GCC Public Meeting 13 October

The next public meeting of the Gungahlin Community Council (GCC) will be held on Wednesday 13 October 2021 starting at 6:30pm.

THE MEETING WILL BE ONLINE – NOT FACE TO FACE

We will be runing the meeting on the Zoom videoconferencing platform and as usual the meeting will be live streamed on Facebook via the GCC Facebook page.

Attendees are strongly encouraged to join the Zoom virtual room meeting. Please REGISTER HERE and you will be emailed the link needed to join the Zoom meeting.

Agenda

  • GCC Update
  • Gungahlin Town Centre and Planning Update, Minister for Planning, Mick Gentleman
  • Yerrabi Pond Floating Wetland Project, Ralph Ogden, ACT Healthy Waterways , EPSDD
  • Pre-DA Consultancy for Canberra Business and Training College Development (corner of Camilleri Way and Gungahlin Place – Block 4, Section 246), JUDD.studio

Gungahlin Smoke Signals – The GCC Newsletter

Since 1996 the Gungahlin Community Council has issued a periodic newsletter/magazine. In the early days it was one of the few ways of promoting local events and activities. In recent times Social Media has taken over that role and Gunsmoke has become a record of local issues.

The latest issue is available as a pdf file at https://gcc.asn.au/gunsmoke/

Please do this very quick (2 minute) SURVEY to tell us what you know about and what you want from Gungahlin Smoke Signals.

Minister Gentleman Gives Up on Gungahlin

Mixe-use developments in the Gungahlin Town Centre – mostly spaces For Lease

On 7 July 2021, the GCC wrote to the Minister for Planning, Mick Gentleman, citing the approval of “The Establishment” development as an example of the poor outcomes that the planning system is deliverying in the Gungahlin Town Centre:
CC: Yerrabi MLAs,
Dear Mick, 
The reconsidered Development Application (DA) for the high-rise residential project known as The Establishment (formerly Air Towers) has been approved (with a long list of conditions). Additional details, documents and history can be found here https://gcc.asn.au/reconsidered-da-for-the-establishment-approved/.
The GCC does not support this development and is very disappointed with this outcome.
The basis for the decisions was that the proposal is roughly the same as the DA approved in 2018 (which was a very poor decision with an associated very poor Notice of Decision), and it was consistent with the current Territory Plan (which is known and acknowledged to be broken).
Draft Variation 364 has utterly failed to make any impact, despite being initiated by the community in 2016. It is obvious that the Planning System Reform is going to be equally ineffective in the relevant timeframe.
This is further evidence that:
– the ACT government needs to acknowledge that the planning system has failed to enable the development of a viable Gungahlin Town Centre, and
– specific and immediate action needs to be taken to adopt a different approach for the Gungahlin Town Centre that will have immediate and positive impact.
We again ask that you provide a specific response to these two issues.
The GCC received a response to this email on 14 September 2021, that clearly indicated the Minister believed everything that could be done had been done, and no further action was required – he has given up on Gungahlin. The text of the letter is included below.
The response:
  • blames the lack of any susbtantial commercial employment in the town centre on the Federal government for not moving a government agency there (beyond the ACT govermnet staff in Winyu House)
  • ignores the obvious requirement to create incentives/obligations to encourage the establishment of employment in the town centres, since this is what happened in the other Canberra town centres
  • suggests “the ACT Government’s thinking” rather than its actions will create a thriving town centre, despite the clear evidence that mixed-use in the town centre in its current form HAS NOT AND IS NOT WORKING

This is an utterly underwhelming response. If you agree, please leave a comment and/or share your views with one or more ofthe Yerrabi Memmbers of the Legislative Assembly (MLA):

Mixed-Use Developments In the Gungahlin Town Centre – Mostly Vacant Leases

Text of Minister’s Response:

