Call to Suspend the Sale of Land within the Gungahlin Town Centre

UPDATED 6/5/2021 – Letter to Minister Berry

UPDATED 8/5/2021 – Petition, Meetings with SLA and Minister for Housing and Urban Development

UPDATE 13/6/2021 – Statement from Minister Gentleman, Minister’s response

The GCC has written to the Minister for Planning, Minister for Housing and Urban Development and the CEO of the Suburban Land Agency (SLA) calling for the sale of further land within the Gungahlin Town Centre to be suspended until:

On 23 March 2021, the GCC invited the Minister for Planning to attend our 14 April public meeting to address a number of planning concerns. The Minister was unable to attend and was represented by senior staff from EPSDD including the Chief Planner, Ben Ponton, Leslie Cameron and Bruce Fitzgerald. Unfortunately, the meeting did not provide the answers we were seeking, and in fact raised more concerns about whether the current planning system will deliver a viable town centre for Gungahlin.

We are therefore asking the Suburban Land Agency and the Minister for Planning to suspend the proposed auction of four mixed use sites scheduled for 12 May 2021, and the sale/auction of any other sites in the town centre, until the open issues noted above are resolved.

On 4 May 2021 the GCC launched an ACT Assembly petition  sponsored by Yerrabi MLA Andrew Braddock, to formalise the GCC’s call to action regarding the development of the town centre.

If you have lost confidence in the ACT Government planning system to deliver employment, retail, entertainment and community services for the Gungahlin Town Centre PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION.

Members of the GCC executive met with John Dietz, CEO SLA and other SLA executives on 5 May 2021 to share, on behalf of Gungahlin residents, our frustrations regarding the development of the Gungahlin Town Centre. Importantly, John indicated that our concerns had been heard. He and his team provided useful background and insights regarding the development of the town centre, and the role the SLA might play in improving the processes that are within their control that impact town centre development.

The GCC received a written response from John Dietz the next day (6 May 2021) in which he stated:

  • the SLA remains committed to the sale of these sites inaccordance with the ILRP [Indicative Land Use Release Program]
  • I 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.

A further meeting was help with the Minister for Urban Planning (Yvette Berry) and John Dietz on Friday 7 May 2021 where we were able to brief the minister directly on some of the history that has led to the GCC taking the action we have. Most of the issues raised relate to issues with the Minister for Planning’s portfolio and the Environment Palnning and Sustainable Development Directorate (EPSDD), but the GCC was keen to stress we are seeking a whole-of-government change of approach – as the current systems and processes were not meeting the expectations of Gungahlin residents. The Minister reaffirmed the government’s intention to proceed with the sales of the 4 blocks scheduled for 12 May 2021.

On 11 May the Minister for Planning, Mick Gentleman, delivered a Ministerial Statement on Planning in the Gungahlin Town Centre. The GCC was looking for a new approach from the government to address the issues we’ve raise but this response (if it is a response) indicates the Minister for Planning believes everything is fine. Even the chief planner acknowledges the planning system is broken … and it’s being demonstrated in the Gungahlin town centre. The statement makes numerous  assertions that are untrue (it was the GCC that initiated the town centre planning refresh – not the government) and is completely underwhelming in it’s committment to actioning Suzanne Orr’s motion (response “before the lasr sitting day of this year – 2 December).

The GCC received a response from the Minister for Planning to our letters of 23 March and 27 April on 6 June. The letter states that the Standing Committee’s review into DV364 may take 6 months. There was no acknowledgement of the community concerns or a sense of urgency to address them.

Moncrieff Rabbit Control Program – April 2021

[ Posted on behalf of the Suburban Land Agency ]

What are we [ the SLA ] doing?

A rabbit control program is taking place in Moncrieff, in the open space area nearby the Amaroo District Playing Fields and the natural creek line that divides the two areas (Block 3, Section 81). The closest residential streets are Fretwell Street and Malton View. A shared footpath provides pedestrian access through this area and along the edge of the suburb.

There are over 80 rabbit warrens in the area, generally located in the naturalised, hilly landscape along the shared footpath. In residential areas, rabbits are required to be controlled.

The control program is considered under the nationally-agreed Model Code of Practice for the Humane Control of Rabbits.

When is the control program taking place?

The control program will take place over several days, week commencing 12 April 2021 and will take approximately two weeks to undertake, weather permitting.

How is the control program carried out?

