Bus Services in Gungahlin – May 2018 Update

The GCC has been pursuing the issue of poor bus services in most of the new (and some not so new) suburbs of Gungahlin. We have written to the minister, received her reply and recently had a meeting with Transport Canberra staff on May 7 to get an update on the promised community consultation on the new bus network in conjunction with the introduction of light rail. A summary of what we covered in the meeting, provided by Transport Canberra is below.

For more information check out the results of the Phase 1 consultation:

Building a Better, Seven Day Bus Network for Our Community

Update for Gungahlin Community Council, May 2018

Top issues raised by GCC in Stage 1 consultation

Strong response from Gungahlin residents during consultation on the new bus network in
late 2017.

  • The main issue raised was the provision of public transport services to new suburbs and the growing importance of the Casey Group Centre as a destination for local residents. Both these points will be addressed in the proposed network.
  • A high proportion of responses from Moncrieff and the adjacent suburb of Ngunnawal indicate a desire for more or improved services to and from these areas.

Where is the project up to?

Transport Canberra is working on a proposed new bus network, building on the community’s desire for a more frequent bus network with services running more often, seven days a week. Key features of the new bus network will include:

Simplicity

  • All-day, seven day network with the same route numbers all week.
  • Routes designed to be used all week, not just during Monday to Friday peak periods.
  • Fewer specialised services, such as dedicated school services and peak express service

Coverage

  • Ensuring that over 95% of the population can access public transport, based on distance of 500m to a local service stop and 800m to a Rapid stop.
  • Expanded bus service hours
  • Clear distinction between Rapids (between town centres) local services (for local trips and connections to Rapids)

Better integration with emerging service models

  • New service models to compliment the bus network, such as in isolated areas and late at
    night when regular route services are not a good fit
  • Introduction of new technology including autonomous vehicles

TCCS is working with the Education Directorate to better understand school catchments and better understand how the new bus network can serve student needs. In response to the matters raised consistently by the GCC, the new network will also include:

  • Planning for new routes in new suburbs (Moncrieff/Taylor/Throsby)
  • A new link between Crace and Palmerston Primary School
  • A new regional bus network, with services to the town centre including connections to the
  • City via Light Rail or to Belconnen via the proposed Black Rapid
  • Exploring options to link Gungahlin with other centres
  • A new school bus network for the region, building on the more frequent local and Rapid
    route network
  • Consideration of how bus layover and interchanging at Gungahlin will work with the new
    network and start of light rail.

When will TCCS tell us more?

More detail is coming in mid-2018. We will be in touch with the GCC as soon as we have more to share about the detail of the new network.

How can Gungahlin residents provide feedback in the meantime?

The YourSay website includes a summary of what we have heard from the community so far (https://www.yoursay.act.gov.au/rapid-network-2018). Further information on phase 2 will be coming soon. Any questions? Please contact us at TCCS.TCNetwork2018@act.gov.au.

Minutes – GCC Community Meeting 11 April 2018

GCC Community Meeting

11 April 2018

Gungahlin Library

6:30 – 8:30 pm

Chair: Peter Elford (President).

Attendees: see attendance log

Agenda Item 1: Public Housing in Gungahlin

Bruce Fitzgerald, Executive Director Urban Renewal provided an update on public housing renewal taskforce progress, particularly in the Gungahlin area (presentation available via website).

Questions asked/comments from the floor included:

  • About the low density of the developments in Gungahlin East – This was driven by the requirement to limit the number of public housing in one location.
  • Concern about the quality of public housing – materials are often better than that used by the private sector and people are usually surprised by what is or is not public housing.

Agenda item 2: Gold Creek Golf Club Re:imagine

Harry Konstantinou and Helen Leayr presented on Re:imagine Gold Creek Golf Club (presentation available on website). The Golf Club has decided that its strategic direction is to shrink the playing area from the current approximately 80 hectares. This is to improve the financial viability of a course that has lost money for a considerable period of time on account of the cost of water.

The Kgroup has made no decisions what to do with the land identified as now longer being required for the golf course and is now seeking to engage with the community to explore the possibilities of the site. There has been no meetings between the Kgroup and the government about the proposal.

In the debate that followed with numerous questions asked in a variety of different ways and answers provided to one question address other issues.  Capturing the main threads of the discussion below:

Concern/questionsResponses
Number of holesPlan to design a more compact course. Not looking specifically at a specific number of holes but feedback from golfers is for 18 holes. The configuration may however change to fit within 50 hectares. Have not consulted about decision to compact golf course.
Is there a plan to change the zoning from PRZ2This is privately owned land. There is a process to change zoning of land.
Role of the panel, makeup, consultative process opaque, no terms of reference, unknown selection process and final report?Panel will be a filter or may identify what questions need to be asked. Did not want to define the process as wanted flexibility of the process. The panel is not expected to provide a report.
Impact on neighbouring housesNot looking to take anything away, want to preserve the values of homes in the area and

create connections in the area. Ite is big enough with 40 m drop from clubhouse to Barton highway. Need to provide feedback on where is suitable for construction.

