The Suburban Land Agency will be undertaking works on Block 1, Section 228 Gungahlin, currently used as a car park and identified as Boon Lane car park on Google maps. The carpark will be closed on Monday 25 September 2023 to allow access for the works which are essential to allow redevelopment of the car park in 2024. The carpark is located between Ernest Cavanagh Street, Anthony Rolfe Avenue and Gozzard Street and is shown in red on the map below
Alternative parking options are available in the Gungahlin town centre. Information about the location of car parks is available on the Access Canberra website by searching ‘pay parking maps’ at www.accesscanberra.act.gov.au.
Please contact us by email on email@example.com or by phone on 6205 0600 if you have any questions about the upcoming works. We would be happy to answer your queries. Yours sincerely, Ms Mayumi Piper Senior Director, Community Development and Engagement 12 September 2023
“The strongest opposition to the proposal stemmed from the assertion that it was too tall for the location and represented over development of the site. In response, two storeys have been removed from the middle layers of the building. This retains the ground floor commercial uses and the two storey roof top terraces, but removes two floors of apartments. The number of dwellings proposed is reduced by 49, from 219 to 170. Changes to the basement are not proposed, resulting in a generous supply of parking for the remaining units. Other minor changes have also been made to address […] comments [from ACT government directorates].”
The ACT Government conducted a Feasibility Study for Active Travel infrastructure within the Gungahlin Town Centre in 2022. The final report has recently been released and identifies 12 individual community route links to improve active travel in the Gungahlin Town Centre. As detailed here – Active travel in the Gungahlin Town Centre – funding has been included in the 2023-24 budget to progress high priority segments through to detailed design.
The GCC partnered with Canberra cycling advocacy group Pedal Power to participate in the feasibility study, and provided the following joint feedback on a draft of the report. We would welcome any comments on the feasibility study or the comments below – email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Note that references below are to section numbers in the final report.
Pedal Power ACT (PP) and the Gungahlin Community Council (GCC) have expressed concerns about the amenity of the active travel infrastructure of the Gungahlin Town Centre (GTC) on behalf of Gungahlin residents for many years, and consequently welcome the investment that has been made in this study.
PP and GCC welcome the holistic, ‘all of GTC’ approach and a focus on active travel connections both from areas surrounding GTC, and within GTC.
High Level Comments
The new proposed community route network proposed by the feasibility study looks very promising and when implemented will be a vast improvement on the existing arrangements. Specific changes of note are the moving of the main route away from Flemington Road and the use of the verge along the reserve to the south of the town centre
The feasibility study has not sufficiently addressed the significant challenges associated with access into the centre of the Town Centre and the public transports interchange at Gungahlin Place. This would seem to be a significant failing/deficiency.
The feasibility identifies several valid and significant “overarching issues” that PP and GCC agree should be actioned ‘prior to implementation of the recommended improvements’ (noting that they are likely beyond the scope of the study and possibly even the TCCS Directorate). These include the four points made in the Executive Summary:
Bus movements in Gungahlin Place represent the highest hazard to active travellers in this important area [ see also 11.3.1 ]
There are legacy issues that present hazards to active travellers from infrastructure inconsistent with planning and design standards[ see also section 11.3.2 ]
A broader study is needed that considers the speed environment on major collectors adjacent to the Town Centre such as Anthony Rolfe Avenue and The Valley Avenue to reflect their purpose and proximity to the Town Centre
A mechanism is needed to protect the amenity of the verges and planned green corridors in the Town Centre area from degradation from proposed future development such as that to the east of the Town Centre [see also 11.4.1]
And the two additional points raised in the Conclusion:
Blackspot funding [see also 11.4.2]
Connections to future facilities and developments [see also 11.4.3]
The activities of multiple directorates needs to be greatly improvement and coorinated to ensure better outcomes in specific locations/precincts
Active Travel ACT needs to be consulted about temporary seating on verges and on Development Applications as both can have significant effects on the active travel experience
Prioritise work on links that are less constrained by issues identified above
We would like to see something more specific regarding the needs of residents living within the town centre, including in existing high rise towers in the nortwest precinct
In denser-usage areas (in and around bus/light rail interchange), the separation between travel modes (particularly e-cycling and personal mobility devices need to be very explicit, i.e. dedicated lanes, barriers, fences, planting. Challenging, but maybe that challenge needs to be addressed, or at least considered.