The rabbit control program will be direct fumigation by diffusion of aluminum phosphine tablets placed directly into the warrens and sealed immediately. The fumigation of warrens is considered one of the most target specific means of rabbit control available. The program is being carried out by professionals who are qualified for rabbit control.

What do you need to do?

Please avoid the area during the control program. If you are in the area, please keep your dog on a lead at all times and stay on designated footpaths. Keep clear of any rabbit warrens.

Questions?

For further information please contact Suburban Land Agency on 6205 4016 or visit the EPSDD Rabbit Control program.

GCC Public Meeting 14 April

GCC Public Meeting 14 April

The next public meeting of the Gungahlin Community Council (GCC) will be held on Wednesday 14 April 2021 at the Gungahlin Club, 51 Hinder St, Gungahlin at 6.30pm.

On 23 March the GCC wrote to the Minister for Planning, Mick Gentleman, inviting him to respond to three current issues:

  • Draft Variation 364
    The GCC asks that you ensure the recommendations of the Gungahlin Town Centre Planning Refresh are implemented as a matter of urgency, either by resolving the issues with DV364 or another mechanism.
  • The ACT Assembly Motion on Gungahlin Town Centre Development
    The GCC asks that you describe what the process and timeline will be for responding to the Development of the Gungahlin Town Centre Motion, with a specific focus on how it will engage with the community
  • Assessment of Community and Recreation Facilities in Gungahlin
    The GCC asks that you provide a clear statement of the objectives of the Assessment of Community and Recreation Facilities in Gungahlin, an overview of the activities EPSDD are undertaking to deliver the outcomes, how you are ensuring that you gather a complete set of requirements, and what processes/policies will be informed by this work.

The Minister himself is unable to attend the meeting and will be represented by the ACT Chief Planner and senior staff from the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (EPSDD).

Background information on these issues can be found at the following links:

Agenda

  • GCC Update, GCC President
  • Gungahlin Town Centre Planning and Development, Draft Variation 364 and ACT Assembly Motion, Ben Ponton, ACT Chief Planner and Director-General of the ACT’s Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (EPSDD), Lesley Cameron, Planning and Urban Policy, EPSDD
  • Assessment of Community and Recreation Facilities in Gungahlin, Bruce Fitzgerald, Development and Implementation, EPSDD

Pre-DA Consultation on Kenny High School

ACT Education are running a pre-DA consultation on the design of the new Kenny High School from 23 March – 7 April 2021. You can provide your feedback in several ways

  1. Attend the drop-in session on Thursday 25 March 2021 to view the plans, chat with representatives from ACT Education, Major Projects Canberra and the Head Contractor, ICON SI PTY Ltd.
    Location: Gungahlin Library – Corner of Hibberson & Gozzard Streets, Gungahlin (enter from Hibbertson Street)
    Thursday 25 March 2021, 5.30pm – 6.30pm.
    This will be a Covid-19 safe event, so please stay at home if you are feeling unwell.
  2. Register for the online session on Tuesday 30 March 2021, 6.00pm – 7.00pm by emailing act.education@act.gov.au with your name, email address and any questions you may have. When you register an email will be sent to you with an invitation to the online meeting.
  3. If you are unable to participate in the drop in or online sessions, you can email your comments or questions to act.education@act.gov.au
  4. Phone the Education Directorate on 6205 9137

Details can be found on their website by clicking on “Community Consultation – Pre Development Application (DA) for new school in Kenny”. This will provide the following extra links to lots more detail and pictures:

UPDATE: Gungahlin 50m Pool Closure

Background

The is an update regarding the Gungahlin 50m Pool Closure. Further updates and Q&A at the GCC Public Meeting on 10 March.

The Minister for Sport and Recreation, Yvette Berry, extended an invitation to the GCC executive to undertake a tour of the Gungahlin Pool on Thursday 4 March, 2021. Four members of the executive were able to attend, and the tour was hosted by two senior executives from Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate and Major Projects Canberra. We were given access to the empty pool to see the damage, and the opportunity to ask questions. I can ssure you, if a 50m pool looks big, it seems much bigger when it’s empty and you are standing in it!

What we Learned

The construction contract was awarded through an open tender, the results of which are available from ACT Tenders. The contract was signed with ADCO Constructions included a six year post-completion “warranty”, which expired before any of the issues were identified.

The initial problem was identified in the north-western corner of the pool where about 50 tiles had fallen off in June 2020, during the period the pool was closed due to the COVID pandemic. Further investigation using divers revealed more tiles coming away from the bottom of the pool. There was no leaking of water.

