Neighbourhood Watch

Hackett Newsletter
***Electronic Copies of the Newsletter*** &

October, 2009
Emergency Attendance Crimestoppers Enquiries 000 13 1444 1800 333 000 6256 7777

Hackett Community Association Meeting
Tuesday, 20 October 2009, 7.30 to 9.00pm ACT Sports House, 100 Maitland Street Come along, have your say, be part of your local community association and help to shape the future of Hackett.

North Canberra Community Council Meeting Meeting on Pedestrian and Cycle Infrastructure Review
Wednesday, 21 October 2009, 7.30 pm ACT Sports House, 100 Maitland Street Guest Speaker Russell Yell Senior Transport Engineer, Cardno
All welcome! This is your opportunity to directly input to the infrastructure schemes for cycling and walking improvements in North Canberra. See for details

Chair, Newsletter Coordinator Dorothy Mackenzie, 6248 9281 Newsletter editor Jochen Zeil: Treasurer Pat MacNamara, 6249 1669 Engraver Hillig Volker, 6257 0506

Deadline for next newsletter: Saturday October 24, 2009
Sponsorship and distribution of this Newsletter is authorized by NHWatch ACT Inc. Ass’n.

Friends of Mt Majura (FoMM)

Woody Weeds Working Party
Sunday, 18 October from 9.00am to noon
Meet at the nature park entrance between 85 and 87 Mackenzie Street opposite Hull Place and Russell Street. Friends of Mt Majura (FoMM) will hold a working party to remove woody weeds that grow at the lower slope of Mount Majura behind Mackenzie Street. All woody weeds growing in the nature reserve are escapes from gardens and urban public land. Come along, enjoy a cuppa and give as little or as much time as you want. Please bring sun protection, enclosed foot wear and body-covering clothing. Equipment and morning tea will be provided by us; information on weeds will be available. Enquiries: phone 6247 7515 or e-mail to

On 17 September ABC radio and TV news ran stories on the "rat-running" problem in Hackett. James Walker, Chair of the Hackett Community Association, was interviewed about the congestion through the suburb caused by commuter traffic particularly at the Phillip Ave/Majura Ave intersection. Tony Gill, the Director of Roads ACT, was also interviewed, and he noted that the problem was likely to get worse with the extension of Sandford St to the Federal Highway. He said that this reinforced the need to come up with solutions for the Phillip/Majura intersection. It was noted, however, that there is no possibility of Government funding until next financial year. The full ABC media clip can be seen on the North Canberra CommunityCouncil website ( - scroll down until you get to the story) If you are interested in issues related to traffic in Hackett, come to the Hackett Community Association meetings. Next meeting see above.

The present editor of the Hackett neighbourhood newsletter, Jochen Zeil, is due to retire at the end of 2009. We therefore need a new editor. Anyone with some computer skills, with a concern for the welfare of our Hackett community and a few hours a month to spare, please do consider getting involved. Please ring Jochen Zeil (6247 7515); Dorothy McKenzie (6248 9281) or Patrick McNamara (6249 1669) if you would like to discuss what is involved or if you consider becoming newsletter editor.

We would like to thank you for your contribution to the success of the Inner North Community Fair on Sunday, 20 September. The aims of the Fair were to raise awareness of the proposed wetland development at the Banksia Street site and to showcase a range of environmental products and initiatives available to the local community. Over 50 organisations participated on the day. Highlights included the smoking ceremony performed by Wiradjuri Echoes, daleks spreading ecological messages and a clothes swap organised by ACT otherwise. The support for the wetland was overwhelming. On the day sixty people signed up to become wetland carers. The Fair attracted media interest making the front cover of the City Chronicle. We look forward to further developing the Inner North Community Fair concept further for the proposed wetlands in Dickson and Lyneham. Thank you again for your participation. Barbara Chevalier (For the Inner north SEE-Change group); Edwina Richardson (Urban Waterways Coordinator, Dept of the Environment, Climate Change, Energy and Water); Bonnie Reynolds (Catchment Coordinator, Ginninderra Catchment Group) Contact:

