The proposed Light Rail to Woden would pass through Parliamentary Zone, which is managed by the federal National Capital Authority (NCA) rather than the ACT Government. Under the 1974 Parliament Act, all building work within that zone must be approved by both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

The NCA chief planner Andrew Smith is not assuming that approval is going to be a “tick and flick.” He expects politicians will be particularly keen to ensure the heritage qualities of Commonwealth and Kings avenues were protected.

To prepare for a potential Parliamentary inquiry, DRA would like to survey the views of residents.  A copy of our 2017 submission to ACT inquiry  can be downloaded at DRA Light Rail submission GRW June 2017 .

If you would like to help with this task, maybe design a survey and compile views, could you reply to

1 Jan / 2018

Deakin trees

Deakin trees are under stress. 

Several oak trees near shops look to be dying.

A Brittle Gum in Stonehaven Cres just fell over in nil wind on a hotter day.

Fortunately no one was hurt.  Fire Brigade did a great job clearing the road. 

Canberra Times article by Emily Baker on 27 Dec 2017 reports on Deakin Residents’ Association strong opposition to Provectus Care’s proposal for a two-building aged care facility on Grey Street.  The 102-bed nursing home proposed for Deakin would limit the suburb’s light rail options, further exacerbate existing traffic woes and invade the privacy of nearby embassies, schools and homes, according to the local residents’ group.  Read more at article.

DRA wrote to Minister Meegan Fitzharris in May 2017 about traffic speeds and pedestrian transit under Adelaide Ave to  Yarralumla.  In Dec 2017  we  learn that traffic islands will be extended, path links and signage, and line-marking will be improved in accord with following drawings.

The ACT Government very correctly, seeks to encourage children to walk and ride to school. In DRA’s view the improvements are modest. Pedestrian access (and bike transit ) remains dangerous. Zebra crossings are not envisaged and  further work will be needed for light rail stage 2. Should it go ahead, passengers will be walking along Hopetoun Circuit to and from the middle of Adelaide Avenue to catch a lift to the level of the light rail.

Given that serious doubts are emerging about light rail stage 2, including that it will double current express transit times between Woden and Civic, DRA would like pedestrian improvements installed expeditiously.  Comments can be made by 20 Jan 2018 to Ms Snezana Dimitrovska | Senior Traffic Engineer,  Traffic Management and Safety | Roads ACT | Transport Canberra and City Services | ACT  Government (Ph) 6207 6570 | (M) 0432 757 189





On 6 Dec 2017, DRA made a response to the Development Application for to vary the lease and develop a 102 bed residential aged care facility on Grey St, Block 13 Section 49 Deakin,  201732711.  DRA submission

DRA believes a high-rise nursing-home on a tiny block on Grey Street, Deakin is not the best use of the site. DRA is concerned that the proposal will cause a number of problems for the residents and neighbours. It will exacerbate existing traffic problems and noise, fails to provide adequate parking and will overlook the adjacent residential area. The size and location of the site is inappropriate for the intended use by clients. The proposal will limit options for the route of light rail.

DRA retained the services of Ted Streatfeild RPIA, an expert in planning to review the DA. His review is at link.  He identified that the DA does not comply with the Development Control Plan applicable to this site in a number of respects. Given that the DCP takes precedence, this is a major issue.

His review  also identified issues in regard to parking inadequacy, the removal of protected trees, the lack of an active frontage to Hopetoun Circuit and waste collection conflicting with pedestrian access and car parking at the front of the building.

The full proposal can be downloaded from ACT Govt website here

Over 3,000 people signed our petition for better planning to protect Red Hill Woodland, including Section 66 Deakin (Kent Street) and the Federal Golf Course lease. Thanks to Caroline Le Couteur MLA and Nicole Lawder MLA, who spoke passionately and at length about the need for appropriate planning processes to ensure our precious Red Hill woodlands are protected, and to protect Canberra’s heritage in general. Ms Le Couteur’s persuasive interviews on WIN Television News helped capture our local residents’ voices.

Red Hill Support Crew: Representatives of Deakin Residents’ Association, Hughes Residents’ Association and Red Hill Regeneration Group at the Legislative Assembly for tabling of their petition, 30 November 2017

Ms Le Couteur’s also put out a press release reading:

“I’m very pleased to table this contribution from more than 3,000 residents, who have shown they don’t want inappropriate development in Canberra,” Greens Planning Spokesperson Caroline Le Couteur MLA said.

“Clearly, much of the local community feels that they are being side-stepped in the consultation process.”


A community panel was established to “hold open and inclusive discussions about how the Federal Golf Club site should evolve and develop into the future” The Panel aimed to “endeavour to form a consensus view on development opportunities”.

Six Panel members have found it necessary to present their own report to Members of the Legislative Assembly. The six Panel members are the:

  • Deakin Residents’ Association
  • Conservation Council ACT Region
  • Friends of Grasslands
  • Garran and Hughes Residents’ Action Group
  • Hughes Residents’ Association
  • Red Hill Regenerators

The key recommendation made by this group is that:

the ACT Government suspend all development activity in the Red Hill open space area until an overarching planning and management framework for the area has been prepared and implemented.

The report is at the FEDERAL GOLF CLUB report to ACT Assembly Nov 13.

A 102-bed aged care facility is planned for a block of land in Deakin that was occupied by the Margaret Dimoff Art Gallery, formerly known as the Solander Gallery. The 2973 square-metre site is located on the corner of Hopetoun Circuit and Grey Street next to Canberra Girls Grammar School.

The proposal can be downloaded here

DRA held a public meeting on the proposal in August 2017.

Tony Powell AO, former National Capital Development Commissioner and a vocal critic of development activity in Canberra, spoke on 24 Oct about how to improve planning.  His title was ‘“KILLING CANBERRA” – coping with an incompetent ACT Government and the corruption of due process”.   His background paper and speaking notes are on the DRA website. Two key points were:

“What is needed is a planning organisation with a core of professional staff of the order of 100, civil engineers, transport planners, town and regional planners, architects, landscape planners and designers, economists, sociologists, project development managers, writers, publishers and public relations managers so as to be in a state of constant engagement with the local community, business  and trade interests, and thus dispense with the current practice of heavy reliance on external consultants which is largely unreliable and inefficient.”
“There is a widespread public apathy on the part of my children’s generation to become involved in town planning and social issues generally, and consequently there is a need for them to give more consideration to the effectiveness of political parties at election time because it is leading to the rise of the ‘professional politician’, which is not a good thing.”



Canberra’s Planning and Building rules.  How can they be improved?

PUBLIC FORUM Tuesday 12 September 2017
7.00 pm Eastlake Football Club,
3 Oxley St, Griffith


7:00 pm – Introduction: Marea Fatseas, Chair ISCCC.
7:05 pm – Opening remarks by Rachel Stephen-Smith, Minister for Community Services and Social Inclusion, on behalf of Mick Gentleman, Minister for Planning and Land Management
7:10 pm – Presentation by Ben Ponton, Director General, Environment Planning and Sustainable Development on Planning in Canberra
7:25 pm – Presentation by David Peffer, Deputy Director General, Access Canberra, on building regulation and enforcement
7:35 pm -Presentation by Gary Petherbridge, President, Owners Corporation Network Canberra on apartment building construction issues and rectification of problems
7:45 pm – Q&A with panel of the three speakers
8:45 pm – Chair ISCCC – Possible motions from the floor and wrap-up

Download agenda