UPDATED: 11 August 2021 – Further Comments document added

Existing Gungahlin Town Centre Precinct (left) and major changes proposed in DV364 (right)

The Minister for Planning referred Draft Variation 364 (DV364) of the ACT Territory Plan to the ACT Legislative Assembly’s Standing Committee on Planning, Transport, and City Services. The Planning committee is conducting an inquiry into DV364 and called for written submissions. All submissions are available online.

Below you will find the Executive Summary of the GCC Submission, links to the videos of the Public Hearings conducted on 29 July 2021, and the complete GCC submission.

After the hearings, the GCC provided some additional comments in writing to the Committee – this is also included below.

GCC Submission Executive Summary

The Gungahlin Community Council (GCC) believes that Draft Variation 364 (DV364) should be abandoned. It includes changes to the Gungahlin town centre precinct code that are strongly opposed by most Gungahlin residents that will adversely impact the viability of the town centre and the Gungahlin district. The changes to building height, although welcomed, are mute as most blocks of concern to the community already have developments approved that exceed the proposed height limits.

The Refresh experience further undermined the already low level of trust that Gungahlin residents have with the planning system and processes. The Refresh took too long, the feedback from the community was selectively picked at, feedback was ignored, and the final conclusions and proposed actions were at odds with what the community had expressed. Moreover, the late introduction of new proposals (reducing the amount of commercial space, more mixed-use, new mechanisms for handling community space, etc.) which were not exposed to the community for discussion, came as a complete shock and appear not to be evidence based.

The GCC further recommends:

    • The existing reservation of 100,000m2 for commercial space be retained.
    • Further residential (mixed-use) development be minimised (not maximised).

By itself, DV364 does not address the challenge of developing the Gungahlin town centre as a district hub for employment, which in turn underpins a viable town centre. Consequently, the GCC continues to oppose any further sales of land in the Gungahlin Town Centre until:

    • Alternative or additional interim mechanisms (pending the implementation of the ACT Planning Systems Reform Project[1]) be put in place to ensure the development of the remaining sites in the Gungahlin Town Centre contribute substantially to the viability of the town centre through an increase in employment, retail, entertainment, and community services, and
    • Incentives, investments or other mechanisms are put in place to attract employment (or employment alternatives) to the Gungahlin Town Centre.

[1] https://www.planning.act.gov.au/planning-our-city/act-planning-system-review-and-reform

Public Hearings

The committee held public hearings on 29 July. There were 3 parts to the hearings – industry, GCC and other residents, and minister/Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (EPSDD). The committee and other MLAs asked questions of each group – these are listed in the following table extracted from the Assembly on Demand website  (Click on Link to watch the video or Download to download a copy of the video to watch the Q&A for each question).

Committee Hearing : Thursday 29th July 2021 9:30 am

Standing Committee on Planning, Transport and City Services – Inquiry into DV 364: Gungahlin Town Centre
9:30:38 am for 0s
Link | Download

Ms Jo Clay MLA (Chair)
9:30:38 am for 2m 1s
Link | Download

Ms Adina Cirson, ACT Executive Director, Property Council of Australia
Ms Cirson/ Chair
9:32:39 am for 2m 35s
Link | Download

Ms Nichelle Jackson, Director, Canberra Town Planning, representing Landco Pty Ltd
Ms Orr/ Ms Jackson
9:35:14 am for 4m 3s
Link | Download

Ms Suzanne Orr MLA (Deputy Chair)
Ms Orr/ Ms Cirson
9:39:17 am for 2m 6s
Link | Download

Mr George Katheklakis, Managing Director of KDN Group
Mr Katheklakis/ Ms Orr
9:41:23 am for 9m 43s
Link | Download

Mr Mark Parton MLA
Chair/ Mr Parton
9:51:06 am for 7m 36s
Link | Download

Mr Andrew Braddock MLA
Mr Braddock/ Mr Katheklakis
9:58:42 am for 19m 32s
Link | Download

Mr Peter Elford, President, Gungahlin Community Council, (By Telephone Link)
Chair/ Mr Elford
10:18:14 am for 4m 38s
Link | Download

Mr Kevin Cox
Mr Cox/ Chair
10:22:52 am for 2m 3s
Link | Download

Mr Darron Marks, Treasurer, Gungahlin Community Council
Mr Marks/ Chair
10:24:55 am for 1h 05m 14s
Link | Download

Mr Mick Gentleman MLA, Minister for Planning and Land Management
Chair/ Minister
11:30:09 am for 3m 43s
Link | Download

Director-General, Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate
Mr Ponton/ Chair
11:33:52 am for 6m 33s
Link | Download

Ms Alix Kaucz, Senior Director, Territory Plan
Ms Kaucz/ Ms Orr
11:40:25 am for 8m 23s
Link | Download

Mr Steven Gianakis, Acting Senior Director, Strategic, Planning and Reform
Mr Ponton/ Mr Gianakis
11:48:48 am for 10m 18s
Link | Download

Dr Erin Brady, Deputy Director-General, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate
Mr Ponton/ Dr Brady
11:59:06 am for 19m 37s
Link | Download



GCC Written Submission to DV364 Inquiry

Download (PDF, 320KB)

GCC Further Comments

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