The elderly: out on their arse

Pandy 14 August 2009 9

Interesting article on the website for once.

In a TV news article I missed, Damain Hass who heads ACT Light Rail, now seems to have become the Belconnen Community Council spokesperson. In a bit of a stunt to highlight how the Sustainable Transport Plan will fail (not if they had decided on light rail it seems), the ACTlightrail/Council bought a few plastic chairs, wheeled out a few nannas to sit on them and pointed the finger at TAMS to state that the temporary bus stops, to replace the demolished interchange around Belconnen are a cold, cruel joke. Good points made as who wants to catch a bus if the facilities are made so unattractive?

So how long do you think the chairs will stay put until the bogans from Tuggers torch them?

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9 Responses to The elderly: out on their arse
housebound housebound 4:58 pm 16 Aug 09

Actually, the new arrangements get you through Belconnen so much quicker. But then, I never stop there for long enough to see the downside.

damien haas damien haas 2:32 pm 16 Aug 09

PM is correct, and as my correction to the inaccuracies in the original post point out, the BCC have been attempting to resolve this matter for some time now.

We will be following this up in the near future.

PM PM 9:36 am 16 Aug 09

bd84 said :

Standing on the soap box and denouncing the whole arrangements at this stage is ludicrous.

That might be fair enough in normal circumstances, except I’ve been at BCC meetings where these issues were raised before the changes and the concerns were fobbed off.

bd84 bd84 10:02 pm 15 Aug 09

The bogans from Tuggeranong may torch them, but by the time they caught an ACTION bus to get over to the darkside the chairs would have been stolen by the Belco bogans.

Anyway, given that the new arrangements have only been in place a month or two, I would think that it would take time to identify areas that need improvement. Standing on the soap box and denouncing the whole arrangements at this stage is ludicrous.

Pandy Pandy 8:18 pm 15 Aug 09

Damina Hass said:-

had nothing at all to do with the STP

But your ACTLightrail website, and I guess you posting says:-

What hope is there for a truly sustainable transport system if the Government and the bureaucracy are incapable of getting the basics right for even an interim measure!

Seems to me that there was a direct link from the BCC to ACTLightrail to the STP.

random random 8:44 pm 14 Aug 09

It’s unfortunate, but the old interchange was convenient for the places mentioned in the video (community centre, library, senior citizen’s club, tradies) — and nothing else. I can’t quite bring myself to mourn the reversal.

Personally, I feel quite a lot safer on Lathlain Street next to the police station than I ever did over in the interchange, and love the fact that it’s possible to pop over to the supermarket while waiting for a connection.

damien haas damien haas 7:05 pm 14 Aug 09

I would like to correct the inaccuracies in this posting.

I do head ACT Light Rail. I am also Vice President of Belconnen Community Council (BCC).

The action taken yesterday to provide seating for elderly commuters had nothing at all to do with the STP. It was in response to the closure and demolition of the Belconnen Interchange and the failure to provide adequate facilities to replace the interchange.

This has nothing to do with light rail.

Starting in June, commuters who were accessing the senior citizens centre, the library, the community centre and the health centre – all within 100 metres of the old interchange – began to contact the Belconen Community Council advising that they could no longer use those facilities due to access difficulties.

In order of seriousness:

No pedestrian crossing on Cameron Aveneue – hard to cross when you use a cane or walker (Being resolved, Im advised)
No seating at the Belconnen ‘local’ stops on Cameron Ave.
No shelter.
No lighting.

They had contacted ACTION who brushed them off to TAMS who advised them that the BCC had ‘endorsed’ or ‘approved’ the new arrangements. The BCC had done no such thing, indeed what was shown as a series of mini-interchanges has proven to be severely inadequate bus stops.

TAMS, Roads ACT and the Chief Minister had all been contacted regarding the problems experienced by the senior citizens, by the President of the BCC. The BCC were advised it was impossible to provide seating and shelter. Then after some intense lobbying the BCC were advised a ‘solution’ would be provided within 3 weeks.

This was 8 weeks ago. Many will no longer use the bus because of the issues raised above.

Now although you may be young and healthy and have access to a car take a moment to consider the elderly, with no transport except the bus, often living alone. The trips to the senior citizens centre are often their only social contact with friends.

It is a significant issue – how we treat our elderly reflects upon us as a society.

The BCC know of one 82 year old woman who was hit crossing Chandler St. Another while waiting in the dark ,was rained on, became ill and was unwell for the last few months.

Senior citizens will not use it at night as the lighting and shelter is not inadequate, it is non-existent.

The BCC cannot provide a shelter or lighting, but we can provide a short term solution. That is why I bought plastic chairs. I would like to see TAMS and Roads ACT, especially Mr Tony Gill, resolve this quickly. Plastic chairs are not a long term solution.

Of course it would have been more sensible to construct the new temporary facilities BEFORE demolishing the old interchange.

If anyone has issues of concern in the Belconnen area, that they feel the BCC can assist them with, please contact us through our website at:


Damien Haas

Vice President – Belconnen Community Council

Deckard Deckard 6:06 pm 14 Aug 09

I think there are enough bogans in Belco to take care of them.

Anna Key Anna Key 5:34 pm 14 Aug 09

This was on WIN last night. They even managed to tie in the scary teenager angle. Of course, teenagers never hung out at the interchange.

Wouldn’t the Belco bogans torch them first or haven’t they evolved enough to have discovered fire

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