UPDATE: Gungahlin 50m Pool Closure


The is an update regarding the Gungahlin 50m Pool Closure. Further updates and Q&A at the GCC Public Meeting on 10 March.

The Minister for Sport and Recreation, Yvette Berry, extended an invitation to the GCC executive to undertake a tour of the Gungahlin Pool on Thursday 4 March, 2021. Four members of the executive were able to attend, and the tour was hosted by two senior executives from Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate and Major Projects Canberra. We were given access to the empty pool to see the damage, and the opportunity to ask questions. I can ssure you, if a 50m pool looks big, it seems much bigger when it’s empty and you are standing in it!

What we Learned

The construction contract was awarded through an open tender, the results of which are available from ACT Tenders. The contract was signed with ADCO Constructions included a six year post-completion “warranty”, which expired before any of the issues were identified.

The initial problem was identified in the north-western corner of the pool where about 50 tiles had fallen off in June 2020, during the period the pool was closed due to the COVID pandemic. Further investigation using divers revealed more tiles coming away from the bottom of the pool. There was no leaking of water.

Technical experts were engaged to determine the cause of the problem. The identity of the experts and the specific results of the consultation are part of legal proceedings and will not be made available. No clear fault was identified. Evidence of some of the testing done by the experts can be seen in the photos. Legal/commercial negotiations commenced with ADCO Constructions which led to the settlement announced in the media (a payment of $400,000 to the ACT Government). A focus of these negotiations was to conclude proceedings in a timely fashion.

The ACT Property Group is now working to undertake a complete and full repair of the pool using the latest tiling system as quickly as practicably possible. This will be a complete repair (the phrase “back to concrete” was used) rather than a patching process to ensure the remediation is successful. A tender will be issued for this work in coming weeks. The original contractor will not be considered. The amount of money in the budget for repairs is not being revealed as there will be a tender for a contractor to undertake the repairs. In response to questions about whether the Government were confident that the unspecified “latest tiling system” would fix the problem, even when the cause of the problem remains unknown, we were told this information would be made available further in the repair tender process.

The goal is to have the 50m pool back in service by the end of 2021, in time for the bulk of summer.

The GCC reiterated that the lack of (proactive) information about the problem and what was being done to address it had caused significant frustration for GCC residents. This was acknowledged by our hosts and they undertook to provide that feedback to their communications team.

The GCC notes that there was an item in the 4 March 2021 issue of the ACT Government’s OurCBR newsletter which references an update on the Sport and Recreation website.

For those interested in more details the pool was discussed extensively at an ACT Government estimates hearing (Monday 1 March 2021).


The GCC would like to thank Minister Berry for facilitating the tour, and to our hosts from the ACT Property Group who very patiently answered our many questions.


Gungahlin Town Centre Development Subject of ACT Assembly Motion

This motion is an important acknowledgement of the concerns that Gungahlin residents have been raising for many years, and the GCC thanks Suzanne Orr MLA for this initiative. The GCC is greatly encouraged by the fact that the motion was supported by both Greens and Liberal (opposition) Yerrabi MLA’s. It reflects the advocacy and accountability expectations we set out in Expectations of Candidate for the 2020 ACT Election.

From the ACT Assembly’s Matters of Public Importance 1-2021 summary:

Development of the Gungahlin Town Centre was the subject of a motion moved by Ms Orr MLA on 10 February 2021. The motion included calling on the Government to support the further development of the Gungahlin region and town centre and outlined how this might be achieved. During debate amendments were moved by the ACT Greens that included noting that all parties had committed to building a large community centre in the Gungahlin Town Centre during the 2020 election. The amendments also called on the Government to support the creation of an entertainment precinct to enable a night time economy. The ACT Greens amendments were agreed to following debate. A further amendment was moved by the Opposition to include calling on the Government to ensure additional employment opportunities in Gungahlin. This amendment was also agreed to.

We encourage residents to read the detail of the motion (below) or watch the debate in the assembly, and to continue to provide feedback and support to the GCC and your local MLAs around your concerns.

