In October 2021 the GCC wrote to Roads Minister Chris Steel seeking more information regarding accidents and crashes in Gungahlin, and seeking a regular meeting with City Services to ensure matters of interest to Gungahlin residents can be raised, tracked and actioned.
I am also pleased to inform you that feasibility studies will be undertaken on upgrades to the following Gungahlin intersections in 2022-23, which have been identified as priorities for the 2023-24 Blackspot Program: • Anthony Rolfe Avenue / Eva Wes Street / Manning Clark Crescent • Efkarpidis Street / Hinder Street • Ernest Cavanagh Street / Gozzard Street • Ernest Cavanagh Street / Hinder Street
These locations are shown on this map:
The Minister also advised that:
As you are aware from my previous presentation at Gungahlin Community Council (GCC), the ACT Government has committed to develop a traffic model for Gungahlin, to investigate and assess potential safety and efficiency improvements to the traffic network across the region. I am pleased to update you that procurement for a consultant to develop this model is nearing finalisation, with a contract expected to be awarded soon. Once in contract, the work is expected to take 6-12 months to complete.
The GCC subsequently asked the NBN whether Casey Stage 1 could also be included in this program and were told that it was; this was announced in a GCC Facebook post on 5 July 2021 (and shared to the Casey Facebook group on the same day). The post stated that the NBN:
“can confirm the part of Casey that is currently not served by FTTP is on our list of suburbs that we intend to perform an FTTP-enabled upgrade in. However, as with all of the planned FTTN to FTTP-enabled upgrades, this will be subject to technical, engineering and cost factors and it is possible that for those reasons the company may not proceed with upgrading those parts of Casey. At this stage, the company plans to make a final decision about upgrading those areas of Casey in late April 2022”.
The GCC has confirmed that Casey stage 1 is still scheduled to be upgraded to be FTTP-capable, and that the “field validation” remains scheduled for 1Q2023. The upgrade will take 6 months to build, assuming the validation passes, and once complete upgrades to FTTP for homes will be triggered by residents placing orders for services of (at least) 100Mbs.
Residents in Casey Stage 1 considering paying for an NBN Technology Choice upgrade may wish to hold off until the field validation process is complete.
The next public meeting of the Gungahlin Community Council (GCC) will be a Federal Election Candidates Forum on Wednesday 11 May 2022 starting at 6:30pm at the Eastlake Gungahlin Club, 51 Hinder Street, Gungahlin (Directions).
The forum provides an opportunity for the residents of Gungahlin to interact directly with candidates and ask them questions. All candidates seeking to be elected (on 21 May) to represent the ACT in the Federal Senate and for the Federal electorate of Fenner have been invited to attend.
The Barton Highway-Gundaroo Drive intersection has the highest accident rate in the ACT. Will you work to secure funding to replace the existing roundabout at this location with an overpass and for the duplication and further improvement of the Barton Highway?
How will you ensure the sale and subsequent redevelopment of the CSIRO Ginninderra site results in quality outcomes for the residents of Gungahlin, Belconnen and, more broadly, Canberra?
Will you ensure the 850 premises in Gungahlin (Casey Stage 1) and the village of Hall with Fibre-to-the-Node (FTTN) NBN connections are upgraded to Fibre-to-the Premise (FTTP)?
Gungahlin is a region of young families that lacks many of the community and sporting facilities expected by residents. Can you describe your education, health and sport policies, and what specific funding commitments you would make to improve health services and develop community sporting facilities in Gungahlin including:
Supporting the proposed Community/Arts Centre in the Town Centre and the Multicultural Centre at EPIC
Further improvements to parks such as Yerrabi Pond and surrounding nature reserves such as Mulligans Flat
Casey resident Craig Burgers is encouraging residents of Casey, particularly in Casey Stage 1, to apply for an NBN technology switch to FTTP and to provide evidence of their existing FTTN NBN experience. His post from the Casey, ACT. Northside of Canberra Facebook group is replicated below:
This post is specifically for the residents in Casey stage 1, where the NBN rollout delivered speed limited Fibre to the Node (FTTN) technology vs the rest of not only Casey, but Gungahlin which received much faster Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) technology.
Recently the NBN has opened a technology switch program whereby if you are prepared to upgrade to a higher NBN plan (which you would need to do if you wanted the increase in speed anyway) you could get a technology switch (to FTTP)
I have registered for a speed upgrade (there is no cost to register) and during the application I asked that if there were more applications within an area, if more emphasis would be placed on the technology switch, to which the answer was probably. I would encourage everyone to apply.
