GCC Community Meeting

13 February 2018

Gungahlin Library

6:30 – 8:30 pm

Chair: Peter Elford (President).

Attendees: see attendance log

Agenda item 1: Housing choices

Alex Couch, Planning Policy Branch, Environment Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate provided a presentation (available on website).

The brief highlighted that apartments and detached residence dominate approvals; with duplexes and townhouses forming a missing middle to housing choices.  The Directorate has a discussion paper out for community engagement.  Engagement will also include a collaboration hub, in which 10,000 residents selected at random are invited to participate to discuss issue. Trying to find out what type of housing do people wat to live in.  The RZ1 question is quite modest with questions about dual occupancy and individual title.

Questions/concerns raised during the meeting included:

  •         One participant asked about the involvement of non-governmental organisations such as Northside, to which Alex stated they were consulting regularly.
  •         Given 50% of housing in future will be under strata the Owners Corporation Network will need to be involved.
  •         Will after this round will land blacks be made smaller and hence the backyard disappear – May be not much change required to Gungahlin.
  •         Manage the parking aspect? On street? Do we strengthen other controls to make up.
  •         Higher rates on properties

Agenda item 2. Owners Corporation Network,

Gary Petherbridge, ACT President, provided a verbal brief with the following key points

OCN covers Strata title support to duplexes to 28 stories, anywhere where a group of dwellings shared common property.  In the future 50% of dwellings will be strata.

Gary emphasised the following points:

  •         The Government was encouraging people to move towards strata, however the recent changes to rates calculations have had a significant impact. The changes excludes people from the 4 tiers that are initially used to calculate rates. Hence all bits automatically are in the top tiers. Given approximately 60% of strata units are rentals – cost of rates and land tax are adding to extra cost and putting pressure on amount of rental accommodation.
  •         Government hasn’t been that good at enforcing developers to build quality with modern properties often having defects. Builders go bust or disappear so owners corporations have to meet the costs.
  •         OCN provides training, advice, guides about strata.
  •         Missing piece of legislation is to adequately cover mixed use.

Agenda item 3. ACT climate strategy – towards Zero emissions

Catherine Keirnan, and Joel Hankinson, Climate Change and sustainability, Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate provided a presentation (available via website). So far ACT has focused on its 40% reduction by 2020 target but now needs to look towards the net zero emissions by 2050.  The ACT has picked low hanging fruit. Areas requiring further action include:

  •         Transport – through electric cars, leveraging active travel)
  •         Natural gas (heating and cooking) – one possible option includes pushing hydrogen into the grid.
  •         Landfill gases – need to view waste as a resource

The Government is seeking people to participate in the community engagement. Question from the floor:

  •         About reality of climate change and impact of renewables on cost of electricity.
  •         Concerns about the disposal method for batteries/cars.
  •         Requirement for Ministers of Transport and Planning to be on board.

Agenda item 4. Community Engagement, Suzanne Orr, MLA

Suzanne provided a brief on her engagement with the community on the quality of building construction in Gungahlin.  She has done an online survey, door knocking, and an article in the-riot act.  Discover a lot of issues are in multi-unit dwellings. Main issues were during the waterproofing process and difficulties in rectifying defects.  Government was:

  •         Developing a building audit and inspection program.
  •         Establishing a panel of independent auditors to conduct mandatory audits.

There was variability in terms of the quality of builders. Unfortunately rectification is a litigation heavy process. Regulations have also focused on structure, work has not started around quality.

Questions from the floor

  •         Individual when building does it once and hence is not in a strong position. Privatisation of inspections was disaster, need inspectors from government
  •         Concerns about Esque where companies can go bankrupt with no protections. Looking carefully at Phoenixing of companies
  •         Buses from Moncrief – ongoing conversations with Transport Minister – looking into context of light rail.  Will encourage everyone to provide feedback in next round of consultation for buses to suburban areas.
  •         Certification process – has been quite paper based, has not actually been visually verified.

Suzanne confirmed that personal information gathered only for the purposes of this survey.

Apologies – Meegan Fitzharris and James Milligan


Minutes taken by Andrew Braddock

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