Development opportunities in Gungahlin Town Centre

On 21 February 2020 the ACT Government’s Suburban Land Agency (SLA) announced the sale of a number of blocks of land in the town centres of Woden, Belconnen and Gungahlin.

For more information about the GCC’s position on this sale see GCC Submission to Gungahlin Town Centre Planning Refresh.

The SLA web site describes these as Unique opportunities in Canberra’s major town centres. writing:

These blocks offer an opportunity to secure one of Canberra’s highly sought after commercial sites. Woden, Belconnen and Gungahlin are three of Canberra’s fastest growing town centres and major employment hubs, all within walking distance to desirable amenities.

Shopping centres, hospitals, bars, restaurants and public transport are all a short distance away – including the future light rail interchange in Woden connecting to the City and Gungahlin. All are zoned for a variety of uses including – multi units, hotel, serviced apartments and shops.

Don’t miss your opportunity to make your mark in Canberra today.

and goes on to describe the Development opportunities in Gungahlin Town Centre:

Don’t miss your opportunity to secure on of four Mixed Use sites and one Core site positioned in the heart of Gungahlin Town Centre.

This is your opportunity to build in a central location close to all the action. Each site is walking distance to the Gungahlin Market Place, Gungahlin Village, bars, restaurants, local offices and the Light Rail station.

    • Flexible Mixed Use residential development opportunities
    • Central location, surrounded by key amenities
    • Walking distance to the Light Rail station

SectionBlockZoningSize (m2)Total DwellingsAffordable
2292CZ511,79615425
2497CZ58,99516028
2483CZ55,0057013
2484CZ54,9957714
112CZ116,34135052

Additional material provided by the appointed sales agents (Colliers) includes (downloaded 1/3/2020):

  1. Draft Contract
  2. Crown Lease Block 2 Section 11
  3. Crown Lease Block 2 Section 229
  4. Crown Lease Block 3 Section 248
  5. Crown Lease Block 4 Section 248
  6. Crown Lease Block 7 Section 249
  7. Project Delivery Deed CZ1 Block 2 Section 11
  8. Project Deliver Deed CZ5
  9. Sales Plan GTC
  10. General Sales Information -Gungahlin –
  11. PRESCRIBED CONDITIONS block 2 section 11
  12. PRESCRIBED CONDITIONS block 2 section 229
  13. PRESCRIBED CONDITIONS block 3 section 248
  14. PRESCRIBED CONDITIONS block 4 section 248
  15. PRESCRIBED CONDITIONS block 7 section 249
  16. Clearance Certificate – SLA – 2019 (A20241285)
  17. Dv364 (A24859709) background docs
  18. Gungahlin Town Centre Planning Snapshot background doc

 

GCC Public Meeting March 11

The next GCC public meeting will be held in the Gungahlin Club commencing at 6.30pm on Wednesday 12 March 2019.

Agenda

  • GCC Update, Peter Elford, President, GCC
  • Canberra Cemeteries Developments, Shane Kelly, Executive Director
  • The Future of the Gungahlin Town Centre … A Dormitory ?, Peter Elford, President, GCC

GCC Submission to Gungahlin Town Centre Planning Refresh (DV364)

The GCC has major concerns about changes proposed to the planning and development rules for the Gungahlin Town Centre.

Late in 2019 the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (EPSDD) released Draft Variation (DV) 364 to the Territory Plan to implement the outcomes of the Town Centre Planning Refresh, a process initiated by the GCC in 2016. A period of community consultation was undertaken through the Have Your Say website.

The GCC submission in response to this Town Centre Planning Refresh (DV364) consultation raised the following concerns (HTML Version below):

  • The town centre planning refresh was initiated by the GCC in November 2016 in response to community concerns the GCC raised with ESPDD (this was not acknowledged in your joint press release 30/9/19 [1])
  • Although we believe the issues of building height have been largely addressed, we have serious concerns about other aspects of DV364 as “they entrench the notion of Gungahlin as a dormitory district with a small employment base and limited services”.
  • For example, DV364 proposes that the following paragraph be deleted from the Town Centre Precinct Code:
    • Gungahlin Town Centre is the major hub for employment, shopping, social activities and public transport particularly serving suburbs within the Gungahlin district.