Dear Me Elford
Thank you for your email of 7 July 2021 on behalf of the Gungahlin Community Council (GCC) regarding concerns for the viability of the Gungahlin town centre and the outcome of the development application (DA 201732666) relating to ‘the Establishment’.
As you are aware, the independent nature of the planning and land authority (the authority) means that politicians, including Ministers, are unable to interfere in decisions of the authority. 
I have been in strong agreement with you for a long time about the need for more commercial development in Gungahlin Town Centre. I have written to you in the past about the ACT Government’s actions in providing office workers to Gungahlin Town Centre and also our shared disappointment that there is no appetite from the Federal Liberal Government to locate a large Government Department in the Gungahlin Town Centre.
From a planning perspective, the ACT Government has done all that it can to enable commercial development in the Gungahlin Town Centre. The ACT Government also wants to see more commercial activity and it’s clear that continuing to do what we have always done is unlikely to get this outcome. The Property Council of Australia reinforced this in their contribution to the Standing Committee on Planning, Transport and City Services hearings into Draft Variation 364. Planning levers can only go so far, and without the interest from a significant Federal Government Department, it will be difficult to drive commercial activity in the Gungahlin Town Centre.
The changes proposed in Draft Variation 364 attempt to drive commercial activity through demand provided by residents in the Gungahlin Town Centre. The ACT Government’s thinking is that the Gungahlin Town Centre can be a genuine mixed-use area, which has a thriving commercial life throughout the daytime, into the evening, and also on weekends. I appreciate that Gungahlin Community Council does not agree with this approach; however, simply keeping the land reserved for commercial activity has not successfully led to large-scale commercial investment in the Gungahlin Town Centre to date and the ACT Government is actively working to find solutions. The ACT Government is not able to force people to open a business or dictate locations to people wanting to open a business.
The ACT Government needs to find 100,000 homes for Canberrans over the next 25 years as our population continues to grow. Canberrans are also ageing, and living in smaller households, so I am mindful that these homes must be suitable for older people and close to shops, services, community facilities, and public transport. This is not confined to Gungahlin – all town centres are seeing greater residential development as we build a city that is compact and efficient. Building ‘up’ rather than ‘out’ protects our bush landscape including Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve and Goorooyarroo Nature Reserve. I know that Gungahlin residents enjoy having such great access to nature reserves, and I’m proud that we have been able to continue to expand our parks and reserves in Gungahlin.
The ACT Government already has substantial work underway to make thoughtful planning decisions in Gungahlin in addition to the Planning System Review and Reform Project. The Community and Recreational Facilities Analysis, which was commenced due to strong advocacy from the Gungahlin Community Council, will provide valuable information about what community facilities are wanted and needed by the Gungahlin community. The investigation into mixed-use zoning will assist Gungahlin Town Centre to be a place where people will want to not just live and work, but also visit for community, shopping, and recreation. I am aware that you are after immediate action in the Gungahlin Town Centre but I am of the view that a considered approach will deliver the best outcomes for Gungahlin and the broader ACT community.
I look forward to continuing to work with you on making Gungahlin Town Centre a thriving hub of commercial and community activity.
I trust this information is of assistance.

Gungahlin Smoke Signals Survey

Click Here to fill out the survey

Gungahlin Smoke Signals is for the Gungahlin community and continues to evolve. It started in 1995 with Roma Hoskins as the first editor. Roma produced 100 editions until early 2007. The first issues were one double-sided A4 page that became two double-sided pages. By edition 100, it was 20 pages and a distribution of 8000 delivered by Auspost to every household in Gungahlin. Advertising covered the cost of printing and distribution until Auspost increased its charges. At the same time, social media took over the newsletter role, and advertising dollars went to Google and Facebook.

Since edition 100, there has been another 50, along with a substantial change in the purpose and format. Gungahlin Smoke Signals is now an occasional magazine that records issues and developments in Gungahlin. It is no longer a newsletter or a way for businesses and community organisations to advertise.

The magazine needs your help. It needs ideas on its role. It needs writers, editors, and the community to assist with distribution. It needs to know what articles you find interesting.

If anyone has some of the early editions, please let us know, and we will arrange for them to be digitised.

