Point Cook Action Group Set To Launch New Logo At Meet And Greet

Members of the Point Cook Action Group are counting down the sleeps until the PCAG Meet and Greet to be held at Gypsy Road at the Point Cook Town Centre a week from today at 7pm on Friday 23 March 2012.

Not only is this the opportunity for members of the Point Cook Action Group to meet with other members of the community in a social setting to informally discuss local issues, but it will also be when the new PCAG logo, designed by one of our local residents and members (Liz Thompson of Caliba), is officially launched.

The PCAG Meet and Greet is open to anyone that wishes to come and is a great opportunity for members of the community to get together to build on the fantastic community spirit that Point Cook already possesses.

We want to celebrate one on the best things about Point Cook which is the community spirit here. We have had so many residents putting hands up to personally print and deliver flyers objecting the PCW PSP now we have even had a wonderful resident make up his own flyer to raise awareness for our meet and greet which he is printing and distributing.

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GAA Presentation To Point Cook Action Group

Click on the link below to see a copy of the presentation given to the Point Cook Action Group on 27 February 2012:

PSP 39.1 – Point Cook West – PCAG – 27 February 2012

Please be reminded that residents are encouraged to Support Councils Objection To The PCW PSP by putting your views in writing to Simon Cotterill, Structural Planning Manager, Growth Areas Authority, Level 29, 35 Collins Street, Melbourne 3000, email: Simon.Cotterill@gaa.vic.gov.au by 7 March 2012.

If you need assistance in where to get starting in writing your letter, please check out A Guide To Writing A Letter In Response To The Proposed Point Cook West Precinct Structure Plan, but please note the extension on the closing date (as above).

Are You Coming To The Point Cook Action Group Meet And Greet?

Point Cook Action Group (PCAG) is having a “Meet and Greet”night at Gypsy Road on the evening of Friday 23 March 2012.

This is your opportunity to meet members of the PCAG in a social setting to informally discuss local issues. This event is open to anyone that wishes to come and is a great opportunity for members of the community to get together to build on the fantastic community spirit that Point Cook already possesses.

There will be a free drink provided for everyone that chooses to join PCAG on the night.

PCAG is pleased to see that one of its own members, Nick Michaelides, has taken it upon himself to promote this event by telling his story as to why the work of PCAG is important to him as a resident of Point Cook. Nick has created a Flyer promoting this event and is placing it on the windscreens of cars parked at the over-crowded Laverton station.

Feel free to make copies of Nick’s story Flyer promoting this event and hand it out to any local residents you feel may be interested in attending this event and/or making Point Cook a better suburb.

Please RSVP to this event so we have a rough indication of numbers.

URGENT UPDATE: GAA Point Cook West Precinct Structure Plan Information Sessions

Last week we posted details of the Point Cook West Precinct Structure Plan Information Session that was scheduled for 31 January and then later cancelled due to too much interest.  The Growth Areas Authority (GAA) still came to PCCLC on 31 January out of respect for those that may not have heard of the late cancellation and provided information to those people.  Another session was also held on 1 February.

There are two remaining information sessions scheduled to be held at the Point Cook Community Learning Centre for residents to speak with representatives from the GAA regarding the Point Cook West Precinct Structure Plan (PCW PSP) as:

  • Tuesday 7 February 6.30 PM to 9.00 PM
  • Wednesday 8 February 7.30 PM to 9.00 PM

If there is a demand they may also arrange weekend meetings. You will need to make a booking for these sessions with the GAA directly via Simon.Cotterill@gaa.vic.gov.au or phone 9651 9635 to book an appointment. If you can’t make the sessions they are happy to discuss over the phone.

PCAG have developed a PCAG GAA PCW PSP Flyer to provide more details for residents.  PCAG is encouraging residents to download this flyer and share it with other local residents.  We are currently getting 500 of these flyers printed for letterbox drops and as posters. Those residents willing to assist with additional printing and/or participate in a letterbox drop to assist in distributing this information over the next week, should email info@pcag.org.au with their name and phone number and you will be contacted with further information on how to get involved.

Please also note that PCAG is encouraging all residents to write to the GAA directly to express any concerns you may have regarding this development.  For more information on how to do this, please check out this guide on how to write a letter in response to the proposed PCW PSP.

A Guide To Writing A Letter In Response To The Proposed Point Cook West Precinct Structure Plan

Image courtesy of Digitalart

So you have read the Proposed Point Cook West Precinct Structure Plan (PCW PSP), you have formulated your opinions on the plan and then you are left wondering “what can I do???”

When the going gets tough, the tough put fingers to keyboards and get writing!

In light of the recent release of the proposed PCW PSP by the Growth Areas Authority (GAA) many concerned Point Cook residents want to write to provide feedback how this development would negatively impact them in hope that their concerns are taken on board and that the plan is adjusted accordingly. This is a great idea and one that the PCAG encourages. However, this may seem a daunting task and may leave some residents wondering, “where do I start?”.  Well I hear your pleas and as someone that has just gone through this process myself and I am here to help by sharing the simple steps that I undertook when writing my letter.