The GCC interprets this as a statement that the ACT government, through EPSDD, is abandoning their efforts to develop the Gungahlin Town Centre as a major hub and is pursing the development of Gungahlin as a dormitory district with a small employment base and limited services.

  • We also have concerns, detailed in the submission, about the
    • Reduction of the Total Space Reserved for Commercial Development
    • Repurposing of precinct 2a from “Office Core” to “Mixed Use East”
    • Removal of the road network hierarchy and pedestrian and cycle network from the precinct plan
    • Aspects of the outcomes from the refresh that have not been actioned
    • Plans to implements Community Facilities as “Equivalent Floor Space”

These are NOT changes that will happen a long time in the future! Large blocks in the town centre have just been listed for sale including a “core” site along Hibberson Street that have an obvious and clear focus on residential units. This is completely at odds with the community’s feedback in the Gungahlin Community Survey 2019 which revealed that over 50% of residents want no more residential in the town centre (1506 responses):

We have raised these concerns with the government MLA’s for Yerrabi and continue to work towards ensuring Gungahlin does not end up a dormitory district. Please do let us know if you have any opinions on this important topic!


Submission in Response to ACT Territory Plan Draft Variation 364 (Gungahlin Town Centre Planning Refresh)

Introduction

The Gungahlin Community Council (GCC) welcomes the opportunity to provide a response to Draft Variation (DV) 364[1] as part of the Gungahlin Town Centre Planning Refresh[2] (the TC Refresh).

The GCC approached the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (EPSDD) in November 2016 regarding issues documented in “Getting Development Right for the Town Centre – The Gungahlin Residential Towers Story” available from the GCC website[3] and published in edition #143 of the GCC newsletter[4]. Although, building height in West Gungahlin (precinct 2b) was the major issue identified in this correspondence, there were concerns with the aggregate impact of multiple developments( particularly related to traffic and solar access), the provision of open space, pedestrian and cycle access to and through the town centre, and the apparent lack of a cohesive strategy to develop the Gungahlin town centre consistent with the published master plan.

EPSDD initiated the TC Refresh in response to the concerns raised by the GCC, with a focus on three key issues:

→ building height and character;

→ upgrading and enhancing public spaces; and

→ walking, cycling and road transport.

Executive Summary

The GCC believes the concerns regarding the height of development within the Gungahlin Town Centre have been (belatedly) addressed in DV364 and therefore supports the proposed changes related to building height and form (notably the proposed rules R45, R46 and R61).

Other changes proposed in DV364 do not have the support of the GCC as they entrench the notion of Gungahlin as a dormitory district with a small employment base and limited services as detailed below.

Deletion of the Description of the Gungahlin Town Centre

DV364 proposes deleting the description of the Gungahlin Town Centre, ie. Removing this paragraph

Gungahlin Town Centre is the major hub for employment, shopping, social activities and public transport particularly serving suburbs within the Gungahlin district.

The GCC interprets this as a statement that the ACT government, through EPSDD, is abandoning their efforts to develop the Gungahlin Town Centre as a major hub and is pursing the development of Gungahlin as a dormitory district with a small employment base and limited services.

The GCC strongly recommends that the following description be retained:

“Gungahlin Town Centre is the major hub for employment, shopping, social activities and public transport particularly serving suburbs within the Gungahlin district”.

Reduction of the Total Space Reserved for Commercial Development

The significant reduction of the total space reserved for commercial development (from 100,000m2 to 65,000m2) proposed in DV364 are of great concern to the GCC. Further, the very short period of time over which this space is reserved reinforces a perceived lack of commitment to the development of the Gungahlin Town Centre as a major hub. The proposed Rule 41 states (in part):

“Block 3 and 5 Section 231 will be exclusively for the development of commercial office and ancillary use”.

And the proposed Rule 42 states:

“Rule 41 applies until 1 January 2023 or, until such time as nominated in writing by the relevant authority”.

The GCC shares the concerns of the Suburban Land Agency (SLA) which noted in the Consultation Notice[5]:

“The SLA are interested to understand what commercial and retail studies have been undertaken that would show a change to Gungahlin Town Centre operating as a commercial/retail hub over the next twenty years that would water down this provision”.