Click Here to fill out the survey

Planning Minister Responds to Questions at EPF 28 June

The Environment and Planning Forum (EPF) “provides strategic comment on planning and development policy to the ACT Government and the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate” (EPSDD). The Minister for Planning attended the meeting on 28 June, 2021 and asked for questions to be provided ahead of the meeting. The GCC was encouraged to raise our concerns as detailed in the Call to Suspend Land Sales  in this forum.

The questions the GCC provided, and the written responses received are included below. Please note that the GCC would not normlly raise matters specific to a district in the EPF (which is an ACT-wide forum), but was explicitly asked to do so. These questions are extracted from this attachment to the EPF meeting minutes.

The responses from the Minister feel well short of acknowledging there is any problem, or articulating any actions to address the issues.

For reference, the GCC’s position regarding DV364 based on feedback from residents is detailed in DV364 Inquiry – GCC Submission and Hearings (from the summary):

The Gungahlin Community Council (GCC) believes that Draft Variation 364 (DV364) should be abandoned. It includes changes to the Gungahlin town centre precinct code that are strongly opposed by most Gungahlin residents that will adversely impact the viability of the town centre and the Gungahlin district. The changes to building height, although welcomed, are mute as most blocks of concern to the community already have developments approved that exceed the proposed height limits.

The Refresh experience further undermined the already low level of trust that Gungahlin residents have with the planning system and processes. The Refresh took too long, the feedback from the community was selectively picked at, feedback was ignored, and the final conclusions and proposed actions were at odds with what the community had expressed. Moreover, the late introduction of new proposals (reducing the amount of commercial space, more mixed-use, new mechanisms for handling community space, etc.) which were not exposed to the community for discussion, came as a complete shock and appear not to be evidence based.

Questions Tabled in EPF

QUESTION 1

Two motions have been passed by the ACT assembly, and the ACT Assembly will receive a petition signed by over 650 residents next week, regarding the development of the Gungahlin Town Centre. This is strong evidence that the current planning processes are failing to deliver a viable town centre for Gungahlin. You have committed to respond to Suzanne Orr MLA’s motion (passed on 10 February 2021) by the last sitting day in 2021 (2 December). Andrew Braddock MLA’s motion (passed on 3 June 2021) calls for a response by October 2021.

What specific actions is the ACT government taking to inform and develop a response to the call to “support the further development of the Gungahlin region and town centre, ensuring that there are additional employment opportunities in Gungahlin” ? How will the Gungahlin community be engaged in the process of developing a response ?

ANSWER

  • The two motions, now resolutions of the Assembly, are being considered. Responses to the Assembly resolutions will be provided by the stated timelines.
  • There has been ongoing planning for Gungahlin and it continues to be updated to address changes in market, global impacts and ongoing changes in best practice and communities (including planning for the future Gungahlin community). Through various forms of consultation and engagement the Gungahlin community has and continues to provide input and feedback on planning and development in Gungahlin.
  • It is not only planning that is responsible for the viability of centres – noting it is considered that the planning has provided strong foundations for a liveable and viable Gungahlin town centre. There has been considerable investment in Gungahlin as the town centre and district grows and changes.
  • Draft Variation to the Territory Plan 364 (DV364) incorporates the recommendations of the Gungahlin Town Centre Planning Refresh into the Territory Plan to provide guidance on the desired built form and character of the centre as it develops. An inquiry into DV364 is being held by the Standing Committee on Planning, Transport and City Services. The Government will in due course respond to the Standing Committee inquiry.

QUESTION 2

Many of the planning (poor development), transport (traffic congestion/parking), and lack of facilities (community, sport, recreation) issues in Gungahlin are the result of disconnected incremental investments and projects without a clear and enforced overall strategy.

Will the ACT Government commit, as a matter of urgency, to establishing a cross-directorate place-based approach to completing Gungahlin with all the services residents would expect of a Canberra district? This approach would require active participation from (at least) EPSDD, TCCS, CMTEDD, CSD, SLA, and JCSD, with occasional input/involvement from Education and Health. 

ANSWER

The Government’s approach to planning is an integrated approach which includes collaboration across Government agencies and Directorates. At both the strategic level and the statutory level there is ongoing sharing of information and input. The district planning work being undertaken is an example of how at a spatial scale, the government is taking an integrated approach to strategic planning.

