Living Items

Yin Yoga – North Belco Uniting Church – Every Tue evening 7.30-8.30PM – Enjoy benefits of Yoga – Gentle stretching, fully qualified instructor, Judith, flexible commitments (no RSVPs), $5 per evening. These 1 hour classes are a great way to take time out & enjoy some gentle & invigorating floor exercises, set against some relaxing music or poetry. Arrive 10 minutes early if you can. No RSVP is needed & there is no commitment to long-term attendance. An enjoyable way to give yourself some breathing space in your busy week & develop your core strengths via safe, stressfree exercises for all levels of fitness. Bring a yoga or exercise mat, cushion & light blanket with you

The Green Bin Program (Information from COTA SCOOP Summer 2017 edition)

The Green Bin Program is an initiative of the ACT Government to encourage and help residents dispose of their green waste. A one-off fee of $50 is payable at registration unless you hold these concession cards:

  • ACT Seniors/MyWay Card holders aged over 70
  • ACTION Gold Card
  • Department of Veterans Affairs Pension or Gold Card
  • Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card

To sign up click here

If you are over 70 and hold an ACT Seniors card you use your 9 digit Transport Canberra/Seniors card no to sign up for free.

If you have a problem please contact JJ Richards direct on 6270 5070.

Bulky Waste Collection

Capital Rubbish Removals run the Free Bulky Waste service on behalf of the ACT Government. It provides free pickup for ACT Seniors Card holders over 70 years of age and other eligible ACT Concession Card holders. There is a limit of one pickup per household of 2 cubic metres every 12 months. Please call 6249 7974 or email

List of Services and Businesses that offer Senior Card Holders Discounts

8th Dec 2017 – Aoife Berenger from Care Inc gave members an overview of Discounted energy from ACTEWAGL – Care Inc is a community organisation set up to ensure consumers are treated fairly & have support to overcome debt problems. Aoife (pronounced Eefa) Berenger, who is the, Community Development & Education Officer from Care Inc (i.e. Care Financial Counselling Service), told us about the eligibility requirements for ACTEWAGL’s Energy Support Voucher Scheme, which provides households on low to moderate incomes $100 credit towards their electricity or gas bill. Aoife said that everyone whose energy supplier is ACTEWAGL & who applies via Care Inc, can have their ACTEWAGL account credited $100 under this scheme. Click here for a copy of the application form. (There is also a word version) Note that the completed form has to be returned by snail mail or a scanned copy by email to Care Inc (addresses are at the top of the form). (Note from Ed. If you only have a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card holders you can still apply for the Energy Support Voucher. This is a one off payment of $100 to help compensate for the recent large electricity price increases.)

Aoife said that the increases in electricity and gas prices last July had caused financial hardship for many people on Centrelink payments. She said that, to reduce the shock of a large quarterly bill, Centrepay can deduct a specified amount from the regular fortnightly Centrelink payments & pay it to ACTEWAGL or, for that matter, other organisations such as the ACT government for rates. One of the key services provided by Care Inc is financial counselling. Aoife emphasised the importance of contacting ACTEWAGL & similar organisations as soon as you realise you cannot make a payment by the due date to make arrangements to pay off your bill.
ACTEWAGL has a system that stores all past bills electronically (“E-pay plus”) so that you can check on what you have paid in the past & so estimate what any upcoming bills may be. Its apparently easy to register and will help users to understand their usage and look for better plans. ACTEWAGL also has concessions for pensioners & Commonwealth health card holders. If you are eligible & not currently receiving such concessions, then they can be backdated for up to 2 years once an application is approved.
ACTEWAGL regularly offers discounts to match other providers such as Origin Energy. At present, ACTEWAGL is offering 12% price reductions for the next 12 months for anyone who takes out a new contract (the phone number is 13 14 93). Bundling concessions are also available so it is worthwhile calling or looking at the ACTEWAGL website to check out what is currently being offered.
Finally, Aoife said that the ACT Government, in conjunction with St Vincent de Paul, has a program (“actsmart”, click here for a copy of the brochure) which provides a free home energy audit for pensioners & low to moderate income households. An energy efficiency officer visits your home & provides advice on ways in which you can reduce energy bills, & provides a free heated throw rug as well.
Vicky from Care Inc also advises us to check Energy Made Easy the Australian Govt’s Australian Energy Regulator’s website that enables you to see providers in your postcode and compare offers. The ACT’s Act Smart website also offers guidance on how to be more energy efficient amongst many areas of improving environmental outcomes. (Information from our Newsletter #407 dated 15th Dec 2017 as well as follow up contacts)

13 Oct 2017 – DVA Support for Mental Health Problems – Bob Salmond advised at the Shed meeting that a recent vets newsletter, announced that “….. current and former members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) are now able to access treatment for any mental health condition through DVA’s Non-Liability Health Care (NLHC) treatment arrangements. There is no need to prove the condition is related to their service. NLHC does not depend on lodging a compensation claim and is open to all current and former members of the ADF who have rendered at least one day of permanent or continuous full-time service. A formal diagnosis is not required to seek treatment under NLHC.” Check with Bob for full details of the article.