The EPSDD response to the SLA’s concern indicates the decision to reduce the amount of space reserved for commercial use was based simply on “the historical trend of commercial supply in the town centre”. The commercial reality of the lack of demand for new office space, particularly from the Commonwealth Government, and the competition provide by other town centres and the airport, means that for the Gungahlin Town Centre to be developed as true town centre the ACT government must take a much more proactive role to promote commercial development. This would reduce commuter travel, build the capacity of Gungahlin businesses, enhance the retail sector and provide a greater return on investment on major infrastructure investments such as Light Rail.

It is unacceptable to simply convert commercial space into residential as this provides a short-term financial return to the government, and no little or no benefit (short or long term) to the community. It is strongly opposed by Gungahlin residents as indicated by initial responses to the GCC’s 2019 Community Survey[6] – from 385 responses as of 28 November 2019:

  • 49% of respondents want “No more residential in the Town Centre”
  • 29% of respondents want “25% residential and 75% business and community services in the Town Centre”

The GCC strongly recommends that the existing reservation of 100,000m2 for commercial space be retained and the ACT government explore mechanisms to develop/attract more commercial interest in Gungahlin.

Repurposing of precinct 2a from “Office Core” to “Mixed Use East”

The repurposing of precinct 2a from “Office Core” to “Mixed Use East”, opens the door to further residential development in the town centre at the expense of other facilities including commercial, business, retail, entertainment and community use. The unexpected transition of precinct 2b from “Office Park” (as originally scoped in the precinct code) to “Mixed Use North West” (as proposed by DV364) has not enjoyed broad support from Gungahlin residents. Residents are justifiably concerned that a similarly poor-quality outcome may result from applying similar “mixed use” criteria to the Gungahlin Town Centre East precinct (2b) and the weak enforcement of the intent of these criteria.

It is acknowledged that DV364 improves the design criteria for precinct 2b more in line with community expectations, however many of these are unlikely to be applied in the next few decades given that most of the blocks within this precinct have had Development Applications approved under the existing precinct code.

Moreover, GCC is concerned that DV364 appears to have been no attempt to modify the Gungahlin Town Centre precinct code to accommodate the very significant increase in population density as a result of the high-rise residential towers constructed and under construction in precinct 2b. This include provisions for improved road infrastructure, access to green space and improved walking and cycling access to/from and through precinct 2b.

“Walking, cycling and road transport“ is one of the three focus areas of the TC Refresh, and DV364 includes very little change to improve any of these aspects in the Gungahlin Town Centre. In fact, DV364 proposes that the road network hierarchy and pedestrian and cycle network be removed from the precinct plan (currently Elements 1 and 2) despite specific message from the community identified in the TC Refresh consultation report[7] that speak to the importance of these to the overall experience of the town centre , ie.

  • There was significant concern about increasing traffic congestion as a result of the continuing growth of the town centre. Traffic flow and intersections also need to be improved.
  • There are concerns that parking supply is not meeting short and long term demand.
  • Safety for pedestrians, cyclists and motorist needs to be improved.
  • There is strong support to improve the pedestrian and cycling network both within and into the town centre

The GCC recommends that the further residential (mixed-use) development be minimised (not maximised) as part of DV364 in precinct 2a.

The GCC recommends that DV364 incorporate provision for improved road infrastructure, better access to green space and improved walking and cycling access to/from and through precinct 2b.

The GCC recommends that the road network hierarchy and pedestrian and cycle network elements of the precinct code be retained as part of DV364 to reflect the recommendation above and updated to address the community feedback from the TC Refresh.

Community Facilities as Equivalent Floor Space

The concept of providing community facilities within a “community facility zone” as “equivalent floor space within a mixed use development” as proposed by DV364 requires further explanation. It is unclear to the GCC how the proposed 3.8 hectares will be distributed, guaranteed, sustained and preserved over time, how this community space will be balanced with community space outside the town centre to ensure the needs of Gungahlin residents are met, and what the Community Need Assessment process will encompass.

The GCC recommends that additional explanation be included in DV364, or referenced by DV364, that outlines the mechanism that will enforce the equivalent floor space/community zone concept.

