Newsletter July 2020

HCA Newsletter July 2020

 Upgrade of Hackett Shops

On 22 July, the ACT Government announced a range of measures to spruce up Canberra, including “refresh works” at the Hackett shops.  At the time of sending out this newsletter, the only details about the Hackett shops on the Fast Track program webpage was under the category of “Public realm upgrades” which states, “The shops in North Lyneham and Hackett will receive minor refresh works such as small-scale pathway and kerb ramp improvements for accessibility and safety.”  The HCA is unsure what will be involved with this work, but there is a metal plate on the kerb ramp on the northside of IGA – perhaps this will be removed?

In June last year, the HCA sent Chief Minister Andrew Barr, a plan listing a suite of actions for upgrading the shops.  Many of these were completed in 2019, but there are still more to be done, including provision of a new table, upgrading the seats in the concourse, a new Hackett sign near the bus stop, and provision of bike racks near Rusty Mals. We are hoping that these items will be provided under this refresh.

Traffic issues  

As outlined in the June newsletter, residents raised concerns with us about cars speeding along Madigan St.  We subsequently received comments from other residents about cars speeding on Maitland and Mackenzie Streets, and along Phillip Avenue.  Residents also mentioned the dead bushes in the median strip on Madigan St, on the western side of the pedestrian crossing near the shops.  These reduce the visibility for drivers and pedestrians and would be best if they are removed.

Cars going along Phillip Avenue have often encountered kangaroos coming from Mt Ainslie and heading to the oval at night. In January this year, the HCA submitted a request to Fix My Street to have a sign placed near the bus stop at the intersection of Phillip Ave and Madigan St, and on Kellaway St for vehicles coming from Mackenzie St.  We were advised that the “Roads ACT Business Unit would investigate this issue and take the necessary action.”  The signs have yet to be provided.

The HCA has sent a letter to Minister Chris Steel, Minister for Roads and Active Travel, asking that he take appropriate actions to address these concerns.

Slower Streets

If you have recently travelled through Ainslie and Watson you may have noticed posters with the words “Slow Down”.  The Slower Streets is an ACT Government initiative that “has been developed to assist people who are walking and cycling and may need to use some of the road for exercise. Slower Streets is an initiative developed in partnership with walking and cycling groups and delivered by residential organisations and networks to encourage people to slow down and look out for their neighbours. Slower Streets is being rolled out in Ainslie, Aranda, Braddon, Crace, Downer, Farrer, Garran, O’Connor, Watson, Weston and Yarralumla.”  Other suburbs can apply to join.  The HCA is applying to have Hackett included in this program.

Proposal to extend Morriset St, Mitchell

The HCA has been advised that the ACT Government is currently organising the design of the extension of Morisset Road, Mitchell, through to the Federal Highway (to intersect at the Antill Street roundabout). The primary purpose of the extension is to provide direct heavy vehicle access from the Federal Highway, to Mitchell and then onto the Barton Highway, via Gungahlin Drive. There isn’t funding for construction at this stage, only design. The initial view of the HCA is that it is possible that cars travelling from Gungahlin along Flemington Road, may use this road to travel to east Canberra, via Antill St and Phillip Avenue (or via Madigan St) to Majura Avenue.

Bicycle paths

The Watson Community Association and the HCA have sent a joint letter to Minister Steel in relation to improving cycle and pedestrian access along Antill St, from North Watson, to where it enters Hackett and Watson. There is a concrete path that runs from Aspinall St to Negus Crescent, near Prime TV studio. From this intersection there is a poorly defined dirt path that passes the Justice Robert Hope Park and continues to the edge of old Watson. Pedestrians also use these pathways. Both Associations believe that having a concrete or bitumen pathway would greatly improve safety for cyclists, by providing an alternate route away from the road. A pathway would also be more inviting for pedestrians.

In April this year, a Hackett resident contacted the North Canberra Community Council and the HCA, proposing improvements to the dirt track that runs on the Ainslie side of Phillip Avenue through the nature strip.  It starts at Majura Avenue and goes to the Mt Ainslie Reserve. The track appears to follow the route of an underground Telstra telecommunications line, therefore it is unlikely they would want to have it covered by bitumen. However, a simple grading and signposting may be sufficient to make it more prominent and inviting for users. The HCA has also raised this suggestion with Minister Steel.