Technical experts were engaged to determine the cause of the problem. The identity of the experts and the specific results of the consultation are part of legal proceedings and will not be made available. No clear fault was identified. Evidence of some of the testing done by the experts can be seen in the photos. Legal/commercial negotiations commenced with ADCO Constructions which led to the settlement announced in the media (a payment of $400,000 to the ACT Government). A focus of these negotiations was to conclude proceedings in a timely fashion.

The ACT Property Group is now working to undertake a complete and full repair of the pool using the latest tiling system as quickly as practicably possible. This will be a complete repair (the phrase “back to concrete” was used) rather than a patching process to ensure the remediation is successful. A tender will be issued for this work in coming weeks. The original contractor will not be considered. The amount of money in the budget for repairs is not being revealed as there will be a tender for a contractor to undertake the repairs. In response to questions about whether the Government were confident that the unspecified “latest tiling system” would fix the problem, even when the cause of the problem remains unknown, we were told this information would be made available further in the repair tender process.

The goal is to have the 50m pool back in service by the end of 2021, in time for the bulk of summer.

The GCC reiterated that the lack of (proactive) information about the problem and what was being done to address it had caused significant frustration for GCC residents. This was acknowledged by our hosts and they undertook to provide that feedback to their communications team.

The GCC notes that there was an item in the 4 March 2021 issue of the ACT Government’s OurCBR newsletter which references an update on the Sport and Recreation website.

For those interested in more details the pool was discussed extensively at an ACT Government estimates hearing (Monday 1 March 2021).

Thanks

The GCC would like to thank Minister Berry for facilitating the tour, and to our hosts from the ACT Property Group who very patiently answered our many questions.

Photos

Gungahlin 50m Pool Closure

[ Update to this story posted 6 March 2021 ]

This update on the closure of the 50m pool at the Gungahlin Leisure Centre was received by the GCC from Minister for Sport and Recreation Yvette Berry on 18 February. She writes that she will “ensure a government representative attends your meeting of March 10 if I am unable to attend.“.

The brief is essentially the same information provided to the media who have been following and reporting on the issue (eg):

The GCC continues to press the minister for

From Yvette Berry, Minister for Sport and Recreation, 18 February 2021

I am very sorry that this information didn’t make it to you as soon as it could have.

I have now received information from Chief Minister Treasury and Economic Development Directorate and Major Projects Canberra on options for the government to arrange for the pool to be fixed and reopened to the community.

Experts engaged by the ACT Government, including structural engineers and consultants, conducted investigations in relation to the pool since June 2020 and have considered a range of issues in considering the future works required. 

I am now advised that the pool repairs will include removal of all the tiles leveling screeds and coatings, a further investigation of the structure and joints and then installing a new pool tiling system including a waterproofing membrane and grout repairs.

The ACT Government is currently in a range of commercial negotiations regarding these issues and will provide further comment once these negotiations are complete. The experts were engaged to assist the ACT Government in the course of the current negotiations and their reports are subject to legal privilege.

I share the community’s frustration with the time it’s taken.

I have asked for the Directorate to begin a process to get the remediation works underway to reopen the pool for the community as soon as possible.

I continue to ask for advice and regular updates on progress and I will keep you informed.

I will ensure a government representative attends your meeting of March 10 if I am unable to attend.  

Gungahlin Town Centre Development Subject of ACT Assembly Motion

This motion is an important acknowledgement of the concerns that Gungahlin residents have been raising for many years, and the GCC thanks Suzanne Orr MLA for this initiative. The GCC is greatly encouraged by the fact that the motion was supported by both Greens and Liberal (opposition) Yerrabi MLA’s. It reflects the advocacy and accountability expectations we set out in Expectations of Candidate for the 2020 ACT Election.

From the ACT Assembly’s Matters of Public Importance 1-2021 summary:

Development of the Gungahlin Town Centre was the subject of a motion moved by Ms Orr MLA on 10 February 2021. The motion included calling on the Government to support the further development of the Gungahlin region and town centre and outlined how this might be achieved. During debate amendments were moved by the ACT Greens that included noting that all parties had committed to building a large community centre in the Gungahlin Town Centre during the 2020 election. The amendments also called on the Government to support the creation of an entertainment precinct to enable a night time economy. The ACT Greens amendments were agreed to following debate. A further amendment was moved by the Opposition to include calling on the Government to ensure additional employment opportunities in Gungahlin. This amendment was also agreed to.

We encourage residents to read the detail of the motion (below) or watch the debate in the assembly, and to continue to provide feedback and support to the GCC and your local MLAs around your concerns.

