ACT Government Response to Gungahlin Town Centre Motions and Petition

On 11 November 2021, The Minister for Planning, Mick Gentleman, released the ACT Government’s response to the petition and the two motions that were key elements of the GCC’s “Stop the Sales of Land in the Town Centre campaign”. The responses are summarised in a Ministerial Statement given in the ACT Assembly, and detailed in a letter to the Clark of the Assembly related to the Petition and a Statement in Response to the motions. A detailed summary of the lead up to and the actions undertaken as part of the Call to Suspend Lands Sales was published recently by the Canberra Planning Action Group (CPAG) – see The Gungahlin Town Centre – A Failed Planning System Case Study.

As a reminder, the only other formal response to the GCC’s campaign was the immediate response and commitment by the Suburban Land Agency (SLA) as detailed in their letter of 6 May to:

offer the opportunity to work with the GCC on the place making of future land releases in the GTC [Gungahlin Town Centre]. This would include engagement on how the sale of these blocks are brought to the market, the provision of open space and interface with the linear park and future public realm.”

The responses to the petition and motions add very little to the SLA’s commitment. It’s hard to see how the government will achieve the goal set out in the Gungahlin Town Centre Report 2010 of “reserving enough land for up to 200,000 m2 of office space sufficient to accommodate 10,000 office jobs.”

There are 18 “asks” (or “calls”) in the two motions. The government has indicated that 7 are AGREED, 2 are NOTED and 9 and AGREED IN-PRINCIPLE. “Agreed in-principle” usually means that no further action will be taken, and this is certainly the case regarding this response which cite the flawed consultations undertaken by EPSDD in recent years, the promise of change as part of the Reform of The ACT Planning System which is unlikely to be in place until 2023-24 and hence too late, and process and policies that have demonstrably failed.

The only additional “actions” that the GCC has been able to identify in the response to the motions, in addition to the SLA’s commitment, are that:

  • The Government will “prepare an employment prospectus on the benefits of Gungahlin and the Gungahlin Town Centre … provided to the Commonwealth Finance Minister” (which has been done many times before, so not much confidence this will achieve a result), and
  • “traffic flows will continue to be monitored and any necessary improvements will be considered by Government” (hardly very convincing).

Similarly, the response to the petition does not acknowledge the validity of the community’s concerns and includes no further actions other than the “employment prospectus” noted above.

Overall, the responses to both the petition and the motions are largely dismissive and devoid of any creative thinking.

Focus now falls to how the government’s (overdue) response to the inquiry into DV364. The GCC has asked for the issues identified to be acknowledged, and specific, timely actions to address the specific and unique issues in Gungahlin – it may well be that a failure to do so will result in the current campaign extending into a second year.

The ACT Government had indicated they will respond to the recommendations of the Inquiry into DV364 by 30 January 2022,  but have not done so yet.

Throsby School School Community Use EOI

Are you a local community or sporting group looking for some space? The Education Directorate are now seeking Expressions of Interest (EOI) from not-for-profit organisations for the hire and use of Gungahlin’s newest community facilities at the school in Throsby, opening in 2022. Organisations will be able to use the facilities when they are not in use by the school. Spaces available for hire at the school include the double – sized gymnasium and facilities, performance stage and 2 music rooms.

Interested community groups will need to register with the Tenders ACT to be able to provide a response to the EOI, refer to

[ Provided by ACT Education Directorate ]

Information on planned accommodation changes to be made at the Gungahlin Joint Emergency Services Centre.

[ Information provided by Australian Federal Police, 15 November 2021 ]

Gungahlin Police Station (

Earlier this year, The ACT Government announced significant changes to how emergency services are housed in the Gungahlin district.

Part of that announcement was a plan for the Gungahlin Joint Emergency Services Centre (JESC) that currently holds ACT Policing as well as the ACT Ambulance Service (ACTAS), ACT Fire & Rescue (ACT F&R), State Emergency Service (SES) and Rural Fire Service (RFS).

It is well known that due to population growth and increasing demand for services this facility is no longer suitable to house multiple emergency service agencies and ACT Policing is pleased that a sensible and planned approach has been agreed by the ACT Government.

Ultimately, ACT Policing will occupy the whole site, with renovations and modifications to be made to ensure it is fit for our purposes.

The first changes that will occur will be the SES and RFS moving from the facility to accommodation in Mitchell in 2022. Minor building works will be conducted to allow ACT Policing to increase its office space in the building.