We would like to see some serious effort applied to explore some radical ideas, eg:
Remove parking on one side of the Hibberson Street shared space to create a cycleway
Constructing a large European-style parking station for bikes, scooters etc in Gungahlin place or in one of the underground carparks close by (could even include end-of-trip facilities like showers and toilettes
Moving the bus interchange
Businesses and shopping centre operators within the town centre (including those at Yerrabi and along Link 08), need to be included in the discussions
Some use-case analysis needs to be undertaken on movements of people to better understand what experiences need to be accommodated.
There needs to be a specific focus on improving the “destination” experience, eg.
possible EU-style large secure bike/PMD facility
better distribution of secure facilities
better access to and use of underground car parks (existing bike parking under shopping centres are very difficult to access
Section 2 – Background Information Review
[GCC] The outcome of the Town Centre Planning Refresh was Territory Variation 364. GCC is strongly of the view that this variation does not address the recommedations of the Refresh; rather it has diluted several aspects of the Gungahlin Town Centre Precinct Code (e.g. removing the road and active travel hierarchy). GCC remains of the view that the Gungahlin Town Centre Precinct Code does not address the issues identified in sections 11.3.2 and 11.4.1 and the Executive Summary.
Section 3 – Existing Infrastructure Snapshot
An excellent and detailed summary that captures a very large number of issues with the existing active travel infrastructure.
Section 4 – Constraints, Risks, Opportunities
Although somewhat overwhelming in that there seem to be many more constraints and risks than opportunities, we have no specific comment on the details.
Section 5 – Active Travel Network Design Review
We strongly support the proposed community route network.
Section 6 – Proposed Upgrades
The links are logical and well argued implementations of the proposed community route network.
We note that most of the links proposed are subject to, part of, or adjacent to, sites that are yet to be developed and, in several cases, for which the use is yet to be determined – further engagement with numerous agencies is required:
Link 01 – Current Development (The Establishment), upgrade Gundarroo Drive (TC). Has any thought been given to building a pedestrian and cycling overpass over Gundaroo Drive?
Link 02, 08 – Affected by the Yerrabi Pond redevelopment/refurbishment (TCCS/Friends of Yerrabi)
Link 03 – Sale/development of adjacent blocks (SLA/TC/EPSDD)
Link 04 – Sale/development of Block 1 Section 228 (currently an at-grade car park) and the sales/development of East Gungahlin (SLA/EPSDD)
Link 05 – Current development of Burgmann School car park
Link 06, 08 – Bus Interchange rework (TC)
Link 07 – Sale/development of adjacent blocks (SLA/TC/EPSDD)
Link 12 – Future Linear Park and East Gungahlin (SLA/EPSDD)
GCC and PP suggest that these may significantly affect the priority of the link projects, as will the consultations associated with these developments, most notably the SLA-led Gungahlin Town Centre East Place-Making.
It is important that planning controls are strengthened and enforced to deliver the proposed active network in the presence of these developments based on the issues identified in the feasibility study.
Section 7 – Safety in Design
Section 8 – Budget Estimates
Clearly, a significant amount of (essentially remedial) funding is needed to deliver a functional active travel network.
It seems likely that the cost of implementing the proposed links can be substantially reduced through strengthened and enforced planning controls applied to the developments noted above.
Section 9 – Prioritisation of Capital Works
The analysis is perhaps too simplistic, and needs to factor in issues identified in the study and those noted above re future development.
Comments below mostly focused on packages marked HIGH.
Link 01 – See notes above – may be more realistic to have multiple packages; considered important but not urgent.
Link 02 – High (recreational) value for community – need to engage TCCS/Friends of Yerrabi.
Link 03 – important but not urgent – most of its value will only be realised when link 06 is done.
Link 04 – packages 1-3 possibly need to be HIGH; perhaps include a temporary path for Hinder-Hamer part of package 4.
Link 06 – this link ‘unlocks’ the value of many of the other links because it’s the ‘destination’; needs to be VERY HIGH priority to action (may be hard to deliver).
Link 08 – High (recreational) value for community – need to engage TCCS/Friends of Yerrabi
Section 11 – Conclusions and Recommendations
Some of the important conclusions need to be emphasised in the Executive Summary.
The Gungahlin Community Council (GCC) continues to advocate for the completion of the Gungahlin district with all the transport, commercial (office), community, entertainment, education, health, sporting and recreation infrastructure and services residents expect in a Canberra district.
Delivering against these expectations addresses all the ACT Wellbeing indicators.