[1] https://www.legislation.act.gov.au/ni/2019-641

[2] https://www.yoursay.act.gov.au/gungahlin-town-centre-planning-refresh

[3] https://gcc.asn.au/getting-development-right-for-the-town-centre-the-gungahlin-residential-towers-story/

[4] https://gcc.asn.au/Gunsmoke/GCC_Gunsmoke_143_(Online)%20(1).pdf

[5] https://www.legislation.act.gov.au/View/ni/2019-641/current/PDF/2019-641.PDF

[6] https://gcc.asn.au/survey2019/

[7]https://www.yoursay.act.gov.au/download_file/2936/612

GCC Public Meeting February 12

The first GCC public meeting of 2020 will be held in the Gungahlin Club commencing at 6.30pm on Wednesday 12 February 2019.

Agenda

  • GCC Update, Peter Elford, President, GCC
  • Community Sites in Casey, Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate
  • Gas five year plan for 2021–26, Chris Bell, evoEnergy
  • Bus Network and light Rail Changes, Peter Steele, Transport Canberra

Delivery Drones in Gungahlin

The GCC recently made a submission to the federal government’s “Noise Regulation Review for Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) and Specialised Aircraft” being conducted by the Department of Infrastructure. This review was a response to the Department of Infrastructure acknowledging that they have regulatory oversight of the noise created by drones, including delivery drones such as those used by Wing and is important to those of us in Gungahlin.

Delivery by drone is a new service which “has emerged without the regulatory controls necessary to ensure that the beneficiaries and consumers of the service are balanced with the real and perceived concerns of the community”. This is explictly stated in the GCC submission (included below). The response also includes responses to the specific questions identified in the Department’s Issues Paper, and some additional comments on the importance of continued national regulatory oversight as opposed to leaving regulations entirely in the hands of the state governments.

Much of this submission is based on the GCC submission to the ACT government’s Inquiry into the Drone Delivery System in the ACT made in February 2019 which covers a broader range of issues.


Submission in Response to the Noise Regulation Review for Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) and Specialised Aircraft

[ FULL DOCUMENT ]

The Gungahlin Community Council (GCC) welcomes the opportunity to provide a submission to the Department of Infrastructure’s Noise Regulation Review for Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) and Specialised Aircraft.

The GCC is a voluntary, not for profit, community-based association operating in the Gungahlin district of Canberra funded by the ACT Government (www.gcc.asn.au). We provide advocacy on a range of topics informed by engaging with the Gungahlin community through a variety of channels including face to face meetings, a newsletter, an email list, a website, Facebook, Twitter, traditional media and surveys.

As the Department will be aware, Gungahlin is where the Wing drone delivery system has been deployed on an ongoing basis for the first time from a base located in Mitchell. The GCC has played, and continues to play, an active role on behalf of the Gungahlin community regarding the impact of this drone delivery service. This submission is therefore focussed on this aspect of remotely piloted aircraft (RPA), and not urban air mobility (UAM), although some of the comments and issues identified may be applicable to both.

Although the Wing service has been operational in Gungahlin longer than anywhere else, it has been under a range of restrictions and exemptions from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s (CASA’s) Standard Operating Conditions (SOC), and for a relatively short period of time. The Gungahlin community (and the GCC) therefore have relatively limited direct experience and/or understanding of the nature of drone delivery systems. The GCC has built a level of understanding of the relevant issues by reviewing the extensive media coverage, facilitating briefings at GCC public meetings from Wing, Bonython Against Drones and the Department, responding to the ACT’s Inquiry into Drone Delivery Systems, undertaking site visits to the Project Wing Bonython trial site, engaging traditional media outlets and maintaining an ongoing dialogue with both Wing and the Gungahlin community.

It is clear from these engagements, and as highlighted in the Issues Paper, that this new technology-facilitated capability has emerged without the regulatory controls necessary to ensure that the beneficiaries and consumers of the service, are balanced with the real and perceived concerns of the community.

Nevertheless, early feedback from the Gungahlin community has indicated that most residents’ view drone delivery systems positively.

Regarding the proposed regulation of drones identified in the Issues Paper (Section 2.7), the GCC supports proposals a. through d. and strongly supports proposal e.;

e. Benchmarking acceptable noise levels for overflying different land use areas (including residential areas) having regard to acceptable noise levels permitted from other similar noise generating equipment under State/Territory legislation.