A master design will then be developed for ACT Policing to ultimately assume full occupancy of the current JESC site once ACTAS and ACT F&R relocate.

At all times the agencies that currently work out of the JESC will continue to provide their day to day services to the residents, businesses and visitors to Gungahlin. While there may be some disruptions to our accommodation, we will continue to respond to calls for assistance each and every day.

This increase in emergency services accommodation in Gungahlin recognises the continued growth of the district and we look forward continuing to work together in the coming months and years.

GCC 2021 AGM and Public Meeting 8 December

The 2021 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Gungahlin Community Council Inc., and December public meeting, will be held in the Gungahlin Club, 51 Hinder Street, Gungahlin commencing at 6.30pm on Wednesday 8 December 2021. The AGM will be held first.

The AGM and meeting will be face-to-face (not online using Zoom). As usual the meeting will be live streamed on Facebook via the GCC Facebook page.

Persons wishing to attend the AGM are strongly encouraged to sign up as a GCC member (it’s FREE!) as only registered members can vote in the event of an election for an executive position.

Public Meeting


Annual General Meeting

All executive committee positions will be declared vacant and nominations are now open for the office-bearer positions of President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Public Officer and up to five other Committee Members.

The GCC is a volunteer organisation that advocates for and on behalf of the district of Gungahlin as outlined in What We Do. Our recent activities has been focussed on improving the community’s engagement with the ACT government and ensuring Gungahlin is completed with all the services and facilities residents expect of a Canberra district:

The GCC organises and hosts monthly public meetings. The GCC executive also meets once per month and much of the business of the executive is undertaken online through email, social media, our web site and other online tools. We engage with a wide range of ACT government agencies, MLA’s and Ministers, and members of the executive participate in a number of forums to better interact with the Gungahlin community. The work of the GCC is captured in our newsletters and annual reports (eg. 2020, 2019, 2018).

If you know someone who may be interested in the work of the Gungahlin Community Council, please pass this information on to them.

You must be a registered GCC member to nominate for an executive committee position (signup as a member). 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 ( no later than 6.00 pm Wednesday 1 December 2021. All nominations will be acknowledged by return email.

AGM Agenda

1. Opening and welcome
2. Apologies
3. Minutes of previous AGM held on 2 December 2020
4. Presentation of President’s Report for 2020-21
5. Presentation of Treasurer’s Report (Financial Reports & Reviewers Statement)

6. Appointment of Public Officer
7. Election of office bearers & general committee members for 2021-22
8. General Business

Pre-DA Consultation Canberra Business and Technical College (Block 4 Section 246 Gungahlin)

Pre-DA Consultation Canberra Business and Technical College (Block 4 Section 246 Gungahlin)

JUDD Studio are undertaking the pre Development Application (DA) for Block 4 Section 246 Gungahlin, a site purchased by the Canberra Business and Technical College (CBTC). A presentation was given at the GCC Public Meeting on 13 October (video available) and further details and the ability to provide feedback can be found at the JUDD Studio website.

Two online sessions are being provided by JUDD Studio to described the updated project (click to register):

GCC Public Meeting 10 November

GCC Public Meeting 10 November

The next public meeting of the Gungahlin Community Council (GCC) will be held on Wednesday 10 November 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
  • Suburban Land Agency Mega Update – Gungahlin Town Centre, Jacka 2, Jacka Community-Battery, Taylor+Moncrief commercial sites
  • Community-Owned, Community Batteries, Kevin Cox
    This talk will explain what a community battery is and why they are important to Gungahlin. The ACT government has committed to providing community batteries and are seeking ideas on how to choose who will own the batteries. The presentation will outline a proposal for a co-operative of Gungahlin households to finance and own community batteries for Jacka.
  • TBC

Three Gungahlin Roads in ACT Top Ten Accident Locations

AAMI publish an annual national Crash Index based on motor accident insurance claims across their various companies. Their 2021 results for Canberra includes 3 Gungahlin roads in the top ten list for accidents all of which are new entrants to the list:

The report notes that “Many of these roads take commuters to and from the city centre”. The GCC has written to the Minister for Transport, who spoke at the GCC’s May 2021 meeting, seeking a response to this data.

Pre-DA Consultation Block 8 Section 51 Taylor

Bronte Group is conducting pre-DA community consultation on behalf of the landowners in relation to a proposed residential development on Block 8 Section 51 Taylor. The development offers a range of dwelling typologies including 30 apartments and 42 townhouses. The site currently provides for a vacant parcel of land located adjacent to the future Taylor Local Centre.

