GCC Community Meeting

9 May 2018

Gungahlin Library

6:30 – 8:30 pm

Chair: Peter Elford (President).

Attendees: see attendance log

Agenda item 1: Update from Transport Canberra, Ben Hughes

Ben reported that the benefits will outweigh the pain of all the road and other construction.     As well as road works we are also completing the town centre network for future growth.

Gundaroo Drive

Work is extending from Gungahlin east.   We are constructing the bus station and the Light Rail, converting Hibberson St to a shared zone, upgrading Horse Park Drive and road-works on the Gungahlin East estates.

Questions from the Floor:

  •     Will there be a new Park and Ride as well as a Drop-off Zone for the new Light Rail?  – There will be provision for pick up and set down in peak periods and the existing park and ride will be moved nearer to the terminus to support light rail as well.
  •     Will it be only for people on the Light Rail and dedicated for whole day? Yes.   It will be enforced by active My Way card and permit for car (available on Transport Can web site).   But open for others outside of peak periods.

Gundaroo Drive is our most challenging project.   It is about 9 months behind schedule because it runs along a high pressure gas main requiring permission to change.   There was no space to move it so we had to dig and check the condition.   It was 20 years old and could have been corroded.   We couldn’t close the road completely to traffic. We plan to have all lanes open in a couple of months.   Also Maryborough drive and new traffic lights will be finished soon.


Questions from the Floor:

  •     What caused rest of delay?  –  Change in the scope of work in 2016 election adding more traffic to increase capacity.   Also weather impacts 2017.   It made sense not to bring in second contractor.
  •     Was it the same contractor who was given work at the Cotter?  –  Cannot confirm that.   We heard concerns from the community and brought in Work Safety to check the contractor.
  •     Keeping work to local contractors adds to taxpayer costs.    Cannot comment on Government policy.   –  These are requirements for tender on our projects.
  •     Are there penalties charged?   –  Yes.   There is local industry participation. Projects are open to general tender but not worth interstate companies coming in except for major projects like the Majura Parkway.   Scale determines what you get.
  •     A small concrete strip holding up Southpark Driveway needs to be removed.    –  I have looked and it protects adjacent work.  It will be removed soon.
  •     Also could pre -qualifications on road surfacing be aligned with interstate jobs?  –  I will take up with procurement agency.

Video re Stage 2 is online.   We  learnt from Stage 1 that having the contractor and the gas works carrying on at the same time increased risk.   Thus we are moving gasworks before Stage 2 commences.

Question from the Floor:

  •     Why has Gundaroo Drive stopped short of the Crace roundabout?  –  It was a financial decision.   The extension to Cavanagh St has just started  Due for completion in late 2018.   Horse Park Drive will be completed in segments.

Majura Drive to the Federal Highway Interchange

This has been delayed due to the impact of acid sulphate leaching out of bedrock. People may have noticed orange stains.  When exposed it becomes an environmental risk.   Giant mattresses have been designed to protect the environment from the Federal highway through to O’Sullivans Creek. We had to demonstrate to EPA that we could manage the problem.    We now have approval.   Simply burying was too expensive so we are now capping.   Also using a layer of membrane.   This allows us to keep it as a shared path.   There is only one bridge over a creek thus allowing a shorter construction time.   No big gas mains in way.

Question from the Floor:

  •     What of the old carriageway?   –   We are going to resurface it.

Horse Park Drive

The section to Mulligan’s Flat is making good progress.   We will soon switch traffic and work on new carriageway out past Katherine Ave West.   We are also improving pedestrian access round schools.  South of Valley Ave is proceeding including signals due to open about June.   We are making good progress

Question from the Floor:

  •     Why not continue Cavalerie Way through to carry transit traffic?  –  The original plan included a heritage corridor there.  The edge road is only a service road.   Anthony Rolfe will provide for transit purposes.

Hibberson St Shared Zone

We took options to the community and there was a call to make it more attractive to pedestrians.   Being shared deters traffic in peak period but it is available to traffic in quiet times.  It provides more outdoor space for people.

Questions from the Floor:

  •     The noise near the fencing is 100 decibels which is not good for my business or others in the area.   Is there any hope for compensation?   There is always a possibility by applying to the Government Solicitor’s Office but you’ll be asked to go through a process on a case-by-case basis.   The contractors are governed by EPA guidelines and can be inspected.   They may be told to change their practices e.g. do noisy work at night.   Happy to talk to you.  Every business is given a contact number.
  •     Everyone is happy with the outcomes but there is a problem with quick parking at night Any chance of getting Woollies to keep their carpark open?    –  Yes we can follow that up for you.

