Home' The Chronicle : Canberra Chronicle 23-02-16 Contents Tuesday, February 23, 2016 - 2
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Community fears over $800m Manuka Oval redevelopment
Community and residents groups are
fearful of the impact a proposed $800
million Manuka Oval development
would have on one of Canberra s most
The GWS Giants and Grocon went
public with their plan to redevelop the
oval on Wednesday, outlining a vision
that would include 1000 new
apartments up to seven storeys high, a
300-bed hotel and up to 450
underground carparks to service new
office and retails space that would be
opened up on the grounds.
Giants chairman Tony Shepherd
said the building works would be
staged over eight years and create
more than 2000 local jobs.
The proposal appears to have won
bipartisan political support, with
Labor Chief Minister Andrew Barr
saying the proposal could help meet
the future needs of Manuka Oval.
The Canberra Liberals also
endorsed the significant and creative
investment in the Manuka Oval
This sort of proposal has the
potential to create many jobs during
construction and I look forward to
further discussions with the
community and proponents,
Opposition leader Jeremy Hanson
But inner south residents and
community groups were surprised by
the scope of the redevelopment which
they believed had progressed to
advanced stages of negotiation with
the ACT government without any
They have called for the
government to fund an independent
community consultation process on
the proposal which they have said
threatens to turn a 100-year-old
community oval into the MCG.
Kingston and Barton Residents
Group President Rebecca Scouller
said the group was pleased to see their
local member, Mr Barr, saying there
would be ample opportunity for the
community to have their say .
She said it was disappointing to hear
the ACT government had been liaising
with the Giants for over 18 months
while local residents had been
requesting a copy of the master plan
for more than two years. Numerous
requests to MLAs and senior
government officials for information
and consultation has continually fallen
on deaf ears. This raises concerns
about a genuine commitment to
community consultation, she said.
She noted increasing the number of
residents by more than 1500 people
and having an extra 2260 workers
coming into the precinct daily would
have a significant impact on traffic,
parking, Manuka Pool and the safety
of school children travelling to and
Mr Barr said planning and approvals
could take in the order of two years
and a trust arrangement for
management of the oval could be
ANIMAL HEALTH CARE
Old-school's OK for long-serving vet
Dr Richard Chapman is one of Australia's longest serving veterinarians, having worked as a vet for 57 years.
He is pictured with his pets Otto von Chapman and Indigo.
Photo: Elesa Kurtz
One of the ACT s longest serving
veterinarians, Dr Richard Chapman,
was seemingly clueless when asked
why some describe him as a
The 80-year-old says he simply acts
through his natural instinct of helping
others and uses cost-effective,
practical methods that prioritise
prevention over cure.
But his wife, Jan, and daughter,
Louise, say there is more that sets him
apart from the rest.
"He is always concerned not just for
the animal but also for the owner and
is mindful of how they might be
thinking," Jan says.
"One of his long-term clients said
that he follows up after treating an
animal, he doesn t just sit and wait to
see if they phone back," Louise says.
Dr Chapman qualified as a
veterinary surgeon in 1958 in England
and has practised for 57 years since,
mostly in Canberra. He retired to his
own one-man practice in 1992,
working from the back of his car until
last year when he was diagnosed with
Throughout his career, Dr Chapman
was a senior member of several
veterinarian clubs, boards and
societies. He always served his unique
philosophy of combining art and
science when practising, which he
expressed in his new book, Do I Call
the Vet? And what do to in the
In the book, he discusses how many
vets no longer use their senses of
touching, smelling and listening and
instead rely on expensive and
sometimes unnecessary tests that
many client s cannot afford.
Animals are therefore left ill or
euthanised. "The art of using your
hands is gone," Dr Chapman says.
"I use the old-school methods
because a lot of people can t afford all
of the other stuff."
Prioritising care over profit has led
him to develop a huge -- even
multigenerational -- client base
"I would have treated a good
proportion of Canberra s pets,
particularly the ones who were around
here 30 or 40 years ago," he says.
Jan explains that he has gone on to
treat the pets of Canberrans whose
parents pets he had also treated.
On hearing of his illness, the
community has showered Dr Chapman
and his family with "overwhelming"
kind messages. He hopes to return to
practising part-time but is taking each
day as it comes.
"Through all of this I am very lucky
I have tremendous family support and
to get it from outside is also nice,"
"For all of us, a time has to come
some time, and it is just nice that you
feel you are being appreciated."
on the rise
The ACT struggled through a dramatic
rise in whooping cough last year.
Figures reveal there were 487
whooping cough cases recorded in the
ACT last year, more than double the
233 cases recorded the previous year.
There have been 26 cases of the
disease, which is also known as
pertussis, recorded in Canberra so far
this year, according to data from the
federal Department of Health.
In the wake of concerns over
vaccine shortages in private markets in
other states, ACT Health has assured
the public there is no shortage of the
whooping cough vaccine in either the
national immunisation program or the
ACT-funded vaccination program for
pregnant women in Canberra.
More than 3500 free whopping
cough vaccinations have been
provided to pregnant women in
Canberra since the ACT began
offering the program in April last year.
Outbreaks of the disease happen
every three to four years. ACT chief
health officer Dr Paul Kelly says the
current rise was consistent with
expected disease trends and what
was being seen in other states and
territories, including NSW. Health
department figures for the past decade
show the ACT recorded its highest
level of whooping cough cases in
2011, with 829 notifications.
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