In relation to proposal f.;

f. Allowing noise regulation of drones by State/Territory Governments where this is consistent with the application of their regulations to other types of noise disturbance from operating equipment and not inconsistent with Commonwealth legislation.

the GCC is strongly of the view that the Commonwealth needs to establish and maintain a more active leadership, coordination and development role in the regulation of drones than this proposal suggests for the following reasons:

  • There is a lack of well documented evidence regarding drone noise and its impact, that needs to be undertaken at national level, for implementation/action at state level as per proposal e
  • Drone delivery systems are still undergoing rapid development and evolution, and any regulatory development process must be sufficiently flexible to address the specific issues identified in the trials conducted to date (for example), as well as any further issues or opportunities that arise as part of the ongoing operations. Having a national coordinated approach to actively drive regulatory responses to emerging issues will avoid duplication and fragmentation at state level.
  • Other aspects of drone operations, notably safety, are regulated at the Commonwealth level creating potential confusion in terms of an end-to-end approach to drone regulation, which could be mitigated by the Commonwealth remaining closely engaged with the states
  • Regulatory consistency across states significantly improves the commercial market for drone delivery services from multiple providers and hence the opportunities for Australia (and Gungahlin) to lead in this sector and make the best possible use of these capabilities
  • The low level of awareness of the differences between different types of drones and their capabilities is a national problem, and can best be addressed consistently and effectively at national level, even if enforcement of regulations occurs at the state level
  • Experience to date with drone delivery systems has shown states unable or unwilling to take on the responsibility of providing a “single point of contact” regarding concerns with drone delivery services. In some instances (eg. ACT) responsibility for complaints regarding a provider of drone delivery services have been directed back to the provider – the GCC believes it is unacceptable for the operators of drone delivery systems to be the only point of contact for community concerns or issues.
  • At this early stage of the drone delivery industry, there is a risk that regulations are developed at state level around the specific offerings of individual providers within that state, rather than taking a whole of industry approach in an open and transparent manner.

This position is in part supported by the positive impact the leadership provided by the Department of Infrastructure has had in addressing issues of noise associated with the drone delivery service in the ACT. The GCC is eager to continue to be involved in the development of regulations to ensure that the beneficiaries and consumers of the drone delivery service are balanced with the real and perceived concerns of the community.

Next GCC Public Meeting and AGM December 11

Next GCC Public Meeting and AGM December 11

The 2019 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Gungahlin Community Council Inc., and December public meeting, will be held in the Gungahlin Club commencing at 6.30pm on Wednesday 11 December 2019. The AGM will be held first.

Public Meeting

Agenda

  • GCC Update, Peter Elford, President, GCC
  • Tamil Christmas Presentation
  • Access Canberra Contact Centre, Kevin Bell, Access Canberra
  • Bush Fire Preparedness, ACT Rural Fire Service

Annual General Meeting

All committee positions will be declared vacant and nominations for all positions are required: President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Public Officer and Committee Members (up to five) – as the Constitution allows for a maximum of 10 members of the committee.

MEMBERSHIP

A person is eligible for membership of the Council if the person is at least 16 years of age and one of:

(a) lives in the Gungahlin district;
(b) owns property in the Gungahlin district;
(c) works in the Gungahlin district;
(d) conducts a business in the Gungahlin district; or
(e) has been duly appointed to represent a social organisation or interest group servicing the Gungahlin district.

A person is not eligible to nominate to be an Office-Bearer of the Council if the person is;

(a) an Executive Officer of a registered political party;
(b) a person employed by a registered political party;
(c) a registered candidate for a forthcoming election; or
(d) an elected member of the ACT Legislative Assembly or any Parliament or a person who has been pre-selected or has nominated for a forthcoming election to any of the aforementioned bodies; or
(e) an office bearer in a commercial or industrial lobby group registered with the Federal or ACT Government.

Nominations should be sent by emailing a completed nomination form to the Secretary (secretary@gcc.asn.au) no later than 6.00 pm Friday 6 December 2019.

If nominating another person, please ensure that your nomination is acceptable to them. If you know someone who may be interested in the work of the Gungahlin Community Council, please pass this information on to them.

