Gungahlin Cycling Infrastructure Requirements (Projects)

Last updated 26 May 2020

  • Town Centre end/start of ride facilities – secure cage for bikes immediately adjacent to Light Rail stop as part of a genuine commuting hub
  • Improve infrastructure between Mixed Use West precinct (high rise residential towers) and Town Centre proper; better separation and amenity
  • Improved access to/around Mitchell
  • Provide separated bike path along Barton Highway between Federal Highway and Ellenborough St
  • Improve bike path crossing of Gungahlin Drive between Wells Station Dr and Sandford St (two crossings of Gungahlin Dr are needed for those joining the Gungahlin Dr bike path from East)
  • Include bike path, ideally separated, along proposed upgrade to Morisset St
  • Construct a direct path between Horse Park Drive to corner Anthill St and Federal Highway to avoid the hill into Majura valley, making North Canberra/Civic more accessible from Northern Gungahlin.
  • Develop an MTB park in Gungahlin region at a scale similar to Majura Pines, Bruce Ridge,  etc. Perhaps through plantation Eucalypts in North adjacent to Centennial Trail.

Cycling Infrastructure Working Group

The GCC is developing a list of cycling infrastructure needs (projects) for Gungahlin. Please particpipate by email, through online forums scheduled for Monday 11 May (7:30pm) and Thursday 14 May (7:30pm)  (email us to get meeting details), or by just leaving a comment below.

We’ll be aligning this work to the advocacy of Pedal Power and their infrastructure projects and types:

Project Type 
Missing Cycling Network LinksDevelop main routes by filling missing links, ideally by constructing separated cycleways/shared paths within the road/park corridor.
Upgrade Crossings where principal routes intersect with roadsConstruct priority crossings, including raised crossings where appropriate, and redesigning to ensure waiting vehicles do not block paths.
Active Travel StreetsConverting side streets into cycle friendly routes using cost-effective techniques such as traffic calming and traffic diverting to create a low speed environment.
Path UpgradesThis category relates to small scale projects.
Separation Projects (to improve safety)Construct cycleways to separate bikes from fast moving traffic, provide more direct commuter routes and separate bikes from pedestrians on congested routes
ACT Country RoadsImprove road and associated infrastructure to provide safer cycling on ACT country roads.
Group and Service CentresThe major town centres have been funded for improvements in cycling. However, the smaller and outlying group and service centres have been neglected and need attention.

GCC Public Meeting May 13

The May public meeting of the Gungahlin Community Council (GCC) will be held online at 6.30pm on Wednesday 13 May 2020. There will be a virtual meeting room running on the Zoom application, and this will be live streamed on Facebook on both the MyGungahlin Facebook and GCC Facebook pages. Attendess are strongly encouraged to join the Zoom virtual room meeting – please email us (info@gcc.asn.au) and we will send you the link needed to join the meeting.

Agenda

  • Sport and Recreation Facilities in Gungahlin, Yvette Berry, Minister for Sport and Recreation, Deputy Chief Minister
  • New Retail Options in Gungahlin – The Transformation of the Home Hardware Site, Richard Swinburne, Argus Property
  • New Development Application for The Establishment (formerly Air Towers), Peter Elford, GCC President

GCC Public Meeting April 8

The April public meeting of the Gungahlin Community Council (GCC) will be held online at 6.30pm on Wednesday 8 April 2020. There will be a virtual meeting room running on the Zoom application, and this will be live streamed on Facebook on both the MyGungahlin Facebook and GCC Facebook pages. If you wish to join the Zoom virtual room meeting, please email us (info@gcc.asn.au) and we will send you the link needed to join the meeting.

Agenda

  • Gungahlin Policing, Troy Roberts, Australian Federal Police Association
  • ACT Government Response to COVID-19, Dr. Paul Dugdale, Public Health Physician (Duty Chief Health Officer)
  • Coping with COVID-19: The Lifeline Experience, Tracey McMahon, Lifeline

CANBERRA IS GROWING, BUT HOW SHOULD WE ACCOMMODATE THIS GROWTH?

UPDATE 21/3/2020

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS

 

[ Posted on behalf of the Canberra Planning Action Group (CPAG) ]

Join us on Monday 23 March 2020 at the Albert Hall, 100 Commonwealth Ave Yarralumla from 6.00pm to 8.00pm for a public forum on the implications of Canberra’s planning decisions for the bush capital.

This forum is co-organised by the Canberra Planning Action Group (CPAG) and the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis (IGPA). It is vital to revive debate and discussion about what Canberra was supposed to be, what it has become, and where it should be heading. In the lead-up to the 2020 election, the Chief Minister’s claims for Canberra cannot remain untested.

CPAG was formed in early 2019 in response to discontent by community groups and many individuals. with the ACT Government on planning matters, including urban densification, transport, affordable housing, green infrastructure, approvals processes – the list goes on and on. This discontent is not new but it is widespread and growing, as the very things that make Canberra a uniquely liveable city are being destroyed at an alarming rate.

CPAG seeks a Canberra-wide perspective and a more united voice by all who want to see a more considered, people and nature-friendly approach to a growing Canberra.

REGISTER ONLINE

Download (PDF, 266KB)

 

 

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.