Mountain Matters: Explaining Change in the Mount Majura Nature Reserve
For those of you who walk in Mount Majura Nature Reserve (MMNR), this information may be of interest. When next you walk past the Lower Hackett Reservoir, you will notice a new and unusual fenced area just behind the reservoir on the right hand side of the green Reserve notice board. This fenced area is another example of the Friends of Mount Majura (FoMM) at work on behalf of the Hackett community. Here is what it is all about. FoMM successfully applied for a grant from the ACT Government for the fencing costs of a small project, which while designed by the parkCare group, has the support of the Park Rangers. This project is designed to provide information and insight into how two factors affect the landscapes of Mount Majura that we enjoy so much. What is this information, and why is it needed? It is needed to answer two questions that often occur to anyone who regularly enjoys walking in MMNR, and who notices how the landscape changes. We all walk past the signs that declare one of the objectives of MMNR is to “protect the grassy woodlands” within its boundaries. That is, it is not just the woodland trees are to be protected, but also the ground layer of grasses and wildflowers. In contrast to the tree layer, which changes little over periods of years, the ground layer can change a lot within months. Our memories of the details of such change, when, what and how much, is far from perfect. But, repeated photographs can capture any change, refresh our memories and often generate some surprise. For example, in this the area behind the reservoir, 2005 photographs show an abundance of native grasses where there are none now in 2009. The question is: why the big change in the grassy layer, and is this change permanent? One can quickly think of two plausible reasons for this change. The first is seasonal (year-to-year) variation in rainfall. Most grasses respond best to summer rain, while forbs, and some grasses, respond best to winter rain. Because the rainfall during the last few years has been very low, that is why there are so few grasses and forbs now. The other possible reason is grazing pressure. While MMNR is protected from grazing by sheep and cattle, there has been no management of grazing by kangaroos and rabbits. In the last few years, populations of both these grazers have increased, and because rainfall has been low, their grazing impacts on the ground layer are greater than before. Either of these reasons is persuasive. Most likely they act together, but which is more important? If we don't know which, then how can MMNR be effectively managed? The matter can't be decided because we have only opinions but no data: while the rainfall was recorded, there are no measurements of kangaroo and rabbit populations. Opinions, even if based on experience, are no substitute for facts. Returning to the FoMM project. It cannot contribute understanding of the past four years but over the next few years, it will provide an answer to the question: what is the most important influence on the grassy layer within MMNR seasonal rainfall variation or grazing by kangaroos and rabbits? The areas being fenced will do this by working as a sieve. Two plots of land will be fenced: one to exclude both kangaroos and rabbits, the other just kangaroos. Nearby is another plot that is unfenced. All three plots will receive the same rainfall but different grazing regimes. Thus, by erecting these two small fenced areas and photographically recording the change within them, FoMM volunteers will demonstrate the relative influence of rainfall variability, and kangaroos and rabbits on the diversity and abundance of the ground layer. The changes will also be obvious to the interested walker because you will be free to walk around each plot and closely examine them. The fencing will be temporary: established and recorded for 5 years, then removed and the subsequent change monitored for a further 3 years. Furthermore, any interested public in MMNR will be provided with an informative and dynamic demonstration of how and why the vegetated landscape changes. FoMM members hold that the increased understanding that can develop from this simple demonstration project will enhance public appreciation of the value of Mount Majura Nature Reserve, and of all other ACT Parks and Reserves. We hope you will keep an eye on the project. If you wish to be involved, please contact the FoMM coordinator Waltraud Pix at or Phone 62477515.

Did You Know?
At the last NCCC meeting, Caroline Le Couteur gave backround information on the ACT Green’s Hot Water Bill. The diagrams below are from her presentation.

Greenhouse gas emissions from home energy use (Baseline Energy Estimates 2008)
Cooking 5% Standby 5% Water heating 23% Lighting 11%