30th Jun 2017 – Securing IDs – One member advised us to look at securing our IDs & bank accounts. People can also get a free credit check one a year and also check with ID Care to secure their own ID data. Tel 1300 432 273.  Information on credit reports from The Office of the Aust Info Commissioner 

2nd Jun 2017 – John Edge’s Talk on the Australian Electricity Network & its Survivability. Find his article on a page under June 2017

26th May 2017 – Gambling Support Items from talk by Aoife Berenger from Gambling Counselling & Support Service (AGCSS) Guess what! You have better odds at marrying a millionaire than winning at poker machines or Powerball

13 May 2016 – 10 Feb 2017Jon Beale, a UC grad ran exercise classes at the Shed. Some information & link to his 19 pages of exercises

Peters Jokes

Peter Mitchell telling jokes

3rd Jun 2016 – Understanding your Pension, Fiona Fleming. Find under page Jun 2016

4th Jan 2016 – Are you getting your postage stamp concession. From this date the cost of an ordinary stamp will be $1. It will now really pay to benefit from the Govt’s concession scheme. Those with a Govt Health Card (incl Pensioners) and those on a Seniors Health Card (not the standard Seniors Card) are eligible to receive the concession stamp rate of 60c for regular letters &  Christmas cards within Australia. To avail oneself of this you must register with AusPost for a MyPost Concession Account. This will allow you to receive 5 free stamps and the ability to purchase 50 per year at the concession rate Full details Also note from 4th Jan 2016 there will be two speeds of service, Regular Service which will take up to 2 extra business days to deliver a letter, and Priority Service which will deliver letters to the current timetable. The Concession stamps only apply for the Regular Service. If you wish to get the Priority delivery you will need to buy a Priority label next to the concession stamp. Priority Labels costs $0.50 from Post Offices as usual. Full Information here

Free Annual Pass to National Parks in NSW for Pensioners & Seniors Card holders are entitled to a discount of approx 20% on the full price of an annual pass for a vehicle in their name. An NPWS Exemption Card is available for individuals who hold a valid Pensioner Card or Veterans on an Extreme Disability Allowance, Int Rate & Special Rate pensions

1st Jan 2016 – Gold Senior/Pensioner Opal card for interstate seniors to Sydney Region. Details are online here From 1st Jan 2016 interstate seniors with a valid State based seniors card (incl ACT) can no longer purchase the daily Pensioner Excursion Ticket (PET). We can only apply for the Gold Senior/Pensioner Opal Card. From 31 Oct 2016 it became easier for ACT Pensioners/Seniors. We can apply online but must use our exact name and address as it registered with Transport Canberra (TC) ACT (Was ACTION) with our Seniors card & MyWay card. Details are here. To apply this can all be now done online here | When the card arrives you can register on line & add funds to it. Pensioners can apply in a similar way to Seniors & online. Its a good idea for members to go into an Access Canberra shopfront & replace their current MyWay/Seniors card with an updated TC/Seniors card. You then need to ring 131710 & get any MyWay balance transferred to the new card. You should wait for at least a week after getting the new card before applying for an Opal card to allow the new card numbers to be registered with Transport for NSW.

7th Aug 2015 – Brian Wells requested members consider donating out of date old pharmaceuticals to send to places like Vietnam

Emergency Preparedness from the Red Cross – With the advent of spring storms and summer bushfires it is timely to remind ourselves of the need to be prepared. Disasters and emergencies happen when we least expect them ….  It contains advice and checklists. It is an update from previous advice See all the Emergency Management & Red Cross advice here

Farmers Markets These operate at EPIC in Mitchell on Sat mornings 8-11AM. There is another Southside Farmers Market again at Woden CIT Campus, Phillip 8.00-11.30AM

The End of the World as we Know It. Forget man-made threats – the catalyst for the apocalypse will come from outer space, warns astronomer Chris Impey. An article by Impey was published in the Weekend Australian Magazine of 3-4 July 2010. Now you can read the article in the UK Independent. In this article he describes how the sun will, as part of its life cycle, expand and eventually burn up the earth in about 7.5 Billion years. Unfortunately in 500 Million years or so the heat from the sun will be so hot that life on earth will become impossible

Reconciliation Information from Melba Shed Newsletters March to May 2013 (note this is a 1.2MB pdf file) This date was collected by Drew McDonald from the Share Our Pride Reconcilation Australia website. Drew’s Indigenous timeline in excel format. A new toolkit released June 2013 Indigenous Governance Toolkit seems very well designed and may have some relevance for the rest of us as well

Commonwealth War Graves Newsletter – You can elect to subscribe and get your own sent to you

Official Publications about Anzac Centenary Celebrations You can download the report that has been mentioned in the press lately

Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours Mat McLachlan’s Tour Company organises small or group tours of various battlefields locations where Australians have fought including the Western Front, Gallipoli, Vietnam, etc. Invaluable information on how to visit such places as the western front in WW1

Planning & Belconnen Community Council Information


Sep 2016 – New Belconnen Town Centre Master Plan Approved

Belconnen Community Council | On Facebook

The new council seems more communicative with the residents and has put more effort in seeking better planning for Belconnen and especially the Town Centre. However the relentless trend of hi-rise high density apartment blocks rolls on with the LDA selling the large block behind the Labor Club with a pre-approval for up to nearly 800 apartments