Canberra Girls Grammar School hosted an Information Session on Thursday, 12 May 2016, concerning their interest in development of the Latrobe Park sports oval and surrounds.

DRA strongly encouraged residents to attend, via email and letterbox publicity.

The meeting was well attended (over 70 people)  and many residents took the opportunity to ask questions and express their views, following a short presentation from CGGS Principal, Ann Coutts.

Some expressed cautious support for an upgrade and greater usage of Latrobe Park.

Most speakers raised concerns about:

  • Potential loss of public land into private ownership
  • Exacerbation of parking and traffic issues that already cause problems for nearby residents
  • Pedestrian access, including dog exercising and the effect of any fencing of the oval
  • Change to the character and accessibility of the park if being used frequently for organised school and other sporting activities
  • Effect on the natural environment and wildlife currently using the park.

A summary of the Information Session discussion is available here.

DRA has also received a substantial number of emails on this subject.  We still require solid advice on the legal options and implications of this proposal, and we are pursuing the ACT Government’s Territory and Municipal Services (TAMS) directorate for a full briefing (so far, without success).

When we have enough information, DRA will prepare our own position paper, taking into account resident, school, and government views,  and circulate it for all residents to comment.

Until that has occurred,  DRA cannot offer support to the school’s proposal. We remain in discussion with CGGS and appreciate their wish to proceed with a proposal only if it has community support.



On 21 June  2016, University of the Third Age (U3A) held a public seminar on the subject  “Are McMansions eating up our Garden City? ” at the Hughes Community Centre.

The seminar was co-sponsored by the ACT Council on the Aging (COTA).

The seminar heard from two highly qualified speakers:

  • Dr Leo Dobes (Adjunct Associate Professor Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU) and
  • Patrick Troy AO (Emeritus professor ANU ((Human ecology and urban environment, ANU)

The event was part of a  series of U3A/COTA lunchtime forums, held every Tuesday from June to October in the Hughes Community Centre Hall, 12.30 to around 1.45.

More details a from U3A on their website.

Canberra Girls Grammar School has contacted the Deakin Residents Association regarding the school’s interest in taking a 25-30 year lease over the sports field and maintenance sheds in Latrobe Park.

The school would offer to invest approximately $1million to upgrade and maintain the facilities of the ground, including installing a 300 metre running track and building new changing and toilet facilities.

For the term of the lease, the school would seek exclusive or pre-emptive rights to use of the sports field between 8.00am and 5.00pm on all school days, with occasional use at weekends. Public access would be available at other times, or by arrangement.

They are also interested in obtaining use of the storage depot (between the field and the Scout Hall) for school purposes.

See these links for all correspondence between CGGS and DRA on this matter:

  1.  CGGS original draft proposal, with illustrations ( Dec 2015)
  2. DRA response to CGGS raising initial concerns (Feb 2016)
  3. CGGS response to DRA, including revised proposal and invitation to information session (May 2016)

Deakin Residents Association needs to know the views of residents and other groups who currently use or otherwise value the public open space of Latrobe Park, in order to determine a response to this proposal. The School has asked for our views, hopes for our support, and wishes to discuss any local concerns before directly approaching the ACT Government.

DRA is not ready to support this proposal without a better understanding and careful evaluation of the pros and cons of such a development on what is currently public open space, and precisely what terms would apply to any agreement with the ACT Government.

We will be deciding on our position after the information session being hosted by CGGS on 12 May (see DRA home page)

Melbourne developers Grocon, and the Greater Western Sydney Giants football club, have made an “unsolicited proposal” to the ACT Government trade off upgrades to Manuka Oval facilities for the rights to develop hundreds of new apartments within Manuka Circle.

Following much publicity and controversy over the proposal, the Inner South Community Council hosted a Public Forum
at 7.00 pm on 28 April, Wesley Uniting Church Hall, 20-22 National Circuit, Forrest, to hear the range of views concerning this development proposal.

The Forum Flyer is at this link.

To see the resolutions passed at this meeting , visit the ISCCC web page. 

[UPDATE  31 March 2016]:
DRA’s submission commenting on the Discussion Paper can be read at this link.

By the close of the consultation period, the online consultation format appears to have had an extremely limited response. The foreshadowed “Garden City Principles” questions never appeared in the online Quick Poll, after all.

The ACT Government’s Heritage secretariat have acknowledged DRA’s submission and inform us that there will be a further consultation opportunity later in this year, once a Draft Strategy has been released. We remain alert but not alarmed in anticipation of that Draft Strategy, noting that with both Federal and ACT Elections due in the next few months, potentially controversial topics may be left until elections have passed.

In mid-February 2016 the government opened consultations on a Five Year ACT Heritage Strategy.  DRA was represented at a recent workshop and we note that one of the “Quick Poll” topics to be put to the public questions the effectiveness and relevance of the Garden City Principles.