As part of the preparation of the Development Application for on the subject site, the Proponent is undertaking a program of Community Information and Consultation to engage with the neighbouring community and key stakeholders. In relation to the information presented by the Proponent and the Design Team, we would appreciate any comments you may have regarding the proposal.

The virtual information session will be held on Tuesday the 26th of October from 5pm to 6pm. To register for the information session, send your name, surname and email address to The link to the meeting will be sent to you by the 25th of October 2021. On the day, use the link and follow the prompts to the meeting.

For further information and to provide feedback on the proposed design, please visit or contact Canberra Town Planning at or (02) 6262 5091.

GCC Welcomes Inquiry into DV364 Report

The GCC welcomes the report of the Inquiry into Draft Variation 364 undertaken by the ACT Assembly Standing Committee on Planning, and strongly recommends the ACT Government adopt all of the Committee’s recommendations as a matter of urgency. It should be noted that the members of the Committee represent all three political parties in the ACT Assembly – we thank them for their work and report.

The report acknowledges the concerns that have been raised by the GCC as part of our Call to Suspend Land Sales campaign, and its recommendations are broadly inline with the actions proposed in our petition, our requests to the Minister for Planning (Example 1, Example 2), and the motions proposed by Suzanne Orr and Andrew Braddock passed by the ACT Assembly.

The current planning and development settings and processes are not facilitating the development of a Town Centre with all the employment, retail, community, and entertainment services Gungahlin residents expect of a town centre. To improve the outcomes of any further land sales within the Town Centre, it is imperative that the ACT Government action the recommendations of the Inquiry urgently, as further land releases are expected in the ACT budget to be announced on 6 October 2021.

The GCC notes in particular the following comments of the Committee (our emphasis):

  • The committee is of the opinion that the Draft Variation is not fully formed and that the technical documents don’t serve to realise the objectives of the town centre plans. The committee also questions how the DV will shape the town centre and interact with the indicative land releases to lead to the stated outcomes. [4.10]
  • The Committee is concerned by the methodology used to determine the demand for commercial land within the town centre and the subsequent decrease in land reserved for commercial use. Most concerning is that a commercial needs assessment was not undertaken to inform the decision that demand had in fact decreased. … [5.13]
  • It was clear from all evidence before the Committee that mixed use development and the planning settings are very broad and not necessarily achieving the outcomes the Government, community or developers are wanting. The testimony highlighted the obstacles to achieving a mixed use precinct when developers only have responsibility for one single block and how a precinct scale development has more potential to achieve the outcomes sought. [5.26]

Report Recommendations

To inform the Territory Plan planning regulations a thorough investigation be completed by the ACT Government that:
  • identifies retail, community and commercial activity that can prosper in the town centre including activities that can anchor further growth;
  • identifies options for the ACT Government to support potential commercial activity through appropriate land provision and complementary policy settings; and
  • the findings of the investigation be used to inform the sale and development requirements of future land releases in the town centre.
The Committee recommends the ACT Government remove criterion 43 and the new R44 from DV364 in order to reserve priority commercial space.
In order to realise the objectives of the planning provisions, the ACT Government amend the indicative land release program so that the unsold blocks in Gungahlin East precinct:
  • be sold as a precinct rather than as individual blocks;
  • have contractual and lease requirements applied to the sale to deliver a precinct that includes retail, business, and community facility developments;
  • apply a maximum number of residential dwellings allowable so that residential dwellings are not the primary or majority use;
  • apply a minimum square metre requirement for commercial development; and
  • be designed in consultation with the community.
If the remaining blocks in the Gungahlin East Precinct are sold as individual blocks, the Committee recommends the ACT Government maintain a commercial zoning for these blocks and apply a maximum number of residential dwellings and a minimum square metre requirement for commercial development permitted for each block to ensure that residential dwellings are not the primary or majority use.
The ACT Government apply the provision for an additional two storeys of building height to all blocks with height limit provisions in the town centre.
The Committee recommends active travel and vehicle and parking arrangements are reconsidered following the completion of the traffic and transport assessments being undertaken by Transport Canberra and City Services.
The Committee recommends active frontage placements are reconsidered with priority to having active frontages in areas identified as pedestrian throughfares.
The Committee recommends the study area for the Gungahlin Town Centre Draft Variation be extended to incorporate Yerrabi Pond recreational and commercial area and the key connections of Gungahlin Place north of Anthony Rolfe Ave and Nellie Hamilton Ave as well as Camtamessa Avenue.

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.


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
  • 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),