Call for Submissions

The Minister for Planning has 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 is calling for submissions.

If you care about the future of the Gungahlin Town Centre please make a submission. You don’t have to be a town planning expert –  just describe what you want and expect to be part of a completed town centre. More details and background can be found below. Perhaps think about

  • employment – what creates jobs in a town centre 
  • retail – outlets, experience
  • commercial spaces – large scale offices, smaller businesses
  • community facilities – youth, arts, community groups, rooms, spaces, seniors
  • traffic and parking
  • active travel – walking, cycling, scooters
  • parks – places for kids to play, and to sit, eat, drink
  • entertainment – cafes, pubs, clubs, restaurants, cinema, etc.

Details for how to make a submission (copied from the Committee’s website):

There are few rules for submissions, only that they must be relevant, written and received before the closing date.  Include your name, phone number, and postal and email addresses, before sending your submission in either digital or physical form to one of these addresses:

      • By email (preferred):
      • By post: Standing Committee on Planning, Transport, and City Services, ACT Legislative Assembly, GPO Box 1020, Canberra ACT 2601

Submissions received by the committee may be published online, but personal contact details will be removed.

Closing date for submissions is 5pm on 30 June 2021. If you have any difficulty meeting this deadline, please request an extension.

Need help?  Check out our guide to writing a submission for tips and advice.

What is Draft Variation 364 ?

DV364 is proposing changes to the way land is allocated for use in the Gungahlin Town Centre. It is a proposal to change the Gungahlin Town Centre Pre3cinct Code (see What is the Territory Plan below) as follows:

  • Opening up all of the Gungahlin East Precinct to “mixed-use” development
  • Belatedly, introducing more sensible height controls
  • Reducing the amount of land reserved for commercial office space from 100,000 m2 to 65,000 m2
  • Rather than reserving land for community facilities, allowing them to be provided through “equivalent floor space within a mixed use development”
  • Changing the names and boundaries of sub-precincts within the town centre
  • Relocating nominated public car park from block 2 section 229 to block 2 section 11 (between Ernest Cavanagh Street and Hibberson Street)
  • Improving requirements for the public domain.

Major changes proposed by Draft Variation 364

The GCC is strongly opposed to the changes proposoed in DV364, and critical of the process by which it was developed. These sort of planning rule have failed Gungahlin for 30 years and are not supporting the development og a viable town centre. Several artuicles on the GCC website provide more information on DV364:

What is the ACT Territory Plan ?

ACT Territory Plan is made up of:

  • Strategic directions
  • A map showing Zones
  • For each Zone, douments that detail the objectives for the that Zone
  • Codes, which describe local area (precinct) or functional details (like parking rules)

Strategic Directions

The ACT Planning Strategy 2018 has these high level planning goals for the ACT:

  • Compact and Efficient
  • Diverse
  • Sustainable and Resilient
  • Liveable
  • Accessible


Sample of ACT Territory Plan Map showing multiple Zones – CLICK ON THE MAP to go to the live online Terriorty Plan Map

Zones and Codes


Example Zone Table

Example Code – This is an extract from the Gungahlin Town Centre Precinct Code


  1. Gungahlin has become a dormitory. We need more offices. We need an anchor employer(s) in Gungahlin. Local residents want more local jobs.

  2. Ales, I agree, I think we need Government offices, would provide local jobs at least one large retailer
    to support the influx of Office workers and perhaps a park area just a nice size to
    for people to eat lunch and children to play I believe this would be a nice experience for all. it would soften the area, Gungahlin is an awkward shape.
    So with the prescient complete it would attract more people.


    Helen Hunter

  3. 1. From the GCC article above: “Belatedly, introducing more sensible height controls”. I have no idea on whose values this “more sensible” is, or what it means — but I suspect it is activists who don’t like high-rise. I beg to differ, and I think I’m “more sensible”, so how about that, aye? If developers think that they can fill a 14-storey building, I say go for it. You know, these same activists want an Australian population in the order of 50+ million people. So we’re not talking sheep paddocks here. High rise is inevitable — so without having to demolish the activist-preferred 4-storey buildings, let’s do it right the first time around, build high now. And also, the higher population in all those new apartments will support more services (in all the new shopfronts and offices on the lower floors), so that good all around. Maybe the activists can consider rather than blocking this far more sensible vision, that they move out of the way, perhaps to Yass, if that’s more their cup of tea?

    2. From the article: “These sort [sic] of planning rule have failed Gungahlin for 30 years and are not supporting the development og [sic] a viable town centre.” Again I have no idea on whose values this is based, or what it means. My own view though is that the early town planners of Gungahlin failed, in that they stuck to the weird Canberra idea that you build cottages right up hard against a town centre. Anybody with either good marks in their economic geography course, or who have an intuitive understanding of urban geography, will know this is just wrong. As rent values increase with closeness to a town centre, so does density, and vertical height. This is inevitable, unless held back by ideologically-motivated town planners. Do not feel sorry for the cottages along Valley Ave, Gundaroo Dve or Anthony Rolfe. They were all a stupid forehead-slap ‘duhh’ mistake. They will eventually be scrapped, again because of inevitable population increase and pressure for higher-intensity use of that land. The rest of Gungahlin should be built as high-rise and high-density as is economic to do so. Also, chopping levels off for “solar access” is misguided in a high-intensity town centre. The idea is to build complexity, interdependency and therefore economic depth. That’s what a town centre is all about. Those who don’t agree, Yass is not far away. Move there, you’ll be happier. Lots of sheep, akubras and single-storey development. Park you Peugeot there. The future of Gungahlin is Asian, not anglo, and is high rise, not this outdated sleepy anglocentric “bush capital” idea.

  4. Because let’s face it — I can defeat your soft thinking with intellectual argument any day. I’ll always be able to defeat crap left-green ideas on urban geography. All you can do is run scared, shut your ears and cancel my arguments. Pathetic. But of course, you’ve got groupthink, so you can kid yourself that you know everything. Lol.

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