The DRA provided comments on the NCA Draft Amendment Plan 95 (DAP 95) which sought to to seek approval to change the land use policy of the Curtin horse paddocks to become a new Diplomatic Estate and a new residential area adjacent to Yarra Glen.

Key points in DRA submission:

• The consultation with interested parties such as ACT Equestrian Association has been inadequate
• The demand for new diplomatic missions has not been demonstrated
• There is a need for a long-term comprehensive plan to guide diplomatic development
• The paddocks and surrounding open space are home to significant species of flora and fauna. They are also a corridor and buffer zone providing shelter.
• The increased residential densification which will result from DAP 95 appears to be a plank to justify light rail expenditure, without adequate consideration of costs and benefits
• Bushfire risks need further consideration.

The submission is at the link. Horse paddock submission_NCA DAP 95 Swap

Under the ACT’s dual planning regime, the Australian Government and ACT Government share planning responsibility in the ACT. The NCA administers the National Capital Plan and it manages Canberra’s diplomatic estate on behalf of the Australian Government, including the sale and issue of Crown leases for diplomatic purposes, rent collection, lease variations, and lease compliance.
DAP 95 comes on the back of an agreed land swap between the Commonwealth and ACT Governments, involving transfer of Block 4 Section 106 Curtin and approximately 70 per cent of Block 5 Section 121 Curtin (totalling approximately 31.5 hectares in all) from the ACT Government to the Commonwealth, with a commensurate transfer of parts of Block 1 Section 89 Acton, which constitute a portion of the bed of Lake Burley Griffin, from the Commonwealth to the ACT Government.
The primary purpose of DAP 95 is to seek approval to change the land use policy of the Curtin holdings to become a new Diplomatic Estate to accommodate new offices and residences for foreign diplomatic missions and for the establishment of a new residential area adjacent to Yarra Glen. These areas are currently designated as Broadacre Acres which do not permit residential development and will need to be changed to Urban areas to accommodate the proposed land use changes. A number of smaller parcels of land in Curtin, Yarralumla and Weston Creek also appear to be included, but it is unclear where they fit in with DAP 95.

24 May / 2020

Bikeways across Deakin

Cycling routes through the suburb and to schools

In 2020 there are no published cycle routes in Deakin. Dark blue are principal routes on ACT Govt active travel map. Pale blue are ‘Main intended’ routes.  Perhaps we should seek a commitment from candidates in the 2020 ACT election for their construction

The peripheral track at foot of Red Hill could be a useful link to connect Kent St and Flinders Way

DRA Bike Survey results and consultations

A survey conducted last year by the DRA identified the following cycling issues as important:

  • Cycling routes through the suburb,
  • Facilitating cycling routes to schools
  • Improving safety for cyclists

Routes to schools

Upgrade local and main routes identified were

  • A bike lane for Melbourne Avenue to link up with State Circle and the Parliamentary Triangle.
    • would facilitate access to the school.
  • Currently there is a bike lane marked on Hobart Avenue.
    • But not on the Active Travel Infrastructure map as a local endorsed route.
    • Lane facilitates access to Forrest Primary however it does not link with the main intended route through Forrest. Extending this route through to Collins Park would provide a clear route to the school. Intersections between Collins Park and Hobart Avenue are challenging.

Improving safety for cyclists

Hot spots and signage issues identified were.

  • Access to and safety up Red Hill
    • A 40 km speed limit has been put in on the branch road off Gowrie Drive, going down to the Federal Golf Course. It was recommended that this 40 km speed limit be put in on Gowrie Drive for the route up to Red Hill lookout to enhance safety of the walkers and cyclists.
  • Roundabout at the foot of Red Hill – (Mugga Way, Stonehaven Cres, Strickland Cres and Gowrie drive intersection).
    • Current signage obscures visibility of cyclists with cars. Cyclists coming down from Red Hill are obscured by the “Deakin Shops” sign placed in the middle of the road at the roundabout.  It obscures the view up Gowrie Drive for the east-bound motorist on Stonehaven/Mugga Way.
  • Roundabout visibility at the Hopetoun/Stonehaven roundabout
    • Cyclists turning right off Stonehaven onto Hopetoun the sign in the median strip on Hopetoun can conceal cyclists turning. Placing the signage in a different position would improve safety for cyclists.
      For both roundabouts marking the left edges of the road as it enters each side of the roundabouts with the green bike line markings similar to Adelaide Ave.  Green cycle lines are currently used on the roundabout at the intersection of Flynn and Alexandrina Drives Yarralumla (back of the Hyatt).
      This will help draw driver attention to cyclists using the roundabout and give them better vision of all vehicles to whom they must give way.
  •  Deakin Shops between Mc Gregor Street and Grose Street.
    • The narrowing of Hopetoun Cct at the end of Gawler Cres, becomes a bottle neck and drivers try to squeeze past cyclists who are left trying to navigate around

Fast-track bike lanes to boost jobs and take advantage of lockdown-induced bicycle sales

Australia’s peak cycling organisations are calling on governments to capitalise on a surge in lockdown-induced bicycle sales by fast-tracking the construction of all 750 km of planned bike lanes around the country, a move that would promote physically distanced commuting while taking “tens of thousands” of cars off city roads. Such a move would promote social distancing, take thousands of cars off roads and make it safer for riders.