QUESTION 3

What processes (policies, initiatives, incentives, metrics) does the ACT government have in place to encourage the equitable distribution of sustainable economic development, facilities and services across all of Canberra’s districts?

ANSWER

In terms of policies, a clear hierarchy of centres applies in Canberra and this influences the spatial structure and distribution of activity throughout the city. The centres distributed across Canberra include: the city centre, four district town centres, 19 group centres and 93 local centres. This hierarchy is recognised in the ACT Planning Strategy, the National Capital Plan and the Territory Plan.  Beneath this, the Territory Plan provides a system of zoning that is implemented in all centres across all districts to provide for and support economic development, facilities and services to be located at accessible locations. While planning can facilitate and respond to change it is not solely responsible for development and activities that occur throughout the districts. Market forces and industry play a role eg, locational decisions of the private sector to take up the opportunities presented under the land use zoning for centres and in districts. Employment areas and activity areas might also occur in other areas and provide further differentiation of services and competition of economic development opportunities.

The government plans for a range of uses and facilities based on population projections, comparative analysis, engagement, monitoring of changes over time (locally and in other jurisdictions). As Canberra has grown not every centre is the same or serving the same type of population and the needs, opportunities and challenges change.

The ACT Planning Strategy outlines the Government’s clear vision of planning for a compact, efficient, diverse, resilient and accessible city and outlines a number of actions toward achieving this. Further the Strategy identifies an opportunity to undertake a district planning approach to develop a better understanding of district attributes and needs and proposed planning directions for districts (page 93) including (see action section 1.1.4, page 43): https://www.planning.act.gov.au/act-planning-strategy/strategic-directions/compact-and-efficient-city

The ACT Planning System Review and Reform project is currently investigating the opportunities for a district planning approach (https://www.planning.act.gov.au/planning-our-city/act-planning-system-review-and-reform)

GCC Public Meeting 8 September

M,/The next public meeting of the Gungahlin Community Council (GCC) will be held on Wednesday 8 September 2021 starting at 6:30pm.

THE MEETING WILL BE ONLINE – NOT FACE TO FACE

We will be runing the meeting on the Zoom videoconferencing platform and as usual the meeting will be live streamed on Facebook via the GCC Facebook page.

Attendees are strongly encouraged to join the Zoom virtual room meeting. Please REGISTER HERE and you will be emailed the link needed to join the Zoom meeting.

Agenda

Kenny Development Update

The development of the suburb of Kenny was briefly covered in Gungahlin Land Releases 2020-21 but due to the development of the Kenny High School, Gungahlin residents have recently shown renewed interest in what’s happening with Kenny. In response to questions from the GCC at the Environment and Planning Forum, EPSDD have provided this summary.

KENNY – FUTURE URBAN AREA (FUA)

  • The identified future urban area of Kenny comprises a total area of approximately 170ha.
  • In May 2020, the Government approved a site of 7.2ha in the western portion of this area for an education precinct, allowing a high school to be planned, designed and constructed to open at the start of the 2023 calendar year.
    • A development application has been lodged for the high school project
    • The site servicing and associated works at Well Station Drive are subject to concurrent development approvals.
  • The 7.2ha site is intended to accommodate the future high school as well as a separate primary school that would open at a later date determined by Government.
  • The remaining area of the Kenny future urban area (FUA) (once the education precinct is discounted) is about 163ha and is shown on the Kenny Basic Layout plan.

