Home' The Chronicle : Canberra Chronicle 08-09-15 Contents Tuesday, September 8, 2015 - 8
Alexandra Craig with her cat, Robinson. She founded Canberra Cat Fix to offer low-cost desexing in the ACT.
Photo: Michelle Doherty
Low-cost help to limit cat numbers
Kimberley Le Lievre
Canberra s Alexandra Craig is on a
mission to decrease the ever-growing
number of kittens ending up in refuges
and given away for free online.
Earlier this year, Ms Craig started
Canberra Cat Fix, a project to offer
low-cost desexing to cat owners in the
territory. The desexing program got
underway in July and about 100 cats
have been through.
"I really love cats," Ms Craig said.
"I was volunteering with local kitten
rescues and they re always over
capacity ... I thought I had to find
another way to contribute, and I
thought the best way to help in that
situation is to fix the problem."
Community members in need of
low-cost desexing for their cats apply
for the program and are assessed on a
"We have only opened applications
once and we got 200 applications in
two days so then I had to shut them
off," Ms Craig said.
"We basically let anyone apply but
we were giving first preference to
health care card holders before we
processed the others."
Ms Craig said the price of getting a
cat desexed in Canberra is "far more
expensive" than in Sydney, and can
cost up to $450.
"The average price is about the $350
mark in Canberra and people just can t
afford it. People say well don t get a
pet if you can t afford it but there are
people who genuinely don t realise
what the costs are."
Ms Craig said she felt shocked after
rescuing her two cats, Robinson and
Penny, at the cost of their desexing.
"Having a pet is really valuable to
some people... By helping people
desex the pet, we re doing the right
thing for the pet and the person as
With support from the community,
Ms Craig hopes Canberra Cat Fix
could become a registered charity.
"It will be an ongoing thing. The
goal is to do as many cats as possible,"
A trivia night to raise money for the
cause will be held on Friday,
September 18, at 7pm at the Woden
Tradies club. Tickets are $30 per
person and tables are of 10 people.
Ticket price includes a hot foot platter
for the table, and prizes are up for
Tickets are available from
TCCC WILL HELP COVER
TRAISE FUNERAL COSTS
The Tuggeranong Community Council
(TCCC) agreed at its September
meeting to contribute to the costs of
former president Eric Traise s
memorial service. Apart from a grant
of $500 to his family, there was
support to provide $250. Treasurer
Max Flint said it was fantastic to see
more than 140 guests at the service and
was pleased they would cover half of
the amount that the family had to pay.
It is a chance to engage with
democracy that crops up once every
four years in Canberra.
The 8th ACT Legislative Assembly
is hosting an open day on Sunday,
September 20, offering the public a
firsthand look at the territory s
politicians and the building they
There will be plenty of activities on
from 10am-2pm including a debate in
the chamber between MLAs and year
11 students drawn for five ACT public
schools on the subject of the Magna
Carta to mark its 800th anniversary.
Those hungry for meaty discussion
can chat with MLA s manning the
Great Democratic Sausage Sizzle,
while others might want to take part in
a tour of the substantial art collections
with the assembly s curatorial advisor.
Each tour will cater for groups of
between 10 to 15 people and run at
11.30am, 11.50am, 12.10pm and 1pm.
The first 50 visitors through the
door will receive a small correa bells
plant chosen to commemorate the
nation s capital during its centenary
ACT Legislative education officer
Neal Baudinette said it was a chance
for anyone to come along and find out
more about how government operates
in the territory.
It s the Canberra population s
assembly, he said.
They pay for the members and it is
where decisions are made.
The open day is a chance for
people to engage with members and
learn more about the democratic
process as well.
On-site businesses eyeing greater community role
A sketch of the community
proposal for a restored Canberra
Kimberley Le Lievre
While the Land Development Agency
released a new scaled-back proposal
for the Canberra Brickworks in
Yarralumla, existing businesses on site
said they would still push ahead with
their own ideas to revitalise the area.
Thor Diesendorf, director of timber
specialist Thor s Hammer, said he and
the other industrial businesses that
operate out of the brickworks site were
keen to see the area come back to life.
Their proposal included a vision of
cafes and micro galleries lining Quarry
Park to increase community
interaction with the site and help build
Canberra s rich artistic offerings.
In response to the LDA s newest
proposal, Mr Diesendorf said it was a
"With the smaller development, we
can see that there could be heaps of
potential for the heritage part of the
brickworks site to be at the heart of any
further development, and for the
development to complement and be
integrated with the heritage site, Mr
"It s now talking about more of a
precinct than a mini suburb."
He said it was concerning that the
scaled-back proposal might lead to a
decrease of funds available to restore
the heritage area.
"So far, we ve got a positive
response that there will be money
available. We re keen to continue the
work with the artisan and designer
hub, to get site activation happening,"
Mr Diesendorf said the community
committee that was formed to address
the site s fate would push ahead with
community workshops to develop the
A website will be launched at the
end of the week to support the
community vision for the area.
Website thebrickworks.org.au will
include plans for the site and an option
to submit feedback.
$5000 GRANT BACKS A DREAM
Black Mountain's school cafe garden will be a special place
Black Mountain School has won a
$5000 grant which will help to realise
the school s dream to build an on
campus cafe for workplace learning.
The ACT secondary school for
students with moderate to profound
intellectual disabilities was one of six
schools in the running for the major
prize from CUA Community Care.
The vision is for students in the
hospitality program to operate the
cafe, and for horticulture and
sustainability students to grow fresh
produce and cultivate potted plants to
decorate a space where art students
items will be exhibited and sold.
Deputy principal Lara Coman said
students were very excited to see the
cafe take shape.
"It s really exciting," she said. "We
have the final quote for Six Degrees
and with the help of the grant we hope
to start building in the next couple of
A special assembly will be held to
give the chance for the school and
community to celebrate the win.
"What has really driven us to
continue is the community support for
this idea from the beginning," she said.
"After a recent article in The Chronicle
we have had people contact the school
directly to offer support which has
been amazing and has really helped
the project to get up and running
Ms Coman said the staged
construction plan was to focus first on
the cafe and following its completion
in November, look to developing the
gallery and garden.
CUA Canberra branch manager
Cameron Brooks said the local
community rallied behind each of the
submitted project ideas, however the
Six Degrees Cafe, Gallery and Garden
concept received the highest number
of votes during the four week process.
"Any of the projects would have
been worthy winners," he said.
"In the end, the voting was very
close. But I m looking forward to
seeing Black Mountain School finally
being able to realise their dream to
open the Six Degrees Cafe, Gallery
and Garden -- an initiative that will
benefit students at the school for many
years to come."
NEW CROSSING FOR
LAKE BURLEY GRIFFIN
Walking around Lake Burley Griffin
has become a lot safer thanks to the
opening of the new Bowen Place
crossing. The crossing was officially
opened last week by the National
Capital Authority and the ACT
The ACT Heart Foundation, who
advocated for the project and helped
bring it to reality, applauded the move
to improve safety and promote healthy
living with exercise around the lake.
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