Who should I write to?

Firstly, plan to send a letter by snail mail as Government Departments are obliged to answer all correspondence received in this way. If you like, you can send an electronic copy of your snail mail letter to the recipient’s email address just to be sure.

For your feedback to be taken into consideration, your comments must be made in writing referencing Point Cook West PSP and sent to:

Peter Seamer
Chief Executive Officer
Point Cook West Precinct Structure Plan
Growth Areas Authority
Level 29, 35 Collins Street
MELBOURNE VIC 3000

However, if you want to make sure that your concerns are heard by all the relevant authorities and have greater impact, you may also consider providing a carbon copy (cc) of your letter to any of these relevant authorities and offices:

  • The Minister for Planning – Hon Matthew Guy, Level 7, 1 Spring Street, Melbourne, 3000 matthew.guy@parliament.vic.gov.au
  • Shadow Minister for Planning – Brian Tee, 128 Ayr Street, Doncaster 3108 brian.tee@parliament.vic.gov.au
  • Member for Altona – Jill Hennessy MP, Suite 603, Level 1, 2 Main St, Point Cook 3030 jill.hennessy@parliament.vic.gov.au
  • Member for Western Metropolitan Region – Andrew Elsbury MP, Shop 1, 662 Old Calder Highway, Keilor, Vic 3036 andrew.elsbury@parliament.vic.gov.au
  • Member for Lalor – Julia Gillard PM PO Box 6022, House of Representatives, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 julia.gillard_e@aph.gov.au

Be sure to cc the Minister for Planning as a minimum, as he is whom the GAA report to.  Whoever you cc, just make sure that you state at the bottom of your completed letter who you have sent copies to so that the addressee is aware.

If you feel like tailoring specific letters to each of these parties rather than cc’ing them in on the GAA letter, then this is an excellent (but far more time consuming) approach.  Just make sure you write the GAA letter first to ensure your feedback is included in this consultation process. You can then modify your GAA letter as appropriate for each of the individuals you are writing to.  If you take this approach, be sure to advise them why you are writing to them directly.  That may include something like you are appealing for them to step in and review the community’s concerns for the inappropriate and unsustainable nature of the development.

How do I start?

Include a topic in bold at the top of your letter, such as “Concerns with the PCW PSP” or “Opposition to the PCW PSP” to identify the issue you are addressing in the content of your letter.

It is hard to think where to start so initially introduce yourself and how long you’ve been a resident of Point Cook. Then open with the reason you are writing is to outline concerns you have with the PCW PSP.

How do I explain my concerns?

Not surprising, most residents who have discussed this topic are raising similar issues. I am not going to tell you what to write, as ultimately what you write has to come from your own feelings and thoughts on the development.  What you have to do is to write an individual letter outlining how the development would impact you and your family’s quality of life in Point Cook.  Individual and personalised letters (and many of them) have far greater impact over a pro-forma letter simply copied over and over and signed by multiple people.

The buzz word at the moment is “sustainability” – Governments are trying to create sustainable living options in sustainable communities. Ask yourself, how “sustainable” do you think the GAA’s PCW PSP is? Does it improve our community? Would you be proud to show your children the end result?

To keep it manageable choose four topics and create topic headings.  Underneath write a paragraph or two on how this topic affects you or your family or how it will impact your quality of life and happiness in Point Cook. Be as detailed as you can about what your concerns are, make it personal and real. Use phrases like “This is unsustainable because….” or “This will be a problem for my community because….” or “this kind of development is out of keeping with the style and aesthetic of Point Cook”, etc.

The key areas of discussion have been (choose up to four of these – of course you could go crazy and keep writing – but give it a topic header each time):

  • Small block sizes and high density housing (conservative estimate of an additional 5,800 residences)
  • Lack of employment provision in area and reliance on Werribee Employment Precinct for local employment options despite this precinct not being confirmed for development
  • Increased traffic congestion where road infrastructure is already at capacity
  • Delay in construction of proposed freeway interchanges and key roads
  • Increased pressure on rail network and infrastructure (e.g railway carparks) that is already at capacity
  • Lack of recreational/leisure infrastructure and a reliance on current infrastructure that are already at capacity
  • Lack of educational provision (particularly 10-12 high schools, which Point Cook needs)
  • Development is out of character with Point Cook as a suburb
  • Damage to our property values and reputation as a sought after suburb
  • Development has no appreciation of the true “end result”

Don’t feel restricted by these topics, if there is something else that concerns you, then be sure to raise it and provide details. It is important that all concerns within the community are provided to the GAA for consideration as part of this consultation process.

How to I close?

