Monthly Archives: September 2018

IGPA Canberra Conversation on Planning

A video of this talk held on 10 September in the Albert Hall is now available at:

Dynamic bushfire behaviour

Those who live on the western edge of Belconnen (which includes Hawker, Weetangera, Cook and Aranda) will be interested in this public talk to be held on Thursday 27 September 2018 at 7 pm at the Flynn Community Hub Hall, 21 Bingle Street, Flynn (parking is accessed off Hedland Circuit)The speaker will be Dr Jason Sharples, Associate Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of New South Wales, who works on various aspects of extreme and dynamic bushfire propagation, the development of large conflagrations and bushfire risk management. He is also a volunteer firefighter.

Long-time residents will well remember Saturday 18 January 2003, when four lives were lost, 490 people were injured and 500 houses were destroyed by bushfire in the Canberra suburbs of Duffy and Chapman.  The bushfires started in the Brindabella Range in the west and were driven towards Canberra by the prevailing north-westerly winds.  At the time, a number of unusual fires were observed in which bushfire spread sideways across the wind direction and was accompanied by rapid and intense downwind fire spread caused by embers. Since these fires, much research has been conducted to understand why some fires turn into firestorms with vastly different behaviour from ordinary bushfires.  Firestorm events consistently cause the greatest wildfire damage and pose an increasing challenge worldwide.

Assoc. Prof. Sharples will outline the current knowledge of how, where and why such extreme fires occur.  This is a public talk organised by the Ginninderra Falls Association.

Shared water

Signs on the backtrack and near the water reservoirs indicate that a new pipeline is being installed to service the new suburb of Whitlam.  This is planned as the first development in Molonglo Stage 3 and is one of the reasons for the current interminable road works on William Hovell Drive.  Whitlam will cover the area south of William Hovell Drive down to the Molonglo, and between Coppins Crossing Road and Kama Nature Reserve on the west.

FoHV has been advised that:  Most of the water system built in the 1970s and 80s was designed to meet the enormous peak irrigation demand experienced at that time (up to 520ML in a day), before the current water charging regime, when there was no cost or other restriction to using heaps of water.  In recent years the maximum day demand has struggled to make 300ML, even with the growth in population over that time.  The net result of all this is that the pipelines from Stromlo to reservoirs like Weetangera, and the tanks themselves, are now way oversized for the projected future demand on them.  Hence the spare capacity to serve Molonglo 3.

It is also important to note that, in the very unlikely event Icon Water decide sometime in the future that more storage is required at the Weetangera reservoir site to serve Molonglo 3, a site has been set aside for an extra tank on that site.