Home' The Chronicle : Canberra Chronicle 01-09-15 Contents Tuesday, September 1, 2015 - 10
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Best time to learn to live in harmony
Spring heralds the start of the magpie swooping season in the national capital.
Our bush capital
One element of life in our bush capital
that is special is the change in seasons.
As I began my career in the
Northern Territory, it struck me it was
either very hot or just hot; such is life
in the tropical north.
Returning I can recall appreciating
the natural rhythm of seasonal change,
in many ways signifying a reassuring
tempo to life in our bush capital.
With a just a hint of change in the
air, you get the sense that spring is just
around the corner.
Nature is stirring. An early tell-tale
sign is our most accomplished song
bird, the magpie.
Their charming serenade signifies a
change in the seasons. It wouldn't be
spring without these spectacular
songbirds resonating from the tree
tops. It lifts your spirits after a deep
As majestic songbirds, magpies
have been known to mimic other bird
species with a crescendo pitch
reaching up to four different octaves.
But with this sweet call, swooping
season will also be upon us.
With the expansion of suburbia into
their habitat, the concept of living
with magpies'' has become interwoven
into the fabric of our city life.
Magpies swoop to protect their
patch as they care for their family.
Magpies have remarkable memories.
To a large extent, humans have
impacted on the humble magpie
through aggressive interactions,
causing the magpie to view us as
potential threats to their fledglings.
Swooping is territorial behaviour.
There are a number of things we can
do to ease this tension and create
natural harmony. Consider walking;
don't ride through a known hot spot.
If possible, give the magpie some
extra space by avoiding an area until
after breeding season.
If you do have to travel through,
protect your head with a hat, umbrella
or helmet; and wear glasses to protect
your eyes. Maintain direct eye contact
as you calmly leave their patch.
Through our acts of kindness, these
beautiful native birds can become a bit
too familiar, providing another area of
potential conflict well into the future.
As tempting as it is to hand feed a
magpie, this familiarity can have dire
Not only are there issues from a
dietary perspective -- after all, magpies
shouldn't eat bread and sausages -- but
these birds can become confused,
displaying aggressive tendencies as
they seek out food associated with
As spring looms on the horizon,
consider how you can live in harmony
with these magnificent songbirds by
visiting tams.act.gov.au and searching
Brett McNamara is Regional
Manager with ACT Parks &
to land swap
saga a delight
The Inner South Canberra Community
Council is delighted that substantial
progress has been made in resolving
the issues created by the proposed
relocation of the Canberra Services
Club and Manuka Occasional
Childcare Centre Association, which
had distressed the community.
We appreciate the efforts made by
local MLAs Steve Doszpot and Shane
Rattenbury in pushing for a sensible
resolution to the problems that would
have been created by the land swap.
But the devil is in the detail and the
ISCCC will be working with the
Telopea Park School, MOCCA and
other stakeholders to ensure that
their interests are protected in
implementing the agreed
Another top priority is ensuring the
interests of public housing tenants
are protected in the forthcoming
redevelopment of public housing sites
in Griffith, Narrabundah and Red Hill.
It is important that people with
longstanding connections to a
neighbourhood are not forced to move
We look forward to working with
the government on this important
We have also raised with the
government our concerns that
financial imperatives are behind
unrealistic population densities
proposed for the new privately
developed complexes to be built on
You can see our submission and find
details about upcoming events on our
website -- isccc.org.au Gary Kent
DON GLAD RAGS FOR
ALBERT HALL BALL
Step back in time with an evening of
lively dancing, fine dining and genteel
company in the Albert Hall.
Presented by the Monaro Folk
Society, the annual colonial ball takes
place on Saturday, September 5.
The formal function, which starts at
7.30pm with welcome drinks and hors
d'oeuvres, is suitable for couples and
singles, experienced dancers and
Order tickets ahead of time as there
are no door sales.
For details, phone 0421 814 718.
Residents seek MP's support in staving off development
Southside residents have appealed for
more support from Federal MP for
Canberra Gai Brodtmann in their
continuing battle to keep public land in
the hands of the community.
Kingston Barton Residents Group
secretary Rebecca Scouller has called
on Ms Brodtmann to help bridge a
communication gap residents felt had
developed with the ACT Chief
Minister during an unpopular land
She said the community had been
upset and confused by a lack of
consultation on the land swap deal,
which would have seen Telopea Park
School and Manuka Childcare Centre
lose land to a rebuilt Canberra Services
Club and Defence Housing
Mr Barr canned the deal on August
12 but Ms Scouller said a pending
National Capital Authority proposal to
hand over planning responsibility for
Telopea Park to the ACTgovernment
was evidence that the fight to preserve
community land was far from over.
It is concerning that the draft
National Capital Plan has both Telopea
and Haig parks tied into the broader
push for development across the
Murrumbidgee," she said.
It would be a shame for the park to
ever be considered for any future
development, and having the park
remain with the NCA will help protect
She said residents and community
groups also wanted to see active
consultation on the Chief Minister's
renewal plans for the Manuka precinct
(including the oval).
Ms Brodtmann said she spoke in
March to Mr Barr about the
community's concerns around the
proposed land swap deal and wrote to
him in April on issues that had been
raised through the Inner South
Combined Community Council,
including the land swap proposal.
"I understand that the ACT
government has committed to broader
consultation on the future relocation of
MOCCA and is currently working
closely with the centre," she said.
"The National Capital Authority has
a public hearing with the Joint
Standing Committee on National
Capital and External Territories, of
which I am a member, twice a year.
"The next hearing is scheduled for
November,'' Ms Brodtmann said.
I plan to ask a number of questions
relating to the revised National Capital
Plan, including [the] implications for
Telopea Park and other areas in my
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