23 May / 2020

Curtin horse paddocks

Curtin horse paddocks – NCA consultation

NCA is inviting public consultation on National Capital Plan Draft Amendment 95 – North Curtin Diplomatic Estate and Urban Area

The NCA released Draft Amendment 95 – North Curtin Diplomatic Estate and Urban Area (DA95) for public consultation on  23 May 2020. DA95 proposes changes to the land use policy of Block 4 Section 106 and part Block 5 Section 121 Curtin (which includes a portion of the North Curtin horse paddocks) to facilitate the development of a new diplomatic estate on newly acquired Commonwealth land, and to create a new urban area adjacent to the estate on land retained by the ACT Government.

The draft amendment is available on the NCA’s website. The NCA has written in following terms.

The NCA secures the Australian Government’s interest in the planning and development of Canberra as the National Capital. The NCA’s planning responsibilities are to prepare and administer the National Capital Plan (the Plan). The NCA’s work also includes management of Canberra’s diplomatic estate. Under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, Australia has an obligation to facilitate the acquisition of, or assist in obtaining, accommodation for diplomatic missions. The supply of diplomatic land in Canberra is effectively exhausted. The Curtin horse paddocks and nearby land has been identified as being suitable for diplomatic use. The proposed site is large enough to accommodate long term growth of diplomatic missions in Canberra. The NCA is undertaking consultation activities in accordance with current Public Health Emergency Directions resulting from COVID-19. NCA officers would be happy to discuss DA95 with representatives of DRA via phone or video conference. Please contact via to arrange a suitable time.

The NCA welcomes written submissions on DA95 until close of business on Tuesday 7 July 2020. Please visit the NCA’s website at for further information about DA95, the consultation process and how to have your say.

Rebecca Sorensen | Director Strategic Planning
National Capital Authority
( (02) 6271 2851


The energy system is changing, with more and more of us are installing rooftop solar, batteries and smart appliances. Electric vehicles are likely to be adopted in larger numbers in the near future.

The Australian National University has a Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program which is seeking to demonstrate how community energy models can reduce costs for customers whilst increasing the amount of renewable energy generation and storage that can be installed in electricity distribution networks. The program has a number of funders including ARENA and the ACT Government.

A webinar from ANU on 13 May discussed many aspects of the trial being conducted in the Canberra suburb of Jacka. 700 homes are being connected to a suburb wide energy system. The concept is to set up a local energy system that reduces power export to the grid. Excess generated during the day is captured and shared with the connected houses in the evening. Trials are also underway in Western Australia which are easier to undertake because energy production has not been privatised.

The webinar discussed

  • access and affordability
  • who are batteries for  – the community or the network
  • the need for society and community acceptance
  • how to involve community – part of study
  • tension between industry and community
  • is energy a social good?
  • how to achieve effective governance

The DRA wonders if our Association should pursue this topic and seek collaboration among residents for a local storage facility. Is this a matter for consideration in the forthcoming ACT elections.

Batteries can be the size of a shipping container. We are already familiar with transformers in our suburb.

DRA is looking for drivers of this potential initiative.

Melbourne Ave Median Strip 

Residents of Forrest and Deakin have long had concerns about the adverse effect of school drop-off and pick-up parking on the median strip and its beautiful trees opposite Canberra Girls Grammar School. Crowd parking for school fetes has added to the damage.

DRA was glad to see the trees receive extensive mulching.

Meetings between ACT Government officials and Deakin and Forrest residents on the median strip lead to temporary barriers to block vehicle access. Canberra Girls Grammar also reminded parents that parking on the median strip is illegal and warned them that fines would be issued for transgression. The School also arranged for drop-offs and pick-ups to occur inside school grounds. This has worked well and DRA and Forrest Residents Group are grateful to Transport Canberra and to Canberra Girls Grammar for their efforts. Thanks, too, to Ernst Willheim for his persistent attention to the issue.

The TCCS has now committed to bollard installation as outlined on the map below. The works will ‘commence shortly’ and are expected to be complete by the end of the financial year.


Deakin Residents Association is really pleased to receive a response from Minister Chris Steel to our representations on traffic past the Deakin shops. Following our meeting in November the Minister has advised that the following works will be implemented by June 2020:

  • 40 km speed zone limit on Hopetoun Circuit between Grey Street  and Bedford Street
  • 40 km speed limit on Macgregor Street between Hopetoun Cicuit and the Jervois Street
  • A raised pedestrian crossing at the existing pedestrian crossing on Hopetoun Circuit near MacGregor Street
  • and a speed hump on Hopetoun Circuit adjacent to Grey Street

The map shows locations. The downside is. “will there be  more ugly signs damaging the cityscape? We look forward to minimal and small size signage.