Development of the Gungahlin Town Centre Motion

Extracted from the Assembly’s MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS for Wednesday 10 February):

Ms Orr, pursuant to notice, moved—That this Assembly:

(1) notes that:

(a) the development of Gungahlin Town Centre is a matter of note to the residents of Gungahlin;

(b) unlike other more established town centres, Gungahlin is relatively young and has been developed from its earliest days with the ambition
of being a genuine mixed-use precinct; and

(c) there is great opportunity to guide the remaining development of the town centre to ensure more recent learnings from practice in the ACT
and other jurisdictions are applied to future developments; and

(d) all parties in the Assembly during the 2020 election campaign committed to build a large community centre in the Gungahlin Town Centre;

(2) calls on the ACT Government to support the further development of the Gungahlin region and town centre, ensuring that there are additional
employment opportunities in Gungahlin by:

(a) implementing best practice mixed-use development through the
planning framework, and allowing for:

(i) specific requirements to achieve a balanced diversity of uses within mixed-use developments including community uses;
(ii) specific requirements to achieve a higher level of commercial and business uses and subsequent activity within mixed-use
(iii) providing for requirements for commercial fitouts that enable the easy establishment of varied business and commercial activity
without the need for significant modification or retrofitting;
(iv) clear design principles that link development activity with achieving active precincts and vibrant street level activity; and
(v) traffic flow around the town centre;
(vi) the creation of an entertainment precinct so as to enable a night time economy without impacting residents;

(b) ensuring current sales of development sites incorporate the requirements to support best practice mixed-use developments;
(c) implementing best practice mixed-use developments processes and regulations that are used to inform Draft Variation 364 and the Territory Plan; and
(d) engage with the Gungahlin Town Centre community on mixed-use developments in their town centre.


Gungahlin Land Releases 2020-21

Gungahlin Land Releases 2020-21

The availability of land in the ACT is driven by the ACT’s Government Land Release Program. A four-year Indicative Land Release Program  accompany’s each Territory Budget which sets out the Government’s intended land releases of residential, mixed use, commercial, industrial, and community and non-urban land.

The most recent four-year indicative land release program was published on 4 June 2019 covering the period 2019-20 through to 2022-23. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ACT budget for 2020-21 (normally scheduled for early June) was postponed until after the ACT Election in October 2020. An August 2020 Economic and Fiscal Update was published on 24 August and this contains an updated Indicative Land Release Program for just 2020-21 (p. 149-153).

The table below shows the differences between the original four-year indicative plan (2019) and the August 2020 update for 2020-21. Some further details on are included for each suburb and the GCC thanks staff from the Surban Land Agency (SLA) and Environment Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (EPSDD) for providing much of this information.

Mixed Use AreaCommercialCommunity
As of
August 2020
As of
June 2019
As of
August 2020
As of
June 2019
As of
August 2020
As of
June 2019
As of
August 2020
As of
June 2019


The land expected to be released is two large blocks along Kingsland Parade – blocks 12, 13 of section 132 Casey. Although zoned as commercial, they are part of an arrangement associated with the development of the Casey group centre, outlined in a MyGungahlin article in 2018. Essentially these two blocks will be serviced by the developer of the Casey group centre and then handed back to the ACT government for community use. EPSDD are going through a process of consultation to determine what these community uses might be – an early insight on the “needs analysis”  part of this consultation was provided at the GCC’s February 2020 meeting. The 100 residential dwellings would be part of this development.


The large commercal site included in the land release program in 2019-20 (Block 1 Section 228 Gungahlin) is not expected to be brought to market in 2020-21. This site is zoned commercial, but with the option of community use and is currently being used as a car park.

The mixed use developments are unchanged from last year, and are made up of blocks 3, 5 and 6 of section 249 Gungahlin. Notably, Block 6 extends to the proposed linear park. Planning for the linear park will include a consultation commencing after the ACT Election to be undertaken by the SLA. With the potential increase in the number of residential dwellings in the town centre, the GCC would like to see the scale of the linear park, and other green space in the town centre, expanded.


