GCC Public Meeting 14 July

GCC Public Meeting 14 July

The next public meeting of the Gungahlin Community Council (GCC) will be held on Wednesday 14 July 2021 starting at 6:30pm.


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.


  • GCC Update
  • Yerrabi MLA Update, Suzanne Orr MLA
  • Gungahlin Policing Update, Rachel Hutka, AFP
  • Upgrading the Gungahlin Police Station, Troy Roberts, AFP Association
  • Neighborhood Watch in Gungahlin, Laurie Blackall, ACT Neighbourhood Watch Association
  • Assessment of Community and Recreation Facilities in Gungahlin, Ben Green, EPSDD

One Resident’s Opinion (DV364 Inquiry)

The ACT Assembly is conducting an inquiry into proposed changes to the Gungahin Town Centre – you can make a submission yourself as detailed here. You may find this resident’s submission interesting inspiration!

Major Changes Proposed in DV364

I do not support DV364 I do not believe the removal of the current prohibition on residential apartments is justified.
I do not believe that the Gungahlin planning refresh snapshot demonstrates that the community have ever been specifically consulted about the proposed change from 100,000smtrs in the Office Core to a mixed use model that changes this area from the Office core to “Mixed use East”
Based on what I believe is a deliberate attempt to avoid asking the public whether they would be in favor of more residential apartments in the remaining vacant CBD land. The Gungahlin Community Council decided to survey the Gungahlin community and ask this specific question. The results were overwhelming against any further residential apartments being constructed.
This evidence has been presented to Ben Ponton the Director General of EPSDD and Lesley Cameron from Planning and Urban planning. This information provided appears to have been completely disregarded.
I have consistently noted on every new announcement of new apartment complexes being build in Gungahlin a very high level of concern amongst the population of Gungahlin against these proposals. I do not believe that many of these residents are aware of, or would be in favor of, the mixed use changes that are proposed in DV364.
I believe local MLA’s in consultations with the community are also acutely aware of the public’s hostility towards more mixed use development in the remaining CBD vacant land.
I have also expressed my concern to the SLA in a private meeting and to Minister Berry directly via video conference. I do not subscribe to the current reasoning that the need for more housing excuses actions that ignore the opinions and future needs of Gungahlin residents.
In fact what is never acknowledged is the considerable contribution already made by Gungahlin residents. With the removal of 100,000smtrs of office space from the Business Park Mixed use north precinct. The reasoning given at the time was that there was no interest by business and the only alternative was to use the merit track to change the zoning rules to build high density residential.
No evidence of what advertisement has been enacted by the ACT Government or the developer to foster that interest has ever been presented.  I brought this point up during the DA presentations made by Geocon executives.
The new Bunnings retail precinct located a short distance away clearly demonstrates that there is a demand for more retail outlets. The zoning change to retail I believe would have been a better alternative to the high density housing complexes that currently exist.
The concept floated included a vibrant mixed use retail component in this precinct. This has never materialised with many empty retail stores that have never realised the advertised planning benefits of mixed use developments.
What Gungahlin needs for the future is the preservation of the prohibition on residential apartments in the office core. The primary purpose of all buildings needs to be to provide employment to help alleviate the mass exit of residents to other town centres which have been planned with employment options as a central planning outcome to keep their town centres vibrant.
Developers like to trumpet that this remaining area is close to light rail. But they do not address the empty trains that travel back into Gungahlin during the day. The reality is that without a dedicated Office precinct “no activation” will be injected into the Gungahlin CBD during the day. We know this is important as the concerns expressed about the economic decline on existing ACT precincts when office workers started working from home.
We have a similar concern that we do not have what has been afforded to other ACT districts. Without the preservation of the remaining 100,000smtrs in the office core Gungahlin will be relegated to a dormitory suburb.
What we have acknowledged and understand is there isn’t currently enough interest by Federal departments or Business to take up this land. But I would challenge the Planning Directorate and ACT Government – what has been done in response to the removal of our Business Park to encourage that investment ?
It is in my opinion a red herring to suggest that residential mixed use is the only alternative. Given the public consultation I do not believe has ever specifically addressed mixed use residential introduction. Returning to public consultations on this specific topic is in order.
We are encouraged by a renewed push to ask the Federal Government for more interest in moving more Federal departments to Gungahlin and that the ACT Government is now considering moving further employment assets to Gungahlin. But more needs to be demonstrated to encourage the widest variety of business or retail development. The recent purchase of CBD vacant land by an education provider is a good example of this sort of out of the box thinking that is required.
The remaining CBD vacant land needs to be protected until we have comprehensive public consultations. And address the Government’s total abandonment of the planning principles first set out for the original need to create these Office Core and Business Park precincts in the 2008 planning documents that DV364 seeks to overturn.