AGM Agenda

1. Opening and welcome
2. Apologies
3. Minutes of previous AGM held on 14 November 2018
4. Presentation of President’s Report for 2018-2019
5. Presentation of Treasurer’s Report (Financial Reports & Auditor’s Statement)

6. Appointment of Public Officer
7. Election of office bearers & general committee members for 2019-2020.
8. General Business

Gungahlin Community Survey 2019

Do the survey by clicking on this link  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WVKYGS9

Or start the survey by clicking on the picture!

It’s been 5 years since the last GCC Community Survey so with an ACT election coming up, the GCC wants to know how Gungahlin residents live, work, play and learn, and how they would like Gungahlin to develop.

Please share this link with your friends! The more people that do the survey, the more compelling the results will be for the ACT government and our MLAs.

For those that are keen, you might want to have a look at a summary of the results from the 2014 Survey.

 

Gungahlin Cinema Community Information Session 13/9/19

[ Posted on behalf of Canberra Town Planning by the GCC ]

The proponents of the Gungahlin Cinema project are hosting a community information session open to all residents:

WEDNESDAY 13 NOVEMBER 2019
DROP-IN AT ANYTIME
BETWEEN 5:30PM – 7:30PM
FUNCTION ROOM 2 – EASTLAKE GUNGAHLIN

PLEASE NOTE – this is the same night and in the same venue as the November GCC Public Meeting which starts at 6:30pm – we would hope to see you there.

The proposed design for the cinema complex comprises a two (2) storey commercial building that includes:

  • Three ground level retail / commercial spaces,
  • Ground level car parking spaces, including four accessible spaces
  • A ground level cinema foyer leading to a cinema on the second level containing 8 Cinema screens
  • New driveways and upgrades to adjacent footpaths and lighting.

The proposed design for the office development will feature:

  • Five ground floor retail spaces
  • Two floors of commercial office space
  • Ground floor lobby, services, bicycle end of trip facilities and car parking spaces
  • Basement car parking
  • Upgrades to adjacent footpaths and lighting.

To help ensure the surrounding community is involved in the development process, the project team is undertaking a program of consultation to engage with neighbouring organisations, residents, and other key local stakeholders.

The proponent has been undertaking ongoing community consultation in relation to the Cinema proposal over the past four years. Shortly, a Community Information Session is to be held whereby members of the community can attend to view preliminary designs and provide input. The feedback gained from this process will inform the project design before it is submitted for Development Approval.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
CANBERRA TOWN PLANNING ON (02) 6262 5091
OR EMAIL ADMIN@CANPLAN.COM.AU

GCC Budget Submission 2020-21

The ACT government conducts an annual consultation process as part of the formulation of the budget for the upcoming financial year. The GCC’s submission for the 2020-21 year highlighted transport infrastructure and the need to attract more employment to Gungahlin, particularly in the town centre.

Executive Summary

PRIORITIES

  1. Further investments are required to alleviate over-crowding on Light Rail, to complete the duplication of all of Horse Park Drive (between Roden Cutler Drive and Gungahlin Drive), and to undertake a review and analysis of the road network within Gungahlin to ensure it will meet the needs of the completed district.
  2. The GCC is seeking the ACT government’s support to develop a unique value proposition and incentives to create substantial employment opportunities in Gungahlin

IMPORTANT

  1. The GCC asks that the ACT government prioritise the activation of the Yerrabi Pond area by providing rubbish bins and lighting, and improving maintenance, of this heavily used park.
  2. Additional Light Rail services need to be provided to capture the demand being presented by Gungahlin residents. Investments are also needed to improve the usability of Light Rail, including bike and ride and kiss and ride facilities at the Gungahlin terminus.
  3. The new bus network has significantly degraded services between Gungahlin and Belconnen. This needs to be addressed.
  4. The GCC asks that government provide midwife services at the Gungahlin Walk-In Health Centre consistent with the very young family demographic of the Gungahlin district.

Introduction

This submission to the 2020-21 ACT budget process is on behalf of the Gungahlin Community Council (GCC). It is informed through the activities of the GCC, including public meetings, newsletters, social media and face to face dialogues, and through the expertise, knowledge and experience of the GCC executive[1].

Priorities

As might be expected in an area that is growing rapidly[2] [3], the provision of adequate transport and services are the issues of greatest importance for Gungahlin residents and hence the GCC.

