Early designs released for road upgrades to support the future school in Kenny

[ Content provided by TCCS]

The ACT Government is delivering the road infrastructure to support a new high school to open in 2023. This school is to be located in the new suburb of Kenny.

Transport Canberra and City Services (TCCS) will deliver this road infrastructure including:

  • extension of the Albatross Crescent (west) intersection to the south by approximately 200 metres, including a roundabout at the southern end
  • signalisation of the Well Station Drive/Albatross Crescent (west) intersection
  • signalisation of the Well Station Drive/Kings Canyon Street intersection
  • a shared-use path along Well Station Drive from Flemington Road to the proposed school entrance
  • three bus bays along the Albatross Crescent (west) extension to service the school
  • reconstruction of existing bus stops along Well Station Drive near the Albatross Crescent (west) intersection
  • other necessary upgrades to infrastructure triggered by these works, which may include noise mitigation measures.

The TCCS project team is currently working through the designs for these works and as part of this process we are commencing targeted engagement with surrounding residents, the local community and stakeholders.

High-level designs have been prepared and are available on the City Services website.

If you have any questions or comments, you can get in touch by:

  • contacting the design project manager, Michael Merange, via email at: EGHSRoadInfrastructure@indesco.com.au
  • visiting the drop-in session on: Monday 17 May 2021, 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm at the Gungahlin Library, cnr Hibberson and Gozzard Streets, Gungahlin.

Sign The Petition to Suspend Land Sales in the Gungahlin Town Centre

In addition to writing to the Minister for Planning, the Minister for Housing and Urban Development and the CEO of the Suburban Land Agency  Calling for the Suspension of Land Sales in the Gungahlin Town Centre, the GCC has launched an ACT Assembly petition on 4 May 2021 sponsored by Yerrabi MLA Andrew Braddock.

If you:

  • have completely lost confidence in the ACT Government planning system to deliver the employment, retail, entertainment and community services you expect within the Gungahlin Town Centre,
  • believe the current approach is dysfunctional, and the Government does not have a plan for the Gungahlin Town Centre other than more mixed-use sites that are mostly apartments,
  • want more balanced development and job creation in the Gungahlin Town Centre

then PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION.

If you would prefer not to complete the petition online please email us (info@gcc.asn.au) and we will arrange to provide you a paper copy to sign.

GCC Public Meeting 12 May

The next public meeting of the Gungahlin Community Council (GCC) will be held on Wednesday 12 May 2021 at the Gungahlin Club, 51 Hinder St, Gungahlin at 6.30pm. The meeting will be live streamed on Facebook via the GCC Facebook page.

Agenda

  • GCC Update, Peter Elford, GCC
  • Gungahlin Road and Transport Update, Chris Steele, Minister for Transport, Roads and Active Travel
  • Delivery Drone Service Update, Aleshia Thornton, Department of Infrastructure, and Jess Suskin, Wing
  • Update on Canberra Racing Club Territory Plan Variation Proposal, Kip Tanner, PLANIT

Call to Suspend the Sale of Land within the Gungahlin Town Centre

UPDATED 6/5/2021 – Letter to Minister Berry

UPDATED 8/5/2021 – Petition, Meetings with SLA and Minister for Housing and Urban Development

The GCC has written to the Minister for Planning, Minister for Housing and Urban Development and the CEO of the Suburban Land Agency (SLA) calling for the sale of further land within the Gungahlin Town Centre to be suspended until:

On 23 March 2021, the GCC invited the Minister for Planning to attend our 14 April public meeting to address a number of planning concerns. The Minister was unable to attend and was represented by senior staff from EPSDD including the Chief Planner, Ben Ponton, Leslie Cameron and Bruce Fitzgerald. Unfortunately, the meeting did not provide the answers we were seeking, and in fact raised more concerns about whether the current planning system will deliver a viable town centre for Gungahlin.