Development of the Gungahlin Town Centre Motion

Extracted from the Assembly’s MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS for Wednesday 10 February):

Ms Orr, pursuant to notice, moved—That this Assembly:

(1) notes that:

(a) the development of Gungahlin Town Centre is a matter of note to the residents of Gungahlin;

(b) unlike other more established town centres, Gungahlin is relatively young and has been developed from its earliest days with the ambition
of being a genuine mixed-use precinct; and

(c) there is great opportunity to guide the remaining development of the town centre to ensure more recent learnings from practice in the ACT
and other jurisdictions are applied to future developments; and

(d) all parties in the Assembly during the 2020 election campaign committed to build a large community centre in the Gungahlin Town Centre;

(2) calls on the ACT Government to support the further development of the Gungahlin region and town centre, ensuring that there are additional
employment opportunities in Gungahlin by:

(a) implementing best practice mixed-use development through the
planning framework, and allowing for:

(i) specific requirements to achieve a balanced diversity of uses within mixed-use developments including community uses;
(ii) specific requirements to achieve a higher level of commercial and business uses and subsequent activity within mixed-use
developments;
(iii) providing for requirements for commercial fitouts that enable the easy establishment of varied business and commercial activity
without the need for significant modification or retrofitting;
(iv) clear design principles that link development activity with achieving active precincts and vibrant street level activity; and
(v) traffic flow around the town centre;
(vi) the creation of an entertainment precinct so as to enable a night time economy without impacting residents;

(b) ensuring current sales of development sites incorporate the requirements to support best practice mixed-use developments;
(c) implementing best practice mixed-use developments processes and regulations that are used to inform Draft Variation 364 and the Territory Plan; and
(d) engage with the Gungahlin Town Centre community on mixed-use developments in their town centre.

 

GCC Public Meeting 10 February

GCC Public Meeting 10 February

The next public meeting of the Gungahlin Community Council (GCC) will be held on Wednesday 10 February 2021 at the Gungahlin Club, 51 Hinder St, Gungahlin at 6.30pm .

Agenda

  • GCC Update, Peter Elford, GCC
  • Thoroughbred Park Development, Andrew Clark, CEO Canberra Racing Club
  • Consultation on the Canberra Hospital Master Plan, ACT Health
  • A PCYC Facility for Gungahlin, Cheryl O’Donnell, CEO, Canberra Police Community Youth Club

Community Consultation – Proposed Mixed Use Development – Blocks 3 & 4 Section 248 Gungahlin

[ Post created on behalf of Canberra Town Planning for Platinum Accounting ]

As part of the preparation of the Development Applications for the proposed development of the Blocks 3 & 4 Section 248 Gungahlin, the Proponent (Platinum Accounting) is undertaking a program of consultation to engage with the neighbouring community and key stakeholders. The first stage of this consultation program will be an Information Session whereby members of the community can attend to provide input on the proposals.

The Proponent invites interested members of the community to attend an information drop-in session to discuss and provide comments on its proposal for the site prior to the submission of a Development Application.

The session will be held in Function Room 1, Eastlake Football Club, 51 Hinder Street, Gungahlin on Thursday 10 December 2020 August 2020 from 5:30pm to 7pm.

The development will also be presented at the GCC December public meeting on 2 December.

For further information and to provide feedback on the proposed design, please visit https://ctpprojectpages.wixsite.com/gungahlin-res or contact Canberra Town Planning at admin@canberratownplanning.com.au or (02) 6262 5091.

GCC AGM and Public Meeting 2 December

GCC AGM and Public Meeting 2 December

The 2020 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 2 December 2020. The AGM will be held first.

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 a nominated office bearer.

The meeting will be conducted under COVID safe rules in a room that can accommodate 76 persons UPDATED 29/11 – was 38). If you wish to attend, you must book a spot and receive a (free) ticket by clicking on the button below:

Public Meeting

Agenda

  • GCC Update, President, GCC
  • Gungahlin Police Station Upgrade – Next Steps, Troy Roberts, AFP Association
  • A PCYC Facility for Gungahlin, Cheryl O’Donnell, CEO, Canberra Police Community Youth Club
  • Community Consultation for New Development – Blocks 3 & 4 Section 248 Gungahlin, Canberra Town Planning

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. You must be a registered GCC member to nominate for an executive committee position (signup as a member).

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 Wednesday 25 November 2020. All nominations will be acknowledged by return email.

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 11 December 2019
4. Presentation of President’s Report for 2019-20120
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