The release of 350 dwellings in Jacka won’t happen in 2020-21 – the Development Application for the next phase of Jacka was only submitted in July 2020. The GCC had some concerns with this DA including that it

  • Failed to address the significance of the Elm Grove heritage listing,
  • Proposes significant loss of Trees and Woodland, and
  • Poorly consulted with the community.

These article might also be of interest – Jacka development’s heritage impact on Elm Grove catastrophic, says report


No change for Moncrief with the focus on the likely sale of the blocks that will form the group centre located on Horse Park Drive (Blocks 1 and 2, Section 22). Eactly how these sites will be brought to market is yet to be determined (separately, together, etc.). It’s likely that a supermarket will be included, as well as at least 90 residential dwellings in the mixed use site (lighter blue).


Obviously a large number of residential dwellings are scheduled to come to market in Taylor, as well as the commercial site that will form the Taylor local centre. The community site is for the proposed Hindu temple.


The headline change for Throsby is the the new primary school for which the Development Application was lodged in July 2020. The school will cater for 450 kindergarten to year 6 students plus 123 preschool students, with space to grow with the population, and is expected to be opened in 2022.


The suburb of Kenny is the last suburb planned for Gungahlin. The ACT territory plans shows Kenny as it was originally planned to be prior to the Gungahlin Strategic Assessment (first picture below). As a result of the assessment, the decision to create an additonal environmental offset reserve, and the physical constraints of the remaining area, Kenny will be much smaller. Detailed planning for Kenny is currently underway, but the site for the Kenny high school has been confirmed, and it’s construction is proceeding ahead of the rest of suburb, and is expected to be completed in time for the 2023 school year.



Gold Creek Homestead Community Panel

[ Invitation From the ACT Government’s Suburban Land Agency ]

An Invitation | Expression of Interest
Community Panel for Ngunnawal’s Gold Creek Homestead Precinct

• Do you live near to the Gold Creek Homestead?
• Want to have a say in the future of the site?

*map is indicative only

Gold Creek Homestead is bounded by Monty Place and Gungahlin Drive. A diverse panel of approximately 20 participants is sought to represent local residents and organisations, in particular those in proximity to the site and with an interest in the Gold Creek Homestead to inform the non-financial site objectives and development principles in preparation for the sale of land in the first half of 2020.

Community Panel members will work collaboratively in a workshop setting with an independent engagement expert, Suburban Land Agency and specialist consultants.

What’s involved?

Community Panel members will need to be available for four workshops (likely Saturday mornings) between 19 October and 30 November 2019. Each workshop will be approximately 5 hours. In addition, there is expected to be pre-reading of materials.

Community Panel members will be renumerated a nominal fee for their time participating in the workshops.

To express your interest in being involved, please email suburbanland@act.gov.au with Gold Creek EOI Community Panel in the subject line or call 02 6205 0600 by COB 1 October 2019 (5.00pm) & tell us why you are interested in getting involved.

Original Invitation PDF Letter from Suburban Land Agency.

Gungahlin Town Centre undergoing transformation ahead of light rail

This is a media release from Meegan Fitzharris, MLA, 9 March 2018

From next week Hibberson Street in the Gungahlin Town Centre will be transformed into a more people-friendly shared zone, with work also beginning on an upgrade to Gungahlin Place Park to add more greenery and play spaces.

Work is already well underway on the construction of the Gungahlin Light Rail Terminus, the Gungahlin Bus Station, and associated traffic lights and pedestrian upgrades. In addition, work has begun on the Gungahlin Walk in Centre.

Minister for Transport and City Services Meegan Fitzharris said Hibberson Street will close for work to begin on Tuesday 13 March, and while there is a lot going on in the Gungahlin Town Centre, the end result will be worth it.

“When I was first elected as an MLA, one of the things I wanted to deliver was a more vibrant and people-friendly Hibberson Street, where more people wanted to shop, meet for a coffee or sit and relax.

