GCC Community Meeting – 8 March 2017 (Gungahlin Library 6:30 – 8:00 pm)
Chair: Peter Elford (president).
Attendees: 26 – see attendance log for further details
Apologies: Suzanne Orr MLA, James Milligan MLA, Alistair Coe MLA.
Agenda item 1: Gungahlin town centre planning refresh
Gary Rake, Executive Director Planning presented on the refresh for Gungahlin town centre (slides on GCC website). Concerns raised by the community included:
- Concerns about the tall building being approved. GR notes that ACT planning has received applications above height limits hence focus of refresh but doesn’t prejudge the outcomes of the process.
- Requirement for integrated view to development, parking spaces etc. Developments have only assessed transport loading individually rather than collectively. History of development without sufficient car parks GR stated that demand has moved beyond originally envisaged in 2010. Once height limits known then can plan schools, transport, parking spaces etc.
- Precinct 2b is anomaly surrounded by 1-2 stories. Will that precinct code change? Is there a danger that rules will change to suit the developer. GR – need to consider transition between different zones and impact on nearby residential area.
- Better re-alignments for off road bike path Gungahlin-civic. GR -outside of scope but provide input and the ACT government can work on it.
- Crossing Valley avenue to get to hibberson street – no pedestrian crossing –
- Invited input whether directly or indirectly related to the Gungahlin Town Centre
- Confirmed that the planning team would also consider the 2014 your say survey and consultation on lower end of hibberson street
- Confirmed that where a development application had already being submitted these would continue in parallel to the refresh.
- Meet the planners sessions to be organised, dates TBC next week.
- That the consultation closed 14 April.
Agenda item 2: Road closures arising from Light Rail construction
Scott Lyall, Project Director, Transport Canberra Light Rail announced lane closures on Flemington Road, commencing 17 March for approximately 7-9 months to allow Light Rail construction to be expedited by 3-4 months. Traffic modelling shows 4 min delay in AM peak. Changes to bus routes are being finalised and will be announced shortly. Will have 7 days after closure to see impact to traffic and amend as necessary. He also announced Hibberson street to be closed permanently from 10 April and Gungahlin bus interchange to start construction late March with the aim to be completed December 2017. Capital Metro Community Forum 22 March, will also include Transport Canberra and ACT roads to discuss all modes of transport.
The meeting had general concerns about the impact to traffic not just on Flemington but also on other corridors out of Gungahlin (particularly identifying Horse Park as an alternative route). Other specific questions (and answers) included.
- Communication plan? Door knocked businesses along Hibberson Street and Flemington road, social media
- Protection from weather from bus to light rail at Gungahlin – Yes due to existing and new awnings.
- When will Light Rail open? 1 April 2018
- Are capital metro hitting milestones? Yes, don’t believe there is a risk at this point in time.
- Off road cycle path next to epic – will be closed during construction
- Concerned about impact to retailers in Mitchell and the fact there is no planned stop thus missing focus on Mitchell.
Agenda item 3: Meaghan Fitzharris MLA – update on progress in implementing ACT Government promises
Health – nurse walk in centre in Gungahlin will open 2017. Hospital on Ginninderra drive will open early next year which will free up beds at TCH and Calvary new hospital called ucph. Will increase hospital in the home which will mean an increase in the sorts of services here in Gungahlin.
Schools – work has commenced in Taylor including primary in 2019 – will pick up moncrief and jacka as well. Most of the upgrades to existing schools have being delivered this year. New high school in Gungahlin region.
Mulligans flat – Fence to be extended, and space has been allocated to a eco tourism research hub.
Throsby sporting fields also to be built.
Employment – Will work with commonwealth to determine if a smart work hub (similar to existing offices in Sydney and Melbourne where Commonwealth public servants can work remotely).
Roads – All roads are under pressure and it will be 18-24 months before all works complete. Unexpected population boom. Horse park stage 1 underway, stage 2 tender is about to go out, stage 3 has being budgeted. Gundaroo stage 2 has being funded, William Slim to be duplicated this term. Barton highway roundabout is working better
Public transport – Gungahlin to Belconnen will become rapid route this year. Express bus from Gungahlin to Tuggeranong trial this year.
Active travel – Sullivan’s cycle path – almost complete. Missing gaps. Park and pedal opened. Walk and ride week coming up
Questions and responses
- Why expanding Harrison school and not Franklin? Harrison approved in previous budget. Community not yet settled on what Franklin school should be (primary or early learning). Need more time for conversation.
- Getting cars off the road – very soon transport emissions will make up 60% of emissions. Active transport office has been established.. Significant investment in segregated paths in Belconnen. First instinct should not be to duplicate roads.
- Mitchell is forgotten area with no light rail stop and run down. MF did not agree, new buildings and businesses. New construction, light rail depot, possible to put a stop in Mitchell in future.
- If you don’t have a car it is very difficult to get a package from post office in Mitchell – this is a matter for Australia post.
- Roads planning group producing app – active log will be released tomorrow.
- Shade sails in play grounds – contract just awarded
- Throsby sporting fields – no date yet to be determined
- Estate development way – will be approved in a couple of days
- Horse park drive noise abatement in Gungahlin – invited to discuss with ACT Roads representative
- Lack of confidence that once works are complete, roads will be sufficient for Gungahlin’s population. Also given the impact of the CSIRO site sale.
- Park and ride in Casey or crace to reduce traffic from Gungahlin.
Agenda item 4: statement from Senator the Hon. Zed Seselja
Dear Members of the Gungahlin Community Council,
I am sorry I am unable to be there with you this evening, but I would like to take this brief opportunity to update you on my election commitment to see a Commonwealth Public Service Department or Agency move their offices to Gungahlin to help boost the local economy.
Last week I met with the office of Minister for Finance and officials from the Department of Finance who are responsible for managing Commonwealth office spaces. They briefed me on the process they are undertaking to make this move happen and updated me on their progress.
The first stage of the process involves auditing all the current departments and agencies to assess which are the most appropriate to be moved based on several factors including number of employees, office space requirements, and current leasing arrangements. The other aspect of this first stage is to identify potential sites in the Gungahlin town centre for a new office space to be constructed to accommodate the selected agency.
The Department of Finance officials informed me that they are nearing completion of this first stage, having narrowed down the number of potential agencies to be moved and identified several potential sites in Gungahlin for the new offices.
While for probity reasons I am unable to provide more detail at present, I understand this first stage should reach completion in the coming months. The Department of Finance informed me that they anticipate formal negotiations with the chosen agency will begin by mid-year, at which point I expect to be able to provide more concrete detail.
I am proud to have secured an election commitment from the Government to move a public service workforce to Gungahlin for the first time to grow the town centre and boost the local economy. I will continue to work hard to see this election promise fulfilled.
Senator the Hon. Zed Seselja
Liberal Senator for the ACT
Assistant Minister for Social Services and Multicultural Affairs
Minutes taken by Andrew Braddock