Home' The Chronicle : Canberra Chronicle 2-06-15 Contents Tuesday, June 2, 2015 - 8
in area services
Every year we wait anxiously to see
whether the ACT budget will provide
any goodies for our neighbourhoods.
This year we welcome the
government's announcement the
budget will have a suburban'' focus.
We have been advised by Territory
and Municipal Services Minister
Shane Rattenbury the budget will
include new money for greater lake
and pond cleaning, more tree and
shrub maintenance, an extra mow
across the city and additional capacity
to mow high visibility public areas.
Hopefully a good share of this
money will be invested in the inner
south to improve the look and amenity
of our suburbs.
The Inner South Canberra
Community Council has been working
constructively with the government to
solve the impasse over the proposed
relocation of Manuka Childcare
Centre, to land owned by Telopea Park
school, to make way for the Canberra
Chief Minister Andrew Barr has
indicated the school might be allowed
to retain its land if another site can be
found for MOCCA.
MOCCA is keen to remain on its
current site as part of the new club
complex and we are investigating
whether it might be feasible.
The council continues to promote
the need for a strong national planning
presence to help preserve our beautiful
suburbs and hinterland from excessive
We were disappointed when the
federal government recently
announced plans to emasculate the
role of the National Capital Authority.
We have discovered the ACT
government had asked federal
Environment Minister Greg Hunt not
to place Canberra on the national
There should be no secret
government deals in these important
issues -- community views must be
The ISCCC has written to the
government opposing changes to
planning arrangements that would
allow dual occupancies to be built on
the many cleared Mr Fluffy asbestos
This will seriously compromise the
garden city values of Canberra and
impact detrimentally on neighbouring
Police ask for public's clan lab vigilance
Behind the blue line
Two men faced court last week after
they were arrested for using a
residential house in Fisher for the
hydroponic cultivation of a
traffickable quantity of cannabis.
The matter raises the question of
how the public identify a possible
grow house in their neighbourhood?
Some signs the public should
lookout for include persistent chemical
smells, suspicious run-off in nearby
drains and pool-cleaning equipment
around a premises without a pool.
There may be excessive chemical
containers, or empty containers which
could have contained chemicals,
fertiliser or pills in the rubbish.
A hydroponic set-up requires bright
lamps, so windows may be covered or
blackened to hide the light.
Neighbours might also notice lights
that switch on and off even though it
appears no-one is home, strange
interior lighting or the constant sound
of fans or water running.
Suspicious equipment could include
electrical transformers, lights and
shades, large quantities of plastic pots,
irrigation piping and large quantities
Signs a house is used for something
other than a home may include a lack
of occupancy, the occupants remain
secretive or people frequenting the
Frequent visitors who only stay for
a short time or people who arrive at
odd hours can be an indication of
Neighbours who neglect their
garden, don't collect mail or never put
their garbage bins out may also be a
The community plays a key role in
reporting suspicious activity to police.
By remaining vigilant, residents can
assist police in detecting these
suspicious properties and help to get
drugs off the streets.
Anyone who noticed suspicious
activity should take note of time and
location, the person's clothing and
appearance and the model, make,
colour and registration of any vehicles.
Suspicious or illegal activity can be
anonymously reported to
CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000.
Behind The Blue Line is supplied
by ACT Policing
Face-to-face sessions in the pipeline
Parentline manager Cathi Moore runs a free early intervention telephone counselling service.
Photo: Matt Bedford
Kimberley Le Lievre
Telephone counsellors dedicated to
supporting Canberra mums and dads
are hoping to begin face-to-face
counselling to relieve the stress and
difficulties associated with parenting.
Parentline has been running since
the 1970s in the nation's capital and
was once funded by the ACT
When funding dried up three years
ago, volunteers diminished and now
just five qualified counsellors help run
the telephone service line.
The service was designed to help
parents cope with all kinds of issues by
giving them someone to talk their
problems through with.
Michael, a counsellor with the
service who preferred to keep his
surname anonymous, said the
questions received were wide and
"The issues that we're presented
with represent all kinds of parenting
questions, from babies through [to]
adults," he said.
"Emotional issues, exhaustion,
isolation, relationship breakdown,
depression and anxiety and other
mental health illnesses, divorce,
separation, understanding and living
with teenagers -- that's a big one."
Michael said the main aim of the
service was to ensure the caller knew
they were heard.
"Listening is quite a complex skill,"
"Our counselling style is, and
always has been, non-directive and
non-judgmental empathic style of
counselling ... one way of describing
it is walking with them in their shoes
for a while so they don't feel judged,
so they feel listened to and heard."
Manager Cathi Moore said that
questions surrounding relationship
issues made up a significant amount of
calls the service received.
"Separation, access to children,
grandparents and carers access to
children during parent separation,
domestic violence; there are a whole
range of things," she said.
Beyond the telephone service, Ms
Moore said she hoped to attract more
qualified counsellors to help assist
with over the phone and in person
"We think there is a gap in the
services in Canberra at the moment,
for skilled and supervised counsellors
to do face-to-face and that is an area
we are looking to build," she said.
Parentline is seeking grant funding
and philanthropic donations to help
keep the telephone counselling service
alive to support parents in Canberra.
To contact Parentline, phone
6287 3833 or visit parentlineact.org.au
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