Bus shelters repainted

The HCA notes that two bus shelters on Madigan St (near Haddon St and Blue Gum School) have had their orange seats and window frames repainted – they look great.  We look forward to shelters at the shops, Madigan St near Mackenzie St, and Phillip Avenue also having a spruce up.

Tables for two Hackett parks

The ACT Government conducts an annual budget consultation process where it invites Canberrans, community groups and local organisations to “have a say on how and where the Government should invest to boost services and infrastructure…”.  In November 2019, the HCA provided a submission requesting the provision of a table in each of the five parks in Hackett.  It is pleasing to see that Gilruth Park and Bragg Street park both had tables installed in July.  The tables are made from recycled plastic and designed to allow wheelchair access.  The HCA will continue lobbying for tables to be provided in the other parks.

New table in Gilruth Park with seats recently painted by the Gilruth supporters group.

Table in Bragg St park.


Gilruth Park

The Gilruth Park Supporters, through their Adopt a Park grant, have also planted new trees and shrubs, and installed some very impressive sandstone rocks which will provide additional seating. For more information, visit their Hackett Facebook page


Dog droppings left in bags near entrances to reserves

While dogs can be taken on leads into the Mt Majura and Mt Ainslie Reserves, some owners collect the dog’s droppings in a plastic bag and then drop it near the entrances, hang them on fences, or simply dump the bag in the reserves. Some of the worse spots are where there are carparks – Kellaway St, Mackenzie St and the end of Antill St.  People also leave other rubbish in these areas. The HCA has asked the government to do more rubbish collections in these locations and consider providing bins, at least on a 12 month trial basis, to see if this will reduce the rubbish.

Sign at entrance to Mt Ainslie, on Duffy St, Ainslie

 Equipment for use by community groups

The HCA has the following items for its use and for lending to other Hackett community groups:

  • gazebo 3mx3m
  • two power leads each 20m long
  • wheelable esky
  • electric 8 litre urn
  • 70 metres of garden hoses
  • collapsible table
  • A-frame poster board and a blackboard

If your community group would like to borrow any of these, please send an email to

Floriade: Reimagined in Hackett

At the shops, the poppies, pansies and daisies are growing rapidly, with some flowering.  The tulip bulbs are slowing appearing in the main garden areas but it will be September before they are in bloom. The plants in Gilruth Park and Blue Gum Community School are also growing well.

Know your suburb

In the June newsletter we asked three questions to test your knowledge about the suburb.  The answers are now provided:

  1. The streets of Hackett are named after:
    1. bushrangers, mining magnates, crooks and members of some political parties.
    2. famous Australian artists and writers.
    3. prominent Australian scientists.
  2. Of the 44 streets and places in Hackett, how many are named after women? One – Kenny Place
  3. How many of the streets are also named after winners of the Victorian Cross? Three – French St, Kenny Place and Newton St.

Hackett book

The HCA book “Hackett – 50 years plus: Story of a North Canberra suburb,” is still available. Pick up your copy from Hackett IGA for only $20 – ask at the checkout for a copy.

Meet our Committee

Chair Chris Mobbs
Secretary Bruce Smith
Deputy Secretary Kay Murphy
Treasurer Terry de Luca
Public Officer Chris Mobbs
Member Greg Hughes
Member Brook Clinton
Member Scott Obara
Member John Carty

Meetings of the HCA Committee

The Committee normally meets on the second Tuesday of the month (except July, December and January) at 7.30pm in the room behind the main hall at Blue Gum Community School. However, due to Covid-19 restrictions, these face to face meetings are not being held – we are Zooming instead. The Committee is holding its next meeting on Tuesday 11 August 2020, most likely by Zoom. If you would like to raise any issues please send an email to

Correction to date of the AGM

In the June HCA newsletter, and the Hackett Neighbourhood Watch July newsletter, we said that the AGM would be on Tuesday 9 October 2020.  The correct date is Tuesday 6 October 2020, and subject to Covid-19 restrictions, starting at 7.30pm in the meeting room, Maitland House.

Chris Mobbs


Hackett Community Association

26 July 2020



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