Gungahlin Police Station and Policing
Gungahlin is Canberra’s second largest district and poses many challenges to ACT Policing. Because of the many cultural, religious, demographic, and ethnic factors that are impacting the community and how it interacts, in addition to their normal law and order duties, police are required to act as ad-hoc counsellors, mental health responders, youth workers, and first aiders.
There are insufficient police resources in Gungahlin and the existing Gungahlin police station is completely inadequate. A recent ACT Assembly petition calling for an increase in police resources and urgent investment in a new Gungahlin Police Station attracted 660 signatures. The GCC has campaigned for nearly a decade on the inadequacy of policing resourcing and facilities and STRONGLY recommends that the ACT government address these policing concerns in the 2023-34 budget.
Community and Recreational Facilities
The 2022 Community and Recreational Facilities Assessment – Gungahlin District identified 28 categories of community and recreation facilities with only 12 (43%) categorised as meeting current and likely future demand (out to 2045). This is consistent with the GCC’s 2019 community survey and feedback from community stakeholder groups. It is an issue that is further exacerbated by the lack of suitably zoned land in Gungahlin.
The GCC therefore strongly supports the Assessment’s recommendation that “Further investigations and planning will be required to confirm the need and feasibility of any future facilities in the Gungahlin district”.
STRONGLY urges the ACT government to fund the commencement of construction work on the Gungahlin community centre,
Calls for the ACT government to progress their other Gungahlin commitments including a local walk-in health centre in North Gungahlin and the construction of a build-to rent affordable rental co-located with Common Ground Gungahlin
Asks that the ACT government fund additional planning work regarding community and recreational facilities including a bottom-up analysis of needs, an identification of priorities and allocation of space (land) to validate and expand upon the Assessment, and including detailed planning for a large-scale cultural meeting/event facility.
Employment in Gungahlin
Further action needs to be taken by the ACT government to facilitate the development of employment and community services in the Gungahlin Town Centre. Gungahlin is home to over 20% of Canberra residents yet supports just 6% of employment. This disparity impacts many of the ACT Wellbeing indicators. The GCC again asks the ACT government to renew efforts to work with the Commonwealth government:
to establish (or relocate) Commonwealth agencies, offices or facilities into the Gungahlin Town Centre or Gungahlin region, and/or
establish a flexible workplace hub in Gungahlin, as articulated in the “Gungahlin Town Centre – A Prospectus for APS Investment”
The ongoing East Gungahlin place-making engagement needs to be followed by detailed planning and investment to deliver much-needed entertainment and diversified retail services.
Road and Public Infrastructure in the Gungahlin Region
The GCC continues to receive strong feedback regarding congestion on Gungahlin’s arterial road network, traffic flow and parking issues within the Town Centre, and the inadequacy of the public transport services and ongoing concerns with the bus interchange. We appreciate the ongoing work on intersection feasibility studies and the mesoscopic traffic analysis, but these need to be completed and remedial work commenced to avoid further lag between issues arising and infrastructure being constructed.
The GCC asks that planning work be commenced to duplicate:
All of Horse Park Drive
Gungahlin Drive North of Gundaroo Drive
Gundaroo Drive North of Mirrabei Drive
Clarrie Hermes Drive
The Barton Highway-Gundaroo Drive intersection has the highest accident rate in the ACT, and will need to support increasing volumes of traffic with the duplication of the Barton Highway towards Yass, and the eventual development of the CSIRO site. The GCC asks that planning work be funded to replace the existing roundabout at this location with an overpass, and the duplication and further improvement of the Barton Highway.
The GCC asks the ACT government to work towards improving linkages between town centres and other employment centres, to address ongoing concerns expressed by TCCS on the operation of the bus interchange, and to publish and action the Gungahlin Town Centre Active Travel Feasibility study to better serve Gungahlin.
Coordination of Government Agencies
The recent experience of Community Councils, including Gungahlin, is a lack of coordination of government services and agencies in implementing investments. The ACT government agencies are sensibly whole-of-Canberra. However, the construction and development of assets are local. The governance structure has a gap in the lack of local (spatial) coordination. The GCC requests that the government experiment with local governance or oversight for a specific district. The selection of a paid governing board to oversee the project is by candidates nominating themselves, and the choice of members is by sortition. The governing board would have a secretariat from the government to coordinate information to and from government agencies.
