present were invited to gather in Gryphons for a celebratory drink.


Marguerite Castello




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