Garden City Principles underlie the planning rules that limit the size of buildings per block, minimum setbacks from streets and fence-lines, and the scope for adequate vegetation, including substantial trees.

We are all aware of the tree-less deserts that have emerged in newer suburbs where these planning principles have been discarded.  The Principles have long been under attack by those who seek to exploit the landscape character of established garden suburbs, while contributing nothing to it.

DRA will be making a submission to the consultation, urging respect for heritage values in relevant locations, and also defending the importance of Garden City landscaping principles.  Let us know your views on both the heritage and the landscape issues.

We also encourage residents to participate in the consultations individually. The Discussion Paper is currently available from the ACT Heritage Strategy consultation website.  Consultation closes on 29 March.

For some reason, the “Quick Poll” questions on Garden City principles have not yet been put online – poll questions are being released periodically rather than all together.

DRA will update with the online link when the Garden City poll questions are available for response.

The Annual General Meeting on 10 November 2015 elected the following Committee for Deakin Residents Association Inc.

President: Dr John Bell
Vice-President: Ms Di Johnstone
Secretary: Mr Richard Thwaites
Treasurer: Mrs Kate Hambly
Mr Peter Wurfel
Dr George Wilson
Mr Joel Tu

After several years as energetic President, Peter Wurfel this year decided to nominate only for the Committee. The AGM passed a motion of appreciation and looks forward to his continued contributions.

Deakin Residents’ Association Inc.
Notice of 2015 Annual General Meeting

Date: 10th November 2015

Time: 7.00pm

Charles Price Room
St Luke’s Church
44 Newdegate Street

Attached below are the AGM Agenda, a Committee Nomination form for those members willing to serve on the Committee of Deakin Residents’ Association Inc, and a Proxy Nomination Form.

If you are unable to attend the meeting, we would welcome you using the Proxy Form to assign your vote to another member, or to the President, to vote on your behalf. A completed proxy form can be delivered to the Secretary at 15 Fergusson Crescent, Deakin, or presented at the meeting by the person to whom the proxy is assigned.

Versions of these forms that you can print out, or edit on screen, can be downloaded from this link:

DRA AGM 2015 Nomination and Proxy Forms

The input of all members to the Annual General Meeting and to the Committee is highly valued. Help us to represent Deakin in the interests of all residents.


Richard Thwaites
26 October 2015



10 November 2015


1. Welcome and apologies

2. Proxies

3. Confirmation of Minutes of Annual General Meeting of 26th November 2014

4. Reports
President’s Report
Treasurer’s Report

5. Election of Committee Members and Office Bearers
(all positions are vacant, and a nomination form has been circulated).

6. Other Business

By order of the Committee
Richard Thwaites
26 October 2015



Deakin Residents’ Association Inc
Nomination for Office Bearers/Committee Members
2015 AGM

Note: The Rules of the Deakin Residents’ Association Inc. state that nominations for candidates for election to the Committee should be received by COB 10th November 2015 by the Secretary. However, if insufficient nominations have been received to fill all the positions, further nominations can be received at the AGM.

Committee positions comprise the four named Office bearers, plus up to four Ordinary Committee Members


We the undersigned members of the Deakin Residents’ Association Inc nominate the following Member for election to a Committee position:

Name of Member nominated ………………………………………………………………(please print)

Position for which Member is nominated (please circle):

President Vice-President Treasurer Secretary Other Committee

Names and signatures of two Members nominating candidate (nominations need to be signed by two Members of the Deakin Residents’ Association Inc ):

Name 1: ……………………………………………………………………………………………. (please print)

Signature 1: ……………………………………………………………………………….Date: / /2015

Name 2: ……………………………………………………………………………………………. (please print)

Signature 2: …………………………………………………………………………………Date: / /2015

I consent to the above nomination:

Signature of Member nominated: ………………………………….. …………..Date: / /2015

Please mail to:
Deakin Residents’ Association Inc
15 Fergusson Crescent

OR email a scanned copy to



Deakin Residents’ Association Inc
Reg No: A05199

I (name)………………………………of (address) …………………………….

being a member of the Deakin Residents’ Association Inc hereby appoint

(name)………..…………………………………of (address)………………………………….

as my proxy to vote for me on my behalf at the Annual General Meeting of Deakin Residents’ Association Inc to be held on 10 November 2015 and at any adjournment thereof


The Chair of the meeting should vote on my behalf

[Strike out whichever proxy option above does not apply]

Signed……………………………………………….this…… of ………….…..2015

Following the changes to Association Rules at the Annual General Meeting of 2014, the Committee has met twice, in January and June 2015.

Regular business, such as membership approvals, financial management, and policy decisions on current issues, has been conducted intersessionally by correspondence or by small group meetings.