Gunners Place

Gunners Place

Gungahlin’s first Youth Centre has officially opened to the public, providing an inclusive, welcoming, and safe space for young people at the Gungahlin Marketplace.

Northside Community Services , Barnardo’s and Multicultural Hub Canberra have collaborated to deliver Gunner’s Place to the Gungahlin region with the support of the Marketplace Gungahlin. They have been engaged and committed to a Youth space for six years after been located at Harrison School, Gungahlin College and now Gungahlin town centre.

The space can take up to 45 people and can be used during the week days for meetings/groups from 8am – 7.45pm Monday to Friday, when not in use by the youth services. The space is available on weekends from 8am – 7.45pm as well, but access is limited to when the last store closes (Big W).

For bookings and other inquiries, contact Shaun Hodson.


Dedicated youth centre opens in Gungahlin

Gungahlin’s first Youth Centre offers young people safe space

What Should the Gungahlin Town Centre Should Be Like! (DV364 Inquiry)

Call for Submissions

The Minister for Planning has 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 is calling for submissions.

If you care about the future of the Gungahlin Town Centre please make a submission. You don’t have to be a town planning expert –  just describe what you want and expect to be part of a completed town centre. More details and background can be found below. Perhaps think about

  • employment – what creates jobs in a town centre 
  • retail – outlets, experience
  • commercial spaces – large scale offices, smaller businesses
  • community facilities – youth, arts, community groups, rooms, spaces, seniors
  • traffic and parking
  • active travel – walking, cycling, scooters
  • parks – places for kids to play, and to sit, eat, drink
  • entertainment – cafes, pubs, clubs, restaurants, cinema, etc.

Details for how to make a submission (copied from the Committee’s website):

There are few rules for submissions, only that they must be relevant, written and received before the closing date.  Include your name, phone number, and postal and email addresses, before sending your submission in either digital or physical form to one of these addresses:

      • By email (preferred): LAcommitteePTCS@parliament.act.gov.au
      • By post: Standing Committee on Planning, Transport, and City Services, ACT Legislative Assembly, GPO Box 1020, Canberra ACT 2601

Submissions received by the committee may be published online, but personal contact details will be removed.

Closing date for submissions is 5pm on 30 June 2021. If you have any difficulty meeting this deadline, please request an extension.

Need help?  Check out our guide to writing a submission for tips and advice.

What is Draft Variation 364 ?

DV364 is proposing changes to the way land is allocated for use in the Gungahlin Town Centre. It is a proposal to change the Gungahlin Town Centre Pre3cinct Code (see What is the Territory Plan below) as follows:

  • Opening up all of the Gungahlin East Precinct to “mixed-use” development
  • Belatedly, introducing more sensible height controls
  • Reducing the amount of land reserved for commercial office space from 100,000 m2 to 65,000 m2
  • Rather than reserving land for community facilities, allowing them to be provided through “equivalent floor space within a mixed use development”
  • Changing the names and boundaries of sub-precincts within the town centre
  • Relocating nominated public car park from block 2 section 229 to block 2 section 11 (between Ernest Cavanagh Street and Hibberson Street)
  • Improving requirements for the public domain.