I would like to gauge how many residents would be happy to upgrade their plan in order to get a FTTP upgrade. If you would be happy to upgrade, please PM or email me. Additionally, if you could send me your speed test results (go to http://www.speedtest.net and hit go – it will perform a bandwidth test and give you results)
Gungahlin Community Council have also been rallying to have our area upgraded and have contacts within NBN and Parliament. Given the upcoming election, the timing here is perfect, and if you are approached to take a flyer or have a conversation with a candidate or their staff, ask them what they are doing about the NBN in Casey Stage 1.
The area we are talking about is shown in yellow on the map below.
Following consultation with the community in mid-2021, a number of improvements were identified and fast-tracked to enhance the recreation areas around Yerrabi Pond. Works are now complete for some new improvements, including:
new ‘shared path’ signage
new plantings and mulch
fresh paint on the nautical sculptures, planter boxes and shade structure at the playground.
More is to come, but in the meantime, check out some of the improvements below.
Fresh paint on the shade structure
Fresh paint on the nautical sculptures
Planning and design works
In our last email we notified you funding had been provided in the 2021-22 ACT Budget for planning and design works for improved and new amenities. We are glad to share the first tender has been awarded associated with the parking and streetlighting improvements and site investigations have commenced.
We’ve also heard from the community queries about the growth of algae at Yerrabi Pond. This growth is due the recent warm weather and is a natural process due to the level of nutrients entering the system. The algae is non-toxic and its growth is an important process as it absorbs nutrients that would otherwise be available to fuel the growth of toxic species of algae like blue-green algae.
Here’s an update on the floating wetland to be delivered by the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate. The construction team for the floating wetland is in the process of finalising approvals to install the wetland design. We anticipate the wetland will be deployed in the coming months. You can find out more about floating wetland projects here.
Updates for Yerrabi Pond recreation areas will continue to be provided via YourSay.
JUDD Studio are undertaking the pre Development Application (DA) for Block 12 Section 249 Gungahlin, located at the estern end of The Valley Ave. A presentation was given at the GCC Public Meeting on 9 March (video available) and further details and the ability to provide feedback can be found at the JUDD Studio website.
This is a mixed-use site (zoned CZ5) and the proposal is for three new buildings located at the eastern end of the Valley Avenue in the Gungahlin Town Centre. The buildings will be mixed use, including 950sqm of commercial tenancies on the ground floor, a new hotel with 56 rooms, 48 serviced apartments and 75 residential apartments (including some affordable housing).
Two online ‘zoom’ information sessions will be provided to present the updated project design (click on the links to register)
Canberra is famously laid out as a collection of “satellite towns”. A primary goal of this distributed-district design was to minimise commuting for work and to provide most of the education, health, community, sporting, recreation, retail, and entertainment services and facilities for the district’s residents within the district concentrated in a district’s town centre. Planning controls (enforced by the NCDC) drove the development of commercial office space occupied by Federal government agencies in all the town centres developed before Gungahlin, but these planning controls were removed in the transition to ACT self-government and not replaced with any form of substantive or concrete incentives, investments, or other mechanisms to attract large-scale employment (or employment alternatives) to the Gungahlin town centre (more here).
If it’s not going to a be a Federal department providing employment, perhaps a future northside hospital, vertical aged-care facilities, unique retail/entertainment/tourism offerings, or some form of working hub or collaborative environment will bring people to the town centre ? More importantly, what work is being done to explore what options might be possible ?
On 10 June 2021 the GCC wrote to the ACT Chief Minister in response to a media report indicating that the ACT government was actively pursuing a city deal with the Federal government and in particularly that “the territory would also push for more Commonwealth employment in the Gungahlin town centre”.
The GCC wrote:
The Gungahlin Community Council (GCC) welcomes and strongly supports this initiative and encourages the ACT government to explore options beyond simply a “push” to expand the employment base in the Gungahlin Town Centre. The GCC believes explicit and concrete incentives need to be extended to Federal agencies to establish themselves in the town centre such as “peppercorn land rental” (eg. as provided to the University of NSW for the former CIT Reid site), and/or innovative approaches to new workspaces, such as the Smart Work Hub proposed in the lead up to the 2016 Election“
The Chief Minister provided a response earlier this week which (in part) reads:
I have recently provided a copy of the attached document, Gungahlin Town Centre – A Prospectus for APS [Australian Public Service] Investment, to the Minister for the Public Service, the Hon Ben Morton MP, for his consideration. I have also provided a copy of the document to the Minister for Finance, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, and all ACT Government Ministers, for information. The Prospectus promotes the Gungahlin Town Centre as an attractive investment proposition for the APS. The Prospectus also reiterates the ACT Government’s willingness and commitment to work with the Federal Government on the potential opportunities available in the Gungahlin Town Centre.