Gungahlin Bus Station

It is partially open and operating.   Replacing old diesel buses with newer ones will improve things but for people living close by we have built a sound baffle.   Landscaping there to be finished in next few weeks.

Answers to Other questions from the Floor

  •     Compensation to businesses (see above)
  •     More specific details – To avoid too much specificity we are now reporting quarterly for more transparency and flexibility
  •     Project contracts available on line
  •     Space used for asbestos in past?   Will be building road over it
  •     Will look at coordinating of signals but signals are last choice.   Roundabouts work better throughout day.


Agenda Item 2: Updates on other Gungahlin matters, Peter Elford

Gold Creek Country Club and Homestead

The Suburban Land Agency has issued a tender for sale of a large portion of the land in Ngunawal, which also contains the old homestead.   Inspection has revealed that the building is not as derelict as feared.    We are concerned as we have been informed that proposals for use of the land (i.e. bulldozing the heritage building) will not impact on choice of tender.   GCC is concerned to retain the site for public purposes.   Tenders close in June or July.   Lend Lease are interested in the site for an aged care facility.   That could work well in retaining the homestead as well.

Questions from the Floor:

  •     Suburban Land Agency has ignored community responses before so maybe community action required.   –  We are trying to do so.   We want to retain old stone parts of the homestead and the gardens.   Anyone who has time to be a serious campaigner is welcome. People should speak to local member or minister.

Proposal for Tower Blocks on Gunderoo Drive.

The original proposal was for two towers but later extended to nine.  The GCC and local businesses campaigned against that.   The proposal has now been amended from 18 to 15 stories but has not been made available to the public.   We have concerns about transparency   and are waiting to hear about the process.

Questions from the Floor:

  •     Do we have the names of the relevant bureaucrats?   –   It is better to target your local member rather than bureaucrats as they don’t have discretionary powers.   There is also the problem of keeping community informed ahead of time so they can have their say in a timely fashion.

New Bus Services and Light Rail

Gungahlin Community Council raised concerns in August 2017 re lack of access to buses in outlying area and asked how things will change with Light Rail. We were informed there was now a consultation process re the new system. Transport Canberra have completed stage 1 of the consultation re the Rapid Bus Services.   There were 628 responses of which 80% were public transport users.   The majority was willing to walk further for a rapid response.  Everyone wanted apps, preferably built into the existing apps.   There were still concerns re services to out-lying areas.   Stage 2 of the consultation will be launched in June with mud-maps of routes and where buses will intersect with the Light Rail.   All day access and school services will be part of the general service.   The goal is for no-one to walk more than 500m to a local service and 800m to the rapid service.

New routes for new suburbs and schools are planned and also inter-suburban links.   A handout is available.   The date for the next consultation is June 18.

Agenda Item 3: The Heart Foundation: Active Living Principles – Impact of Territory Plan Overview, Annie Kentwell and Colleagues

Why is the Heart Foundation interested in town planning?   The way we design and build will influence active living in a population?  We believe strategies for change should involve supportive environments for physical activity.    Our focus is on increasing incidental activity in our lives.    Living in a walkable neighbourhood with safe, attractive, supportive infrastructures promote health.  Gungahlin is a car-dominated environment compared to Canberra’s Inner North.  It lacks an urban environment that promotes active lifestyle of adults and children.

Questions from the Floor:

  •     Things needed in Gungahlin are neighbourhood schools and local employment.   Gungahlin has no local employment at all –

A Call Centre is coming and also some ACT shared services including possibly, a small Federal  Government  Department.  The Light Rail is planning to have people standing on trains.   Unfortunately apartments are more profitable for developers and government offices.

The Canberra Territory Plan is the first in Australia to begin implementing into strategic town planning such things as:

Easy and safe access environments for all ages

High quality open space

Mixed use land density

Active travel

Attractive supportive infrastructure

Wider paths

  •     We need to lobby harder to get more money spent on footpaths – as much as on roads – Although our goal is 7% active travel currently only 4%  is spent on footpaths.    Canberra has been built round car but there is a need to increase housing density.
  •     There are no designated cycle-only paths – everything is mixed use except where legislated.
  •     Cyclists still tend to dominate – pedestrians are in fact priority level 1.
  •     Is there encouragement to grow fruit trees on footpaths –  you can do it anywhere  here and also food unless in a heritage precinct.
  •     Long commutes are a problem for Gungahlin.   There is a lack of employment here – It is very important to lobby government re the need for local industry to promote active living.  Gungahlin has a specific problem in this regard.


Minutes taken by Andrew Braddock

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