Governments deciding what and how to invest requires accurate, up to date, accessible, local, relevant information. The Government’s Wellbeing measures are an example. What is lacking is how to use the measures to assist the development of District Strategies, particularly in new build areas such as Gungahlin.
The GCC recommends that Wellbeing data be collected and reported at District level.
The Education Directorate is continuing to closely monitor enrolments at Gungahlin College and taking steps to ensure we have adequate space for learning across the school.
In addition to a range of improvements put in place over the past few months, plus planned improvements to the playing fields, Gungahlin College will soon be receiving additional science and mathematics learning spaces as well as eight additional transportable classrooms.
Delivering eight additional classrooms
Planning is underway to install four relocatable learning units (RLUs) this term, providing eight additional teaching and learning spaces for the school. Enrolments are projected to grow moderately in 2024 and 2025. If these enrolment projections are realised, students will be able to be accommodated within the increased capacity of the school.
The RLUs will be installed in the area currently occupied by the College tennis courts.
While this does cause some inconvenience for community, we are pleased to note the ACT Government is delivering a new 10-courts tennis facility in Amaroo to open in 2024, in partnership with Tennis Australia and Tennis ACT.
When the RLUs are removed, the tennis courts will be reinstated for community use.
Work to deliver and install the additional classrooms at Gungahlin College is expected to commence during August.
The Suburban Land Agency have begun distributing a letter (reproduced below) regarding the sale of the block of land between Ernest Cavanagh Street, Anthony Rolfe Avenue and Gozzard Street currently used as a temporary car park.
In accordance with the ACT Government’s Indicative Land Release Program, the Suburban Land Agency are undertaking release of Block 1, Section 228 Gungahlin (the Site). The Site is located between Ernest Cavanagh Street, Anthony Rolfe Avenue and Gozzard Street and is currently used as a temporary car park and is shown in red on the map below.
The Site is zoned CZ1 – Core Zone under the Territory Plan and will be released through a two-stage tender process, with the advertising of the commencement of stage one in June 2023. It is not currently proposed to change the temporary use of the site as a car park until after the two-stage tender process is completed, in mid-2024.
In coming months, in preparation for stage two, the SLA will be building on the recent Gungahlin Town Centre East community engagement which led to a Place Ambition for the Town Centre and we will seek further input from the community. The Place Ambition is currently being finalised and will be available on yoursayconversations.act.gov.au/gungahlin-town-centre-east soon. If you would like to be kept informed as we progress stage two, please email SLAEngagement@act.gov.au with Block 1, Section 228 in the subject line.
Please reach out if you have any questions about our land sales in Gungahlin. We are happy to help and answer your queries by email on email@example.com or call 6205 0600.
Ms Mayumi Piper
Senior Director, Community Development and Engagement
The ACT Government recently invited all recognised ACT peak sporting and active recreation bodies, ACT district community councils and ACT Licensed Clubs to contribute to the establishment of a register of potential sport and recreation infrastructure projects in the ACT. Eligible organisations were given the opporuntity to submit up to fifteen (15) priority sport and active recreation infrastructure projects using an online survey.
The structure of the survey and the level of detail of being sought was not something the GCC could complete but provided the following general response:
The GCC’s high level advocacy goals are to improve planning and community engagment, and to ensure that Gungahlin is completed with all the services and facilities residents expect of a Canberra district. This is captured in our ACT Election 2020 Expectations, which specifically highlights a need to Address shortfall in sport, recreation and community services. This goal is very challenging given the lack of land remaining in Gungahlin, and the absence of a strategic approach for identiyfing what will fit where across *all* needs, not just those of a specific directorate. Many residents are also disillusioned by long delays in infrastructure being established in Gungahlin and the uncoordinated way in which it is built.
The GCC encourages all ACT Directorates, including the Sports and Recreation Directorate, to take a citizen-centric approach in developing facilities that would get away from being locked into specific projects and/or sport-specific projects, particuarly regarding very basic infratrcuture such as:
storage (why is that the ACT has container sheds scattered over its playing fields ?)
Too often a project is undertaken without taking a big picture approach (eg. why didn’t the new Gungahlin Tennis centre look at adding to parking at the Amaroo District Playing fields (which is in short supply), rather than building their own ?). There are opportunities for major and minor sports to partner on projects which would add value to parties at both ends of the scale.
Our position is informed by more than two decades of input from residents, stakeholder groups, surveys and (significantly) the ACT Government itself which has conducted several studies into community facilities over this time. Most recently the Community and Recreational Facilities Assessment—Gungahlin District identified 28 types of community facility with only 10 categorised as likely sufficient to meet demand through to 2045, as indicated below.