Thank you Minister



On Monday 23 March 2020 at the Albert Hall, 100 Commonwealth Ave Yarralumla from 6.00pm to 8.00pm for a public forum on the implications of Canberra’s planning decisions for the bush capital, has been organised by the Canberra Planning Action Group (CPAG) and the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis (IGPA).

The aim is vital to revive debate and discussion about what Canberra was supposed to be, what it has become, and where it should be heading. In the lead-up to the 2020 election, the Chief Minister’s claims for Canberra cannot remain untested.

CPAG was formed in early 2019 in response to discontent by community groups and many individuals. with the ACT Government on planning matters, including urban densification, transport, affordable housing, green infrastructure, approvals processes – the list goes on and on. This discontent is not new but it is widespread and growing, as the very things that make Canberra a uniquely liveable city are being destroyed at an alarming rate.

CPAG seeks a Canberra-wide perspective and a more united voice by all who want to see a more considered, people and nature-friendly approach to a growing Canberra.

A flyer advertising the forum is at this link.

CPAG is also receiving donations to defraying the expenses incurred in staging this forum.

If you require further information please contact:

Susan Gray on 0401 445 312 or Anne Forrest on 0417 686 955.

Registration link is here


Beautifying La Trobe Park 

Adopt a Park Proposal fails to gain support

DRA was unsuccessful in its application to the ACT Government Adopt a Park program. We had sought support for the formation of a local Volunteer Group to assist the ACT Government authorities in the ongoing maintenance and upkeep of the Park.
Considerable interest has already been expressed and a DRA subgroup formed to take the project forward.

The Friends of La Trobe Park sub group would monitor the health of the park and assist in planting of trees and in weed control.  Additional trees have been planted over the years but many of

these have died and need replacement.  See photo – like many in Deakin they need water.

The Scout Group located in La Trobe Park is potential collaborator in the project particularly controlling weeds as well as  rubbish control.

To help with these tasks DRA sought assistance in the provision of garden tools, tree seedlings and weed

poison. The provision of some benches or seats  throughout the park would also enhance greater community use of the park. We plan to seek guidance from professionals in the department on these matters.

DRA also planned to draft material to commemorate Charles La Trobe after whom the park is named. He was appointed in 1839 superintendent of the Port Phillip District of New South Wales and, after the establishment in 1851 of the colony of Victoria, he became its first lieutenant-governor. He oversaw the establishment of the Botanical Gardens. Many institutions commemorate his name.

The proposal also sought funding support for a community barbecue and meeting in  2020. The purpose would be to meet residents interested in improving La Trobe Park and discuss their thoughts on what might be done. We will gauge community interest in activities such as reinstalling a barbecue, and reopening the toilet block.

Please respond if you would like to pursue these ideas.

Melbourne Avenue

Progress has been made in protecting eucalypts on Melbourne Avenue which is a National Avenue. Following discussion and joint meetings initiated by Forrest Residents Group, DRA is pleased to

as Ia see government efforts to mulch around trees and protect soil from compaction. We welcome governmental assurances that there will be monitoring to prevent illegal parking.

Light Rail Stage 2

The Business Plan for ACT light rail stage 2 (Civic – Woden), is available. It raises the issues of

• Damage to cultural landscapes, notably, most of Commonwealth Avenue’s famous trees, and open space character.

• Filling the median strip of Commonwealth Avenue with tram tracks and the possibility of a total bridge replacement. To learn more about that and the existing symmetry with Kings Avenue bridge join Graeme Kelleher who was the Supervising Engineer for the construction of Commonwealth Ave Bridge in the 1960s

Sunday 23 February, 9.30 am – Heritage Walk  Two Bridges and a Lake.  While the two bridges look similar from a distance in forming the Parliamentary Triangle, they are quite different in design and construction.  The walk will be led by Keith Baker from Engineers Heritage Australia.  For detail and bookings go to

• Complying with the ban on overhead wires

• Traffic disruptions during construction.

• Difficulties in capturing land value especially at south-facing West Basin, and along Commonwealth Avenue north.

• Massive costs of the project including the above for limited benefit.

The Federal Government decisions about the assessment process under Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 for

• Stage 2A  is a controlled action and the assessment will be by way of an examination of preliminary documentation.

• Stage 2B is a controlled action  and the assessment will be made by way of an Environmental Impact Assessment to be be conducted by the ACT Government – Major Projects Canberra.

DRA, along with ISCCC, had submitted that the Stage 2B assessment should be way of independent public inquiry. This request was rejected.

While DRA fully endorses the objectives of Light Rail we remain skeptical that the current proposal will achieve its objectives

Objective 5: deliver an affordable project solution to the Territory that drives innovation and provides a value for money outcome.

Objective 4: provide Canberrans with an attractive, convenient, efficient and reliable integrated public transport system that facilitates choice, increases public transport patronage and reduces car dependency.

We believe further investigation is needed of the option of trackless trams currently under consideration in