Major changes proposed by Draft Variation 364

The GCC is strongly opposed to the changes proposoed in DV364, and critical of the process by which it was developed. These sort of planning rule have failed Gungahlin for 30 years and are not supporting the development og a viable town centre. Several artuicles on the GCC website provide more information on DV364:

What is the ACT Territory Plan ?

ACT Territory Plan is made up of:

  • Strategic directions
  • A map showing Zones
  • For each Zone, douments that detail the objectives for the that Zone
  • Codes, which describe local area (precinct) or functional details (like parking rules)

Strategic Directions

The ACT Planning Strategy 2018 has these high level planning goals for the ACT:

  • Compact and Efficient
  • Diverse
  • Sustainable and Resilient
  • Liveable
  • Accessible


Sample of ACT Territory Plan Map showing multiple Zones – CLICK ON THE MAP to go to the live online Terriorty Plan Map

Zones and Codes


Example Zone Table

Example Code – This is an extract from the Gungahlin Town Centre Precinct Code


What’s Going on With all the Work Being Done at The Establishment site ?

What’s Going on With all the Work Being Done at The Establishment site ?

A substantial temporary road has been constructed parallel to Gundaroo Drive behind the YMCA Early Childhood Centre (to be restored and rehabilitated by August 2022), an access road into the site has been built at the roundabout at the intersection of Gundaroo Drive and Gozzard Street and there’s major excavation going on. All of this, despite there being no decision on the current Development Application (DA) for the site! It’s hard not to assume the developer, Geocon, is so confident the DA will be approved they are pushing ahead … which is not a good look for the ACT government agencies responsible for approving the DA and the other works going on.

Geocon has already chopped down a tree on the site without permission and appears to have gone beyond the limits of the TCCS issued licence for limited development of the unleased Territory Land adjacent to the child care centre. The photos provide evidence of unauthorised, substantial and irreversible development and excavation works on the building site proper.

Temporary carpark/road running SW and parallel to Gundaroo Dv. There are two disabled and at best six other carparks. This road is not open yet and still fenced off.

This area is adjacent to the YMCA child care. Unsure if this is proposed outdoor play area but is currently underdeveloped with an old tractor tyre, logs, light poles and other rubbish.

Significant excavation works (looking across site to Gozzard St).

Significant site development, excavation and drilling/pile driving equipment (looking north to Gundaroo Dr).

Site boundary extends to road edge with excavation appearing to extend past block boundary up to footpath (looking south down Gozzard St).

A number of residents have contacted the GCC with similar concerns, and the GCC has also spoken with the YMCA who are struggling to manage the disruption caused by the vibration and dust created by they excavation and other work. The email response the GCC received from the Environment Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (EPSDD) has been:

“The reconsideration of the S197 application for DA201732666 is still underway.

In regard to the works underway adjacent to Gundaroo Drive, a licence was issued by TCCS to Geocon to permit the use of this area of unleased Territory Land for a temporary road access, parking area and an outdoor play space for use by the YWCA childcare centre during the construction of the adjacent development.  This licence commenced on 18 March 2021 and will expire on 1 August 2022. I understand the access road will be on the same alignment of the old Gundaroo Road, to minimise disturbance to the trees.”

The “reconsideration” mentioned above is the third attempt to get a development application approved for ths site.

The first DA was lodged by Empire Global in 2017 when the development was known as Air Towers. Despite broad community and GCC opposition this DA was approved in 2018.  You can read more about the GCC’s concerns in these articles:

The Notice of Decision for this original DA was very subjective and raised numerous further concerns about the DA approval process as detailed in this article.

The second DA for the site was lodged in May 2020 by Geocon (who had entered into an agreement with Empire Global) and sought to make a number of relatively minor amendments to the approved DA. The GCC again strongly opposed this amended DA, and in a much more rigourous assessment by the planning authority, the amended DA was rejected:

The third DA attempt, was a request by Geocon in June 2020 to “reconsider” the decision to reject the amended DA, allowed under Section 197 (S197) of the Planning Act. Again, the GCC opposed this DA

noting in particular that:

“The documentation provided with the reconsideration contains numerous changes to the amended DA and/or original DA and reads as a further amendment and does not appear to challenge the validity of the Notice of Decision for the Amended DA.”