We are therefore asking the Suburban Land Agency and the Minister for Planning to suspend the proposed auction of four mixed use sites scheduled for 12 May 2021, and the sale/auction of any other sites in the town centre, until the open issues noted above are resolved.

On 4 May 2021 the GCC launched an ACT Assembly petition  sponsored by Yerrabi MLA Andrew Braddock, to formalise the GCC’s call to action regarding the development of the town centre.

If you have lost confidence in the ACT Government planning system to deliver employment, retail, entertainment and community services for the Gungahlin Town Centre PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION.

Members of the GCC executive met with John Dietz, CEO SLA and other SLA executives on 5 May 2021 to share, on behalf of Gungahlin residents, our frustrations regarding the development of the Gungahlin Town Centre. Importantly, John indicated that our concerns had been heard. He and his team provided useful background and insights regarding the development of the town centre, and the role the SLA might play in improving the processes that are within their control that impact town centre development.

The GCC received a written response from John Dietz the next day (6 May 2021) in which he stated:

  • the SLA remains committed to the sale of these sites inaccordance with the ILRP [Indicative Land Use Release Program]
  • I offer the opportunity to work with the GCC on the place making of future land releases in the GTC [Gungahlin Town Centre]. This would include engagement on how the sale of these blocks are brought to the market, the provision of open space and interface with the linear park and future public realm.

A further meeting was help with the Minister for Urban Planning (Yvette Berry) and John Dietz on Friday 7 May 2021 where we were able to brief the minister directly on some of the history that has led to the GCC taking the action we have. Most of the issues raised relate to issues with the Minister for Planning’s portfolio and the Environment Palnning and Sustainable Development Directorate (EPSDD), but the GCC was keen to stress we are seeking a whole-of-government change of approach – as the current systems and processes were not meeting the expectations of Gungahlin residents. The Minister reaffirmed the government’s intention to proceed with the sales of the 4 blocks scheduled for 12 May 2021.

Moncrieff Rabbit Control Program – April 2021

[ Posted on behalf of the Suburban Land Agency ]

What are we [ the SLA ] doing?

A rabbit control program is taking place in Moncrieff, in the open space area nearby the Amaroo District Playing Fields and the natural creek line that divides the two areas (Block 3, Section 81). The closest residential streets are Fretwell Street and Malton View. A shared footpath provides pedestrian access through this area and along the edge of the suburb.

There are over 80 rabbit warrens in the area, generally located in the naturalised, hilly landscape along the shared footpath. In residential areas, rabbits are required to be controlled.

The control program is considered under the nationally-agreed Model Code of Practice for the Humane Control of Rabbits.

When is the control program taking place?

The control program will take place over several days, week commencing 12 April 2021 and will take approximately two weeks to undertake, weather permitting.

How is the control program carried out?

The rabbit control program will be direct fumigation by diffusion of aluminum phosphine tablets placed directly into the warrens and sealed immediately. The fumigation of warrens is considered one of the most target specific means of rabbit control available. The program is being carried out by professionals who are qualified for rabbit control.

What do you need to do?

Please avoid the area during the control program. If you are in the area, please keep your dog on a lead at all times and stay on designated footpaths. Keep clear of any rabbit warrens.

Questions?

For further information please contact Suburban Land Agency on 6205 4016 or visit the EPSDD Rabbit Control program.

GCC Public Meeting 14 April

GCC Public Meeting 14 April

The next public meeting of the Gungahlin Community Council (GCC) will be held on Wednesday 14 April 2021 at the Gungahlin Club, 51 Hinder St, Gungahlin at 6.30pm.

On 23 March the GCC wrote to the Minister for Planning, Mick Gentleman, inviting him to respond to three current issues:

  • Draft Variation 364
    The GCC asks that you ensure the recommendations of the Gungahlin Town Centre Planning Refresh are implemented as a matter of urgency, either by resolving the issues with DV364 or another mechanism.
  • The ACT Assembly Motion on Gungahlin Town Centre Development
    The GCC asks that you describe what the process and timeline will be for responding to the Development of the Gungahlin Town Centre Motion, with a specific focus on how it will engage with the community
  • Assessment of Community and Recreation Facilities in Gungahlin
    The GCC asks that you provide a clear statement of the objectives of the Assessment of Community and Recreation Facilities in Gungahlin, an overview of the activities EPSDD are undertaking to deliver the outcomes, how you are ensuring that you gather a complete set of requirements, and what processes/policies will be informed by this work.