Community facilities in Gungahlin that are not meeting demand (red) – including primary schools, health and child care, community spaces, aged care, youth services, indoor multipurpose courts and outdoor courts – probably not meeting demand (yellow), and possibly meeting demand (green) – from Community and Recreational Facilities Assessment—Gungahlin District
It’s important to note that the GCC does not agree with some of the data related to sporting/recreation facilities, notably:
Skate Park/BMX Facility – see comments below under Yerrabi Jumps/Skate Park (should be RED); there is no BMX facility
Aquatic Facilities – the GCC is of commercial interest (Aquatots) in establishing additional learn to swin centres in Gungahlin (should be YELLOW)
Lawn Bowls and Croquet – there is no facility, and no plans for a facility (the assessment suggest the demand is nil; so why does it even appear ?)
The GCC has also been a member of the ACT Northern Region Sport and Recreation Reference Group (ANRS; now lapsed due to lack of funding). This group included some major sports (eg. hockey, cricket), several minor sports (volleyball, table tennis) and several community organisations. The GCC supported their submissions which focussed on the cross-sport issues in Gungahlin and the unique demographic characteristics of Gungahlin (ie. younger, more diverse, more families than any other Canberra district). Moreover, many Gungahlin residents are new to Canberra or new to Australia and are looking for ways to connect through sports and recreation activities that are perhaps not part of the current mainstream.
From the ANRS meetings it was obvious that most sports associations and sport/recreation providers are extremely interested in establishing themselves in Gungahlin. Many are significantly constrained by the availability, and in some cases the affordability of appropriate facilities, to host their competitions and provide training.
For sports and recreation activities that operate indoors, this problem is acute.
It is acknowledged that the halls and facilities of public schools in Gungahlin are available for hire, but they are heavily oversubscribed, particularly in the hours after school finishes during the week. Sports that are less established often find that “historical bookings” take precedence, making their establishment in the region more difficult. Many of the schools halls and spaces are not fit-for-purpose because they lack storage facilities, lack scale in terms of number of courts/spaces and are not suitable for some sports/activities (eg. ceiling height for badminton, ability to support wheelchairs). There is a lack of consistency about which schools offers spaces for hire, they are difficult to book and often costly.
Moreover, the shortage of community spaces across Gungahlin means there are very few options to pursue beyond the schools. A substantial investment is required in a large multisport indoor facility (or multiple indoor facilities) in Gungahlin to address this need.
Over the past decade, the GCC is aware of the following specific advocacy related to sporting facilities:
Learn to Swim (Aquatots) – existing pools are packed; looking to establish more pools (no identified suitable location)
Nichols Playing Fields (Gungahlin Eagles Rugby Union Club) – “Nicholls Enclosed Oval has been the hub of community activity in Gungahlin since the mid 90s. The precinct remains relatively untouched for more than 25-years and no longer adequately serves the requirements of the Gungahlin Community and needs to be upgraded to address
Inadequate number of change rooms to accommodate multiple male & female teams.
Females use bathrooms that are in dark, cold and unsecure facilities.
Inadequate Hot Water supply.Change rooms are not big enough to fit teams and their medical equipment.
There is insufficient storage for new training equipment tailored for new women’s programs.
There is no covered spectator seating.
The Community Centre is no longer fit for purpose.”
Tennis (Tennis ACT) – the GCC supported the Tennis ACT initiative to establish the Amaroo centre and were disappointed that the high cost to build on this site has impacted the quality of the facility (clubhouse size, number of courts)
Mountain Biking (Gungahlin MTB Network) – Apart from the Centennial Trail, there are no established Mountain Bike trails in Gungahlin; attempts to secure a potential site from interested advoactes met with little support from PCS and TCCS. Supported by CORC and Pedal Power.
Yerrabi Skate Park – like other skate parks in the ACT, this facility is now very dated and needs refurbishment
Disc Golf (ACT Disc Golf Club) – The ACT Disc Golf has explored the idea of establishing a disc golf course in Gungahlin, potentially in the space between Amaroo and Moncrief and possibly in partnership with some moutain bike trails in the same area
General Recreation (Walking, Running, Cycling) – Gungahlin lacks the fire trail network associated with most Canberra districts that support walking, running, off-road cycling, in part because many of the surrounding reserves/block restrict access. A more pragmatic approach is needed to address this.