Main business at the formal Committee meetings has been:

  • Ratification of new memberships.
  • Decision to appeal to ACAT against ACTPLA’s approval of a townhouse development on Gawler Crescent that does not meet planning rules as promised during consultation.
  • Continued pursuit of improved pedestrian safety barriers separating car parking from footpaths at the Deakin Group Centre.
  • Submissions, meetings and representations on ACT government plans and services regarding public transport, road conditions, and resident responsibilities for nature strip (verge) treatments and maintenance.
  • Ongoing review of Development Applications throughout the suburb, with submissions during consultation period, where required.
  • Participation and support for Inner South Community Council amd Canerra Community Council representations to the ACT Government on broader policy and planning issues.
  • Close collaboration with Yarralumla Residents Association on continuing development of Land Development Agency’s proposals for the Canberra Brickworks and Environs development area.
  • Meetings and liaison with the National Capital Authority on current issues, and on NCA’s upcoming review of the National Capital Plan that sets parameters for development in parts of Deakin as well as the central capital areas.

Deakin Fluffy Footprint

Click on map to enlarge display

On 1 July 2015 the ACT Government’s Asbestos Remediation Taskforce published the full list of addresses of residences that it intends to demolish, on the grounds that traces of “Mr Fluffy” loose-fill asbestos may remain in the building, and that no safe level of contamination can be agreed.

Twelve residences in Deakin are on the list. DRA extends full sympathy to those residents who are being forced to re-locate, some at considerable personal cost. Under the Government’s policy, the blocks will be redeveloped under new lease conditions set up by a special variation to the Territory Plan. Departing residents will have no control over the future of their blocks, unless they are able to buy them back after remediation is completed. Since the the Government’s intention is to increase the value of those blocks by permitting dual-occupancy development, most current residents expect to be priced out of any buy-back opportunity.

Remaining residents, and particularly residents of adjoining properties, are legitimately concerned about what form of re-development will occur on those blocks. In Deakin, all but one of them are zoned RZ1, meaning only single residences are permitted. The special Territory Plan Amendment will alow subdivision of those blocks for dual occupancy, and thus change the character of the neighbourhood to some extent. The process is likely to be extended over at least five years.

DRA is monitoring and representing resident interests on this matter, and welcomes comment and participation from any resident. Better still, join DRA to show your support.

For your reference, we list below the 12 Deakin addresses published by the Government, and a map showing locations of adjoining residences potentially affected by the demolition and redevelopment.


5 Normanby Crescent, 3 Northcote Crescent, 14 Carrington Street, 33 Macgregor Street, 70 Macgregor Street, 12 Gormanston Crescent, 12 Galway Place, 11 Beauchamp Street, 7 Norman Street, 13 Norman Street, 17 Norman Street, 45 Norman Street.

The following letter was sent to the Canberra Times on 13 June, following their shallow and misleading reportage of the Gawler Crescent ACAT decision. All Canberra residents deserve to understand the extent to which the current planning system limits their rights.

Deakin Residents’ Association Inc.
PO Box 3310 Manuka ACT 2603

Canberra Times

Your story “New Deakin development prompts privacy and parking concerns for residents” (CT online 8th June 2015), “Deakin residents fear flood of development” (CT print version 8th June 2015) misrepresents the Deakin Residents’ Association (DRA).

We did not oppose the Gawler Crescent redevelopment, but sought good planning outcomes that are consistent with published ACT Government planning policies.

The proposal now approved by ACAT will replace two existing residences with seven three-bedroom townhouses. This is significantly different from a 2010 proposal for fifteen one- and two-bedroom apartments, opposed by residents at the time as being completely inconsistent with relevant development codes.  Due to DRA pursuit of good planning outcomes, the subsequent proposal for seven three-bedroom residences has also been modified in several important respects – the number of buildings are now appropriate to the site, with a separation of 2.8metres between the two groups of units, whereas the developer originally proposed an unbroken terrace of six townhouses facing Gawler Crescent.

Through public consultations on DV306, the Government developed specific policy requirements with respect to the maximum number of buildings on a re-developed site with communities promised that groups of multi-unit dwellings in RZ2 zones would be separated by “at least 4 metres” to preserve neighbourhood character. The development, as now approved, still contradicts this promise. At the last minute, and without public consultation, the ACT Government introduced criteria to the relevant Rule inviting decision-makers to apply subjective judgment and allow developers to avoid compliance with the Rule.

Subjective interpretation of planning objectives, under the deceptively-named “merit track” of development approvals, is a deeply flawed system which contradicts commitments to community engagement in the planning and development process. If Rules can be so easily avoided we can anticipate developers seeking to push the boundaries within RZ2 zones across Canberra, with only private residents and their associations to uphold planning principles where they can.

John Bell
Vice President
Deakin Residents Association, Inc