The Prospectus highlights the transport, land availability, existing APS workforce, regional and skills and innovation benefits of Gungahlin and the Gungahlin Town Centre. It includes some interesting statistics:
Gungahlin population is 85,000, forecast to grow to 100,000
Gungahlin represents 19.6% of Canberra’s population but only 6.3% of employment opportunties
There are approximately 10,000 APS already living in Gungahlin (ACT Treasury estimate)
Cost of office space in Canberra CBD is ~$500/m2 compared to ~$400/m2 in Gungahlin (Knight Frank)
Between 2021-2026 there will be 4,000 new dwellings in Gungahlin
The Capital Region is home to 750,000 people – 63% of the working population in Queanbeyan-Palerang work in the ACT, and 50% of the Yass Valley
Gungahlin is the closest ACT location to NSW towns including Murrumbateman, Yass and Goulburn
… Suggests …
“The establishment of a flexible APS workplace hub in Gungahlin would present a cost-effective means of accommodating a local workforce. This would deliver financial benefits for the APS, benefit Gungahlin residents, and help to attract and retain talent in the Gungahlin region – potentially leading to the Commonwealth strengthening its reputation as an ‘employer of choice’.”
… And concludes with a committment from the ACT government to “making ongoing investments in Gungahlin to develop a thriving local community”.
The next public meeting of the Gungahlin Community Council (GCC) will be held on Wednesday 9 March 2022 starting at 6:30pm at the Gungahlin Club.
We are RETURNING TO MEETING IN PERSON ! Finger food available from 6:20pm!
As usual, the meeting will also be live streamed on Facebook via the GCC Facebook page.
GCC Update, GCC
Roads Update, TCCS. This will include an overview of accident data recently shared with the GCC, and updates on roadworks associated with the Kenny High School, the traffic flow and parking issues in the town centre and an overview of the recently commenced town centre active travel feasibility study
Pre-Development Consultation Block 12 Section 249 (southern side of the eastern end of Valley Avenue). The project is for a mixed use development including apartments, commercial accommodation and general commercial tenancies.
The GCC wrote to the Minister for Transport on 21 October 2021 seeking an “indication of what steps will be taken to address the accident/safety issues on Gundaroo Dr, Anthony Rolfe Ave, and Gungahlin Dr identified in [the AAMI Crash Index]”. As a result, the GCC was offered a briefing with the Traffic Management and Safety section of Roads ACT on 6 December 2021. During this (virtual) meeting we were shown a summary of the accident data collected by the ACT Government which is based on actual crash data and intersections, as opposed to the AAMI report which is based on insurance claims and roads. The GCC asked for a copy of the report that was being shown and received the “2020 Intersection and Mid-block Ranking Report” on 8 February 2022, along with this analysis of the roads identified in the AAMI report:
Total number of crashes
Black Spot Ranking 2016-2020
Gozzard Street/Ernest Cavanagh Street
40 (10 injury + 30 pdo)
Outside top 300
The Valley Avenue/ Gozzard Street
31 (1 injury + 30 pdo)
Outside top 300
Gribble Street/Ernest Cavanagh Street
12 (2 injury + 10 pdo)
Outside top 300
Outside top 300
Efkarpidis Street/ Gungahlin Place West
30 (all pdo)
Outside top 300
Ernest Cavanagh Street/ Hinder Street
36 (4 injury + 32 pdo)
Note: pdo = Property Damage Only. The Blackspot Rankings are a national (Federal) ranking; the 7 and two rankings are within the ACT
There is much to digest in the Roads ACT report, which covers all of the ACT, however in the section headed “The 2021/22 candidate locations for further examination” we can see that even in the ACT government’s own data Gungahlin roads rank highly over the past two years (the “score” is detailed in the full report; it includes a measure of severity):
The 2021/22 candidate locations for further examination
The GCC has requested a regularly meeting with Roads ACT and TCCS in our October 2021 correspondence with Minister Steele … we are yet to receive a reply.