The ACT Planning System Review and Reform Project is a significant overhaul of the ACT Planning System. One of the changes proposed in the Reform is the concept of district planning and a district planning workshop for Gungahlin was held on 15 June (see District Planning in Gungahlin) – from which a listening report  has been produced.

The district planning process is now online for all residents to make a contribution until 18 July.

The online consultation begins with an overview of the aims of district planning and then asks for input across the five themes of the overall ACT Planning strategy as they apply to Gungahlin. The five themes are:

  • Compact and Efficient City
  • Diverse Canberra
  • Sustainable and Resilient Territory
  • Liveable Canberra
  • Accessible Canberra

For each theme there are a series of questions of questions to guide your response, and a map to indicate where your comments apply.

You should also review the Gungahlin District Information and the Gungahlin District Maps as they contain some crucial details about current planning policy, including (for example) where increased residential development is targeted (see the consolidated policy map).

Gungalin District Land Use Zones

Gungahlin District Natural Environment

Gungahlin District Consolidated Policy Plan

ACT Planning Reform

Three key issue being addressed by the Planning Reform project are (Planning System Review Overview, p. 16):

  1. The current system does not adequately accommodate consideration of design quality or development appropriateness, putting at risk the valued character of Canberra and its suburbs.
  2. The disconnect between strategic and statutory planning means the system is not well placed to address future planning challenges and aspirations of the long-term Planning Strategy.
  3. These issues, along with the general complexity of the system, is compromising the community’s confidence in the system and their ability to fully participate in planning and development.

District Planning

One of the proposed elements of the new planning system is the concept of district planning and district plans. The purpose of district plans, as described by EPSDD, is to “fill a gap in the current planning system” that presently exists between city-scale strategic documents (e.g. the ACT Planning Strategy 2018) and suburb-level planning (e.g. precinct codes in the Territory Plan).

The stated benefits of district plans are as follows:

  • Improves line-of-sight from Planning Strategy through to the Territory Plan.
  • Fills gaps between higher-level strategies, and their implementation through the statutory controls of the Territory Plan.
  • Includes current information about districts, including what is proposed in endorsed policy and strategy.
  • Sets future direction for districts around planning elements in consideration of how change might happen to accommodate the growth of Canberra.
  • Planning that suits the needs of each district:
    • growth and change in each district might be different
    • related to it attributes and to the city overall.



  1. I doubt you’ll take any of my comments into even the slightest consideration so I won’t waste much of my time:

    1. You need to include about one hectare or so of the NUZ3 reserve degraded weedland on the northwest corner of Wells Station and Flemington Rd in the Urban Intensification zone envelope. That is, the very corner right on the intersection should be commercial development as *this is the gateway to Gungahlin*. No, I’m not talking about the whole NUZ3 area. (My experience is the minions who read these public submissions don’t read, so I’ll repeat): no, not the whole NUZ3 area. Just one hectare or so at the traffic lights for commercial development, with your precious weedland behind.

    2. I know there’s a vocal minority of Peugeot-driving middle class anglo-heritage activists who don’t want intensive development of Gungahlin town area, because they think it detracts from the “bush capital” character. Newsflash: it’s a town centre, not a kangaroo park. It needs to be intensified, including with multi-storey development up to 12 storeys and relaxation of solar access envelopes. The more built-up and intensive it is, the more services will be attracted and the more the people who live there will enjoy it. It needs to be busy, not dreary. CBDs aren’t flat and spread out, they are dense and high-rise. That’s how urban geography works. Those Peugeot driving activists might be noisy, articulate and morally sanctimonious, but I’ll bet they aren’t a majority — I’ll bet they don’t represent the ethnic diversity of Gungahlin either, do they? Hmm, no.

    Apologies for the pugnacious writing style but really you people never actually listen. This consultation is a box-ticking exercise and you’ll just do what you want.

    • Ian – Thanks for your feedback. Can you please ensure you provide your feedback directly to the Planning Directorate using the links provided in the article. THe GCC (who are *not* the Plannig Directorate) strongly supports the development of the Gungahlin Town Centre as a town centre, with all of the employment, retail, community and entertainement services residents expect. We are very concerned that the balance between residential and all of these things is currently right, particularly regarding “mixed-use” sites.

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