    Kenny Basic Layout plan

  • Under the Gungahlin Strategic Assessment (2013), the Government is required to establish the Kenny Nature Reserve prior to any urban development in the area commencing. This requirement was met through Territory Plan Variation 379, which established the Kenny Nature Reserve. The Reserve bounds Kenny to the south and west, reducing the remaining future developable area of Kenny. This includes the loss of a group centre and some residential development.  Despite this, it is expected that around 1,200 to 1,500 dwellings across a range of dwelling types, can still be delivered.
  • Road access to Kenny will be from Horse Park Drive with two intersections, and Well Station Drive with a further two intersections, aligning with existing intersections adjacent to Harrison.
  • Kenny, while smaller in comparison to other Gungahlin suburbs, will accommodate residential, commercial (local centre), limited community facilities and public open space.
  • Prior to any land releases in Kenny, all statutory planning process and required technical studies will need to be completed.
    • The conclusion of the required statutory process may result in a Territory Plan variation and possibly an amendment to the National Capital Plan.  This would contemplate the requirement for the Territory Plan and the National Capital Plan to reflect the outcomes of the Gungahlin Strategic Assessment (2013).
  • The first release of land in Kenny was forecast to occur in 2020-21 with subsequent releases in the following years.
    • The 2021-22 to 2025-26 Indicative Land Release Program is currently before Government for consideration prior to publication with the 2021-22 ACT Budget.
  • For reference, this is the existing Territory Plan for the suburb of Kenny:

 

GCC Public Meeting 11 August

The next public meeting of the Gungahlin Community Council (GCC) will be held on Wednesday 11 August 2021 starting at 6:30pm. We will be running both a face to face meeting at the Gungahlin Club  51 Hinder St, Gungahlin and a Zoom session. As usual the meeting will be live streamed on Facebook via the GCC Facebook page.

If you wish to attend using Zoom please REGISTER HERE and you will be emailed the link needed to join the Zoom meeting.

Agenda

Pre-DA Consultation for Blocks 5&6 Section 249

Pre-DA Consultation for Blocks 5&6 Section 249
[ Posted on behalf of CORE Development ]

CORE development recently acquired two blocks on the eastern side of the Gungahlin Town Centre at the corner of Camilleri Way and Manning Clark Crescent. This site is zoned for mixed-use (CZ5) and the conditions of sale requires 331 dwellings to be constructed, of which 57 must be affordable and  8 are allocated to public housing.

Sites sold recently in East Gungahlin – two sites purchased by CORE Developments highlighted in green (two sites purchased by the Canberra Business and Technology College highlighted in blue)

CORE are undertaking a pre-Development Application consultation and will be holding a drop-in session on Thursday, 5 August 2021 between 5.00-7.00pm at the Gungahlin Eastlake Football Club. Please register your interest to attend via info@coredev.com.au.

The GCC has also been provided with a more recent set of plans that reflects the feedback the proposal has had from the National Capital Design Review Panel.

CORE Developments will also be attending and speaking at the GCC public meeting on 11 August.

The key elements of the development include

  • approximately 224 apartments in two towers of 9 and 12 stories at the western edge
  • a 5 floor tower at the estern edge, with just two units per floor
  • approximately 98 townhouses/terraces
  • a ground floor commercial family restaurant facing into the proposed linear park at the western edge

If you would like further information about the Proposal, please send an email to info@coredev.com.au and a member of the Core Developments team will be in contact.

DV364 Inquiry – GCC Submission and Hearings

DV364 Inquiry – GCC Submission and Hearings

UPDATED: 11 August 2021 – Further Comments document added

Existing Gungahlin Town Centre Precinct (left) and major changes proposed in DV364 (right)

The Minister for Planning referred Draft Variation 364 (DV364) of the ACT Territory Plan to the ACT Legislative Assembly’s Standing Committee on Planning, Transport, and City Services. The Planning committee is conducting an inquiry into DV364 and called for written submissions. All submissions are available online.

Below you will find the Executive Summary of the GCC Submission, links to the videos of the Public Hearings conducted on 29 July 2021, and the complete GCC submission.

After the hearings, the GCC provided some additional comments in writing to the Committee – this is also included below.

GCC Submission Executive Summary

The Gungahlin Community Council (GCC) believes that Draft Variation 364 (DV364) should be abandoned. It includes changes to the Gungahlin town centre precinct code that are strongly opposed by most Gungahlin residents that will adversely impact the viability of the town centre and the Gungahlin district. The changes to building height, although welcomed, are mute as most blocks of concern to the community already have developments approved that exceed the proposed height limits.