Like all the suburban greenfield districts of Canberra, Gungahlin has undergone over twenty years of continuous construction and development. At different stages some of the basic infrastructure to support this development has lagged, notably between about 2005-2015 when the capacity of the Gungahlin arterial road network was inadequate. Since this period, there have been significant investments in the transport infrastructure to service Gungahlin, including the (partial) duplication of Horse Park Drive, the (ongoing) duplication of Gundaroo Drive and the construction of Light Rail.

These investments have greatly improved transport to and from Gungahlin, but further investments are required to alleviate over-crowding on Light Rail, to complete the duplication of all of Horse Park Drive (between Roden Cutler Drive and Gungahlin Drive) [1], and to undertake a review and analysis of the road network within Gungahlin to ensure it will meet the needs of the completed district. This review should include examining better synchronisation of traffic lights and the duplication/addition of slips lanes on

  • Clarrie Hermes Drive [2],
  • Gungahlin Drive West of Gundaroo Drive [3],
  • Mirrabei Drive [4], and
  • Gundaroo Drive North of Mirrabei Drive [5].

Further, Gungahlin faces a unique challenge compared to other districts. Although Gungahlin will begin 2020 with a population of approximately 80,000 – the third largest district in Canberra (after Belconnen and Tuggeranong) and roughly the same size as North and South Canberra combined – there are proportionally very few jobs located in Gungahlin[1]. This places significant strain on transport infrastructure, reduces the amenity and accessibility of Gungahlin, and dampens the development of businesses and services within the Gungahlin region. This issue will not be addressed through a “wait and see” approach based on standard market forces.

The GCC is seeking the ACT government’s support to develop a unique value proposition and incentives to create substantial employment opportunities in Gungahlin. The objective would be to generate a return on the investment in Gungahlin generally, and on investments like Light Rail specifically, and to capture the opportunity of the remaining greenfield development opportunities. Proposed changes to the Gungahlin Town Centre Precinct Code (Draft Variation 364[1]), that reduce the amount of space available for commercial/core developments undermine this goal.

Important Issues

Activation of Public Spaces

Gungahlin has a number of green, open and community spaces that are underused because of a lack of maintenance and utility. This includes the lack of rubbish bins and the services to empty them, adequate lighting to ensure public safety and adequate parking to enable access to these areas. The GCC asks that the ACT government prioritise the activation of the Yerrabi Pond area by providing rubbish bins and lighting, and improving maintenance, of this heavily used park.

Public Transport

The Light Rail services has proven to be extremely popular and is now very congested in the early morning. Additional Light Rail services need to be provided to capture the demand being presented by Gungahlin residents. Investments are also needed to improve the usability of Light Rail are required, including bike and ride and kiss and ride facilities at the Gungahlin terminus.

The new bus network has significantly degraded services between Gungahlin and Belconnen. This needs to be addressed.

Health Care

The GCC asks that government provide midwife services at the Gungahlin Walk-In Health Centre consistent with the very young family demographic of the Gungahlin district.

 

Peter Elford

President, GCC

1st November, 2019

[1] https://www.planning.act.gov.au/planning-our-city/territory_plan/draft_variations_to_the_territory_plan

[1] There is very little specific data readily available to support this observation, but based on a simple count of office buildings it’s clearly true.

[1] Appendix A

Gungahlin Community Council 2018-19
President, Peter Elford
Vice President, Henley Samuel
Secretary, Sharee Schultz
Treasurer, David Pollard
Public Officer Ke, vin Cox
General Committee, Prasad Tipireni
General Committee, Ralitsa Dimitrova
General Committee, Darron Marks
General Committee, Luke Hadfield

[2] https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/5992052/canberra-population-sprints-past-420000-new-figures-show/

[3] https://apps.treasury.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/1305581/ACT-Population-Projections-Paper-FINAL.pdf

Next GCC Meeting is November 13

Agenda

  • Gungahlin Police Update, Rod Anderson
  • Franklin Grasslands, Geoff Robertson, President, Friends of Grasslands
  • Canberra Hindu Mandir Temple, Dr Krishna Nadimpalli
  • Meet Your MLA – Alistair Coe, Leader of Opposition, Yerrabi MLA