“It’s really exciting this work is about to start, and we are turning the Gungahlin Town Centre into a more connected, lively place to shop, eat and play.

“While there will still be on-street parking, pedestrians will be the big winners from the Hibberson Street upgrade, with improved footpaths, a 20 km/h one-way shared zone, and more plants and trees transforming the street into a vibrant, people-friendly precinct.

“Work on the new Gungahlin Bus Station is well underway and will provide easy access between buses and light rail, safe pedestrian access, CCTV cameras and new trees.

“Gungahlin Place Park, between Hibberson Street and Efkarpidis Street, will help beautify the town centre and offer kids more places to play and parents more places to relax. The park will include extended grassed areas, new play equipment, a birds nest style swing for all-abilities, timber walking planks, rain garden and a dry creek bed for kids to explore.”

Work on the Gungahlin Bus Station will be complete at the end of April, with other work on Hibberson Street to finish in the third quarter of 2018. Light rail is on track to finish in late 2018, however businesses and shoppers will start to notice work finishing sooner in the Gungahlin Town Centre.

“I’d like to acknowledge there is a lot of work going on in Gungahlin at the moment, and I really do thank people and local businesses for their patience. In the long term this work will really revitalise the town centre and cater for our growing community.”

Road closures will be required in coming weeks to facilitate the completion of these projects and have been designed to minimise ongoing impacts to the community.

The following road closures will come into effect in the coming months:
• Gungahlin Place will be closed northbound between Efkarpidis Street and Ernest Cavanagh Street from 13 March to late-April 2018 for construction of the Gungahlin Bus Station
• Hibberson Street will be closed between Gozzard Street and Gungahlin Place from 13 March to the third quarter of 2018 for construction of the Hibberson Street shared zone.

Full pedestrian access will be maintained while these works are underway.

The ACT Government is working to finish these projects as quickly as possible. We thank everyone for their patience whilst this important work continues.

For more information on these projects and others in the area, visit www.tccs.act.gov.au or contact Access Canberra on 13 22 81.


Public Transport for New Gungahlin Suburbs

Public Transport for New Gungahlin Suburbs

Email from GCC to Yerrabi MLA’s 22 August, 2017

On behalf of the GCC Executive Committee, I am writing concerning the provision of public transport to newly established suburbs in the Gungahlin area.
When the question was put to Transport Canberra at the GCC public meeting on 14 June 2017 about the provision of bus services to new suburbs currently under construction (Moncrief, Taylor and Throsby), the response indicated that this issue would not be addressed until network changes surrounding Light Rail becoming operational. Whilst the GCC appreciates:

  • the current fleet is at capacity and that this issue will not be remediated until Light Rail becomes operational; and
  • the economic drivers to defer the provision of a bus until such a point as sufficient demand is demonstrated so as to reduce the economic subsidy for the route.

The GCC is of the view that this approach is unsatisfactory given it:

  • Fails to address the social inclusion and access needs of residents of these new suburbs, one of the objectives of the Transport for Canberra Policy 2012.
  • Suppresses demand for public transport below what would exist under a supply-driven model.
  • Encourages the purchase of cars when residents move into these unserviced areas, locking in private vehicle commuting behaviour for an extended period of time.

The GCC highlights Jacka Stage 1 as a case study of unsatisfactory public transport service in terms of coverage as well as elapsed time since residents moved in. Released in 2013, Jacka Stage 1 as at the 2016 census consists of 670 people in 249 dwellings. The geographic centre of Jacka stage 1 is approximately 1 km walking distance to the nearest bus stops (Katharine Avenue Amaroo shops for 59 and 259 routes, Mobourne and Mallet St stop for 55 and 255 routes).

A similar service level to suburbs currently under construction, is not in residents’, the GCC’s, or we believe the Government’s, interests.

The GCC would appreciate your consideration of the issue and response in due course. If you require any further detail please do not hesitate to contact me via the details below.