End your letter by explaining that you have cc’d in the Minister for Planning, etc and that you are appealing for them to step in and review the community’s concerns for the inappropriate and unsustainable nature of the development. You may wish to conclude by including something like the fact that Point Cook is a vibrant community, now alive with community spirit and that we will not see our suburb destroyed just as it is about to get on its feet and make its mark as a model Western suburb. Thank all for taking the time to understand your concerns and state that you look forward to some good outcomes for all residents of Point Cook both current and future.

Sign your name and supply your name, address, email and contact phone number. Don’t forget to note underneath which other parties you have cc’d (sent a copy to).

When do I have to send by?

Re-read what you have written and correct any mistakes (you may wish to get someone else to read over it and give you some feedback).  Make sufficient copies to be able to send to the addressee, all of the cc recipients and to keep a copy for your own records.  Be sure you post your letter with sufficient time so that it arrives prior to the GAA deadline of 16 February 2012.  Be sure to send a copy via email to all of the recipients as well to be sure that it is received.  Feel free to email info@pcag.org.au a copy of your letter also so that we have a better understanding of the communities concerns.

Have you written your letters yet?  If so, do you have any other advice that you wish to share with Point Cook residents?  Please share this information in the comments below.

URGENT Your Attendance Required At Point Cook West Precinct Structure Plan Information Session – 5-7pm Tue 31 Jan

Image courtesy of Renjith Krishnan

UPDATE (3pm: 25 Jan): The GAA PCWP information session planned for Tuesday 31 January has been postponed.  No alternative date has been set as yet.  PCAG will be insisting that community consultation is still undertaken and advise of further details once known.  PCAG encourages you in the meantime to read the GAA documentation on the Wyndham C163 – Point Cook West Precinct Structure Plan – PSP39.1 and submit your feedback to the GAA by their deadline of Thursday 16 February, 2012.

The Growth Areas Authority (GAA) have placed their proposed development of “Point Cook West Precinct’ (PCWP) on the internet.  This refers to the parcel of land bordered by Hacketts Road, Sneydes Road and the Princess Freeway.  ”

After a review of these documents, the Point Cook Action Group (PCAG) believes that this plan will put significant pressure on the suburb and could lead to a decrease in the standard of living and devaluation of house prices for the suburb of Point Cook.

With no plans in place for a school, only two open space areas (incorporating 2 AFL ovals and 6-12 tennis courts), not to mention the high density housing planned for the land and limited employment options, the proposal not only doesn’t suit the character of Point Cook, it overlooks that many of our community facilities are at capacity already and it does not address the needs of Wyndham as a WHOLE. [Read more…]

Point Cook Action Group (PCAG) Established

The current population explosion in Point Cook is outpacing the provision of infrastructure and essential services.

Concerned Point Cook residents have formed Point Cook Action Group (PCAG), a group dedicated to act on behalf of Point Cook residents to work with Council and other service providers to take action and advance the suburb.

Issues on the agenda include a urban growth, community leisure infrastructure, transport, neighbourhood pride, education and responsible pet ownership.  We will also promote social activities to further enhance the great community that Point Cook is renowned for.

[Read more…]

Have You Got A Customer Service Reference Number From Council?

These days, often the first place people go when they have an issue with local council is straight to Facebook to let everyone else know about it.  Whilst this may assist you with the venting process, it will do very little to solve the problem and in some instances may even make things worse as other people get involved and accusations start to get thrown around.

Wyndham City offers the following channels for communication should you have any local matters that must be escalated to council:

  • Wyndham City Website – Click on the “Customer Service Request” red button on the front page of the Wyndham City Council website.  This will take you through to a “Request For Action/Feedback Online Form” where you can provide details of your issue.  Once you have completed the form, you will be issued with a customer service number.
  • Call Wyndham City – (03) 9742 0777.  Ask for a customer service number.
  • Visit Wyndham City – Civic Centre & Functions Centre, 45 Princes Highway, Werribee, Victoria (Mel Ref 206 B7) – Open 8.00am – 5.00pm (Monday to Friday).  Ask for a customer service number.
  • Write to Wyndham City – Wyndham City, PO Box 197, Werribee, Victoria 3030. Ask for a customer service number.
  • Email Wyndham City – mail@wyndham.vic.gov.au. Ask for a customer service number.

You should always ask for a customer service number when logging an issue with Council.  This will enable to progress of your issue to be tracked. [Read more…]

Capturing Point Cook’s Beauty And Beast

Image courtesy of Remember When Photography

PCAG is calling for Point Cook residents to get their cameras out and start snapping Point Cook at its best (and worst) for inclusion on the PCAG website and blog posts.  Point Cook has so much beauty in its natural landscapes, architecture, artwork and community and we would like to feature this.  Ideas include the Point Cook Coastal Park and Homestead, RAAF Museum, Pont Cook Town Centre, local cafes and restaurants, Point Cook Market, festivals, community groups, local parks, architecture, city views, wildlife, etc. [Read more…]