Further background on how the Gungahlin “Office Park” turned into residential towers can be found in this article:

Kenny High School Development Application

The Development Application (DA) for the Kenny High School is open for public comment until 1 July 2021. The DA is for the

“Construction of a new high school in the future suburb of Kenny. The development is for a two storey educational facility, single storey gym, landscaping, outdoor learning areas, playing fields, external courts, bicycle storage, waste centre, fencing, parking, driveway, signage, offsite and associated works.”

You can view all the details of the DA (a total of 72MB) and or provide feedback through a representation to the ACT Government’s Planning Directorate.

Some additional details from the “Statement Against Criteria”  (most of the typos are in the document):

Over the last ten years there has been significant population growth in Gungahlin through urban intensification within the Town Centre and Flemington Road corridor, as well as the establishment of several new suburbs. The resulting forecast is that by 2023 the existing school facilities within Gungahlin will reach capacity.

In order to address the demographic changes in Gungahlin, ACT Education Directorate (EDU) has undertaken several interventions from installing temporary transportable structures and building new learning communities within existing schools, to purpose—built schools in new suburbs. This project will deliver a second high school in East Gungahlin as part of this strategy in delivering high quality school facilities to the Territory.

When completed East Gungahlin High School is to accommodate in Permanent construction 800 students and up to 90 teaching and ancillary staff. At peak enrolment, the School is to accommodate up to 1000 students, with the additional capacity achieved through the Provision of temporary accommodation.

In the wider context the site is located in the east of Gungahlin, having good vehicle connectivity via Well Drive to arterial roads of Flemington Road and Horse Park Drive to connect to the Harrison School 7-10 catchment area which includes the suburbs of Forde, Throsby, Gungahlin, Harrison, Mitchell and Franklin.

Although located on edge of the new suburb of Kenny, the proposed scope of works for the Estate Development Plan of Site includes pedestrian access to the light rail corridor, connecting to the Town Centre.

There is Potential to have good pedestrian and cycle pathway to the adjacent suburbs of Harrisons, Franklin and Kenny, to promote safe travel as well as after hours community use of the school facilities

This development application is to be read in association with the New Kenny Road DA and Well Station Drive Upgrade, which include provision for bus sit-downs, emergency vehicle access, signalised intersection and pedestrian footpaths.

The School site Estate Development Plan has provisions for incoming services to the site; water ties, sewer tie, stormwater,gas tie, Telstra, NBN and government fibre and substation.

GCC Public Meeting 9 June

The next public meeting of the Gungahlin Community Council (GCC) will be held on Wednesday 9 June 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.


District Planning in Gungahlin

The ACT Government’s Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate’s (EPSDD) ACT Planning System Review and Reform Project is a major piece of work that has been underway since 2018 to transform the ACT Planning System. This is an incredibly important piece of work given the acknowledged problems with the current planning system (eg. Dated system forces planning authority to approve imperfect developments, admits Chief Planner).

The GCC strongly encourages residents to visit the ACT Planning System Review and Reform Project website and at least look at the Overview.

One of the key proposed improvements is a new level of strategic planning in the system – District Planning – which is intended to “improve the line of sight from the Planning Strategy to the Territory Plan”.

A series of workshops across Canberra on the topic of district planning have been announced and community members are invited to have a say on planning for the future of their district.

A wide range of community members is ecouraged to participate – either online or in person. Details are as follows:

District Planning in Gungahlin
Date:Tuesday 15 June 2021
Time:6:00pm – 9:00pm
Location:Eastlake Gungahlin
Register your interest:https://yoursay.act.gov.au/act-planning-system-review-and-reform/gungahlin-district-planning

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


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.