The Minister himself is unable to attend the meeting and will be represented by the ACT Chief Planner and senior staff from the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (EPSDD).

Background information on these issues can be found at the following links:

Agenda

  • GCC Update, GCC President
  • Gungahlin Town Centre Planning and Development, Draft Variation 364 and ACT Assembly Motion, Ben Ponton, ACT Chief Planner and Director-General of the ACT’s Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (EPSDD), Lesley Cameron, Planning and Urban Policy, EPSDD
  • Assessment of Community and Recreation Facilities in Gungahlin, Bruce Fitzgerald, Development and Implementation, EPSDD

Pre-DA Consultation on Kenny High School

ACT Education are running a pre-DA consultation on the design of the new Kenny High School from 23 March – 7 April 2021. You can provide your feedback in several ways

  1. Attend the drop-in session on Thursday 25 March 2021 to view the plans, chat with representatives from ACT Education, Major Projects Canberra and the Head Contractor, ICON SI PTY Ltd.
    Location: Gungahlin Library – Corner of Hibberson & Gozzard Streets, Gungahlin (enter from Hibbertson Street)
    Thursday 25 March 2021, 5.30pm – 6.30pm.
    This will be a Covid-19 safe event, so please stay at home if you are feeling unwell.
  2. Register for the online session on Tuesday 30 March 2021, 6.00pm – 7.00pm by emailing act.education@act.gov.au with your name, email address and any questions you may have. When you register an email will be sent to you with an invitation to the online meeting.
  3. If you are unable to participate in the drop in or online sessions, you can email your comments or questions to act.education@act.gov.au
  4. Phone the Education Directorate on 6205 9137

Details can be found on their website by clicking on “Community Consultation – Pre Development Application (DA) for new school in Kenny”. This will provide the following extra links to lots more detail and pictures:

UPDATE: Gungahlin 50m Pool Closure

Background

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).

Thanks

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.

Photos

Gungahlin 50m Pool Closure

[ Update to this story posted 6 March 2021 ]

This update on the closure of the 50m pool at the Gungahlin Leisure Centre was received by the GCC from Minister for Sport and Recreation Yvette Berry on 18 February. She writes that she will “ensure a government representative attends your meeting of March 10 if I am unable to attend.“.

The brief is essentially the same information provided to the media who have been following and reporting on the issue (eg):

The GCC continues to press the minister for

From Yvette Berry, Minister for Sport and Recreation, 18 February 2021

I am very sorry that this information didn’t make it to you as soon as it could have.

I have now received information from Chief Minister Treasury and Economic Development Directorate and Major Projects Canberra on options for the government to arrange for the pool to be fixed and reopened to the community.

Experts engaged by the ACT Government, including structural engineers and consultants, conducted investigations in relation to the pool since June 2020 and have considered a range of issues in considering the future works required. 

I am now advised that the pool repairs will include removal of all the tiles leveling screeds and coatings, a further investigation of the structure and joints and then installing a new pool tiling system including a waterproofing membrane and grout repairs.

The ACT Government is currently in a range of commercial negotiations regarding these issues and will provide further comment once these negotiations are complete. The experts were engaged to assist the ACT Government in the course of the current negotiations and their reports are subject to legal privilege.

I share the community’s frustration with the time it’s taken.

I have asked for the Directorate to begin a process to get the remediation works underway to reopen the pool for the community as soon as possible.

I continue to ask for advice and regular updates on progress and I will keep you informed.

I will ensure a government representative attends your meeting of March 10 if I am unable to attend.  

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
developments;
(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.