Likely outcome. What the parameters are for consultation process – what is on and off the table?Will explore every option. Have no preconceived ideas. If consultative process is not successful possibly would sell the course.
History of course and purchase.  Suggestion that purchased for peanuts and had not delivered on required investmentCourse failed under first owner, taken over by gov and then sold through open tender.. Bought for $3 million.

Not a concessional lease a copy is available from Access Canberra

No contractual obligation to perform any works.  Have 15,000m2 of development rights and have used approximately 3,000. No additional documentation, no drawings or designs were provided as part of the tender

Management of the golf course. If the golf course is losing money – why did you buy it.Brought it and thought could make a go of it.  Have not cut any of the budget. Trying to make it break even whilst retain quality of the course.
Community impacts (where will roads going to go, traffic? Schools in Nicholls are full).Open space used by non golfers – walkersOne of the challenges of community consultation need to examine further.
Biggest issue is trust, messages to the community are shifting in the past week

Gary Samuels (Harcourt Hill Residents Association) then spoke about how the proposal was putting green space at risk by development. Need community consultation that is open and transparent. He announced a group of concerned residents were meeting this Sunday 2:00 pm in Nicholls.  As this process will become quite drawn out it will be an election issue. Have invited MLAs including Shane Rattenbury, Meegan Fitzharris, Alistair Coe and James Milligan.

Agenda item 3: Town centre planning refresh  update

Suzanne (?) from Environment, Planning, Sustainable Development Directorate (EPSDD) provided an update on the Gungahlin town centre planning refresh proposals to be put forward in town centre planning refresh (presentation on website).  Will present findings in May to community. Main themes are:

  1. Building height and character
  2. Open spaces
  3. Walking, cycling and road infrastructure

Major challenges being expanding population in Gungahlin but insufficient jobs for them, forces Gungahlin residents to commute given 55% of Canberra jobs located in city centre and triangle. 80% of residents go outside of Gungahlin to work.

Similar commercial office floor space allotted as per Woden in the plans but far less office space delivered than anticipated. Challenging for Gungahlin to grow to similar size as Belconnen and Woden (who are also having troubles maintaining their employment bases). Obviously these changes have had an impact. Gungahlin east assumed to deliver higher levels of commercial development however demand unlikely to occur to extent originally planned. Significantly moderated employment proposed and potential for residential development in Gungahlin East.

Travel Recommendations include

  1. Monitoring effect of light rail on traffic
  2. Parking coord to manage short and long term demand
  3. Review of parking code

Long term  travel recommendations include

  1. Potential augmentation of transport options including
  2. LR frequency
  3. Public transport
  4. Active travel
  5. Road infrastructure
  6. Network 18 will be investing in Gungahlin precinct

Open spaces

  • Gungahlin east linear park
  • Place audit for Gungahlin college forecourt – better understand use of public space. With some improvements could become better.

Concerns/questions from the floor include

  • Concerns about precinct 2b Childcare being overshadowed
  • Concern about level of infrastructure to match development – more realistic and moderate forecast
  • Did they look at extending LR through town centre – looked at under Light Rail master plan
  • ACT Government and ABS have consistently underestimated the population growth in Gungahlin – would hate to make same mistake again – Agreed
  • With decreasing the amount of office space available it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy of not being able to attract employment into Gungahlin. Make land cheaper to attract office to Gungahlin. If can’t attract commercial then turn into green space so can be repurposed.  Planning 100,000 m2 space which is equal to 10,000 employment. Striking happy medium.
  • Gungahlin east CZ2 and 3 are preserving blocks for commercial – making changes to territory plan to residential.If increasing residential intensity in Gungahlin east need to also increase green space – Agreed
  • Timing of improvements to active travel so as to set Light Rail up for success
  • Recommend maximum height on Gozzard Street as 8 stories.

Agenda Item 4: Discussion on Gold Creek

Peter Elford provided an update on the GCCs concerns about the Suburban Development Agency’s sale of the block of land that includes the Gold Creek homestead.  Comments against heritage are not part of selection criteria.GCC is making it visible so tenders are conscious of community views. Building has limited value but site is good with green space. Keen to have a development but one that preserves historical precinct and green space.The GCC would like to speak with tenderers.

Questions/concerns from the floor

  • Will responses be made publically available? Likely to be commercial in confidence.
  • What can we do? Recommend contact MLAs, if have idea that preserves green space put it in

Minutes taken by Andrew Braddock