Excerpts from Chief Minister Jon Stanhope's Speech to the Neighbourhood Watch 25th Anniversary Dinner on 23 September 2009
“Neighbourhood Watch is grounded in something that goes to the core of who we are as a social species; the desire for safe homes, safe streets, caring neighbourhoods, good neighbours.” So said Jon Stanhope, Chief Minister, in his keynote speech at the dinner held to celebrate twenty-five years of Neighbourhood Watch operations in the ACT. Mr Stanhope also credited the success of Neighbourhood Watch to its partnership with ACT Police, which he described as the best in Australia. “Over the past two and a half decades there have been hundreds of domestic and commercial break-ins foiled, thanks to the men and women of Neighbourhood Watch. And probably no-one can accurately calculate how many would-be thieves have been deterred from trying their luck by the presence of the Neighbourhood Watch logo staring down from a street sign or from the side of a rubbish bin. In addition, through its newsletters Neighbourhood Watch provides householders across the city with useful information about things they can do at home and in their yards to reduce their own personal risk of becoming a victim of crime.” Mr Stanhope said it was always heartening Government to see the statistics heading in the right direction, and that's what they're doing at present. “The latest Criminal Justice Statistical Profile shows substantial falls in most of the major categories of crime across the Territory including sexual crimes, burglary, break and enter, robbery, motor vehicle theft and weapons offences. Motor vehicle theft fell by 12.2% and weapons offences by 17.1% in the latest year of data.” “Just to give you a sense of the extent to which ACT Policing depends on the help of the public, since the Crime Stoppers 1800 number was established, almost 700 arrests have been made as a result of calls from members of the public, almost 2000 charges have been laid, $870,000 worth of property has been recovered and drugs with a street value of almost $16 million have been seized.” Mr Stanhope concluded his speech by congratulating everyone who has been involved in Neighbourhood Watch over the past two and a half decades, and thanking them on behalf of the Canberra community. He acknowledged the problems overcome to ensure the survival of NHW in difficult times past, and credited it with a renaissance in the present, with its expansion in new areas of Canberra and its rejuvenation in older suburbs. To support this revival, Mr Stanhope said the Government has committed $20, 000 a year to Neighbourhood Watch each of the next four years. Patrick MacNamara

Other Refrigeration appliances 12% Heating 24% & Cooling 20%

Average running costs for different hot water systems

Figures from ACT Government’s HEAT program

The Australian Federal Police celebrates 30 Years of Service to the Australian Community and you are cordially invited. The AFP will be proudly celebrating this important milestone with an Open Day featuring displays, demonstrations and information sessions that will share the AFP story. When: Sunday 18 October 2009, 10:00am to 4:00pm Where: The AFP International Training Complex, Majura road, ACT Parking available on site. See for details

Your local Plumber (Lic.No 662)

Watson Pharmacy
QCPP accredited
Pharmacy needs Post Office, Newsagency, Gifts Hire: Wheel chairs, walking frames Scripts: Free pick-up & delivery Seniors' Discount

NO CALL OUT FEE FOR HACKETT CUSTOMERS For all your plumbing, draining and gas-fitting needs

Blocked Drains Extensions Maintenance New Work Repairs

Open: 8.30 to 6.00 (Mon-Fri) 8.30 to 12.30 (Sat)
Pharmacy: 62411506 Post Office: 62411505 Fax: 6241 3787

98 Rivett Street HACKETT Phone: 6247 8464 Mobile: 0418 160 521

For all your painting and maintenance INTERIOR & EXTERIOR Obligation free quotes call Stratos Parascus on 0413086348 or 62577752 40 Rivett Street

Meg's Toy Box:
a volunteer-run community toy library, provides toys at a minimal hire fee for children up to 6 years of age. Hours: Wed 10am-noon, Sat 2pm-4pm. Located at the back of St Margaret's Uniting Church, corner Antill St and Phillip Ave, Hackett. Phone Helen 0416 568 024, or just drop in.

ADVICE, REPAIRS, DESIGN & HELP Broadband, Internet phones (VoIP) Office or Home Networks
37 Years experience. Business established 17 years.?

Ailean OnLine

P: 6101 8362 F: 6161 4758 E: OFFICE: 18 Bragg Street HACKETT

Northside Electrics Pty Ltd
? Ceiling Lights ? Exhaust Fans ? Garages ? Extensions

All work Guaranteed

80 Rivett St Hackett ACT 2602

Open Tues, Wed, Fri; 9 am—5pm

(02) 6249 1949 Nev Davis Licensed Contractor 0412 741 172
Chainwire Flagpoles Fully Insured Colorbond Rural Fencing Free Quotes

Garment Altering & Repairing Service
open seven days 20 Gilbert Street Hackett

324 Antill St Hackett ACT (since 1965) P (02) 6248 0303 M 0428 480 303 F (02) 6249 8228

Wanted: Zone Leaders Hackett Neighbourhood Watch needs people to volunteer as zone leaders and to fill temporary vacancies while zone leaders are sick or on holidays. The job is easy, and involves delivering newsletters to between 20 and 30 homes once a month. To volunteer, please contact Dorothy on 6248 9281 or Patrick on 6249 1669.