The Refresh experience further undermined the already low level of trust that Gungahlin residents have with the planning system and processes. The Refresh took too long, the feedback from the community was selectively picked at, feedback was ignored, and the final conclusions and proposed actions were at odds with what the community had expressed. Moreover, the late introduction of new proposals (reducing the amount of commercial space, more mixed-use, new mechanisms for handling community space, etc.) which were not exposed to the community for discussion, came as a complete shock and appear not to be evidence based.

The GCC further recommends:

    • The existing reservation of 100,000m2 for commercial space be retained.
    • Further residential (mixed-use) development be minimised (not maximised).

By itself, DV364 does not address the challenge of developing the Gungahlin town centre as a district hub for employment, which in turn underpins a viable town centre. Consequently, the GCC continues to oppose any further sales of land in the Gungahlin Town Centre until:

    • Alternative or additional interim mechanisms (pending the implementation of the ACT Planning Systems Reform Project[1]) be put in place to ensure the development of the remaining sites in the Gungahlin Town Centre contribute substantially to the viability of the town centre through an increase in employment, retail, entertainment, and community services, and
    • Incentives, investments or other mechanisms are put in place to attract employment (or employment alternatives) to the Gungahlin Town Centre.

[1] https://www.planning.act.gov.au/planning-our-city/act-planning-system-review-and-reform

Public Hearings

The committee held public hearings on 29 July. There were 3 parts to the hearings – industry, GCC and other residents, and minister/Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (EPSDD). The committee and other MLAs asked questions of each group – these are listed in the following table extracted from the Assembly on Demand website  (Click on Link to watch the video or Download to download a copy of the video to watch the Q&A for each question).

Committee Hearing : Thursday 29th July 2021 9:30 am

Standing Committee on Planning, Transport and City Services – Inquiry into DV 364: Gungahlin Town Centre
Commenced
9:30:38 am for 0s
Link | Download

Ms Jo Clay MLA (Chair)
Chair
9:30:38 am for 2m 1s
Link | Download

Ms Adina Cirson, ACT Executive Director, Property Council of Australia
Ms Cirson/ Chair
9:32:39 am for 2m 35s
Link | Download

Ms Nichelle Jackson, Director, Canberra Town Planning, representing Landco Pty Ltd
Ms Orr/ Ms Jackson
9:35:14 am for 4m 3s
Link | Download

Ms Suzanne Orr MLA (Deputy Chair)
Ms Orr/ Ms Cirson
9:39:17 am for 2m 6s
Link | Download

Mr George Katheklakis, Managing Director of KDN Group
Mr Katheklakis/ Ms Orr
9:41:23 am for 9m 43s
Link | Download

Mr Mark Parton MLA
Chair/ Mr Parton
9:51:06 am for 7m 36s
Link | Download

Mr Andrew Braddock MLA
Mr Braddock/ Mr Katheklakis
9:58:42 am for 19m 32s
Link | Download

Mr Peter Elford, President, Gungahlin Community Council, (By Telephone Link)
Chair/ Mr Elford
10:18:14 am for 4m 38s
Link | Download

Mr Kevin Cox
Mr Cox/ Chair
10:22:52 am for 2m 3s
Link | Download

Mr Darron Marks, Treasurer, Gungahlin Community Council
Mr Marks/ Chair
10:24:55 am for 1h 05m 14s
Link | Download

Mr Mick Gentleman MLA, Minister for Planning and Land Management
Chair/ Minister
11:30:09 am for 3m 43s
Link | Download

Director-General, Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate
Mr Ponton/ Chair
11:33:52 am for 6m 33s
Link | Download

Ms Alix Kaucz, Senior Director, Territory Plan
Ms Kaucz/ Ms Orr
11:40:25 am for 8m 23s
Link | Download

Mr Steven Gianakis, Acting Senior Director, Strategic, Planning and Reform
Mr Ponton/ Mr Gianakis
11:48:48 am for 10m 18s
Link | Download

Dr Erin Brady, Deputy Director-General, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate
Mr Ponton/ Dr Brady
11:59:06 am for 19m 37s
Link | Download

 

 

GCC Written Submission to DV364 Inquiry

Download (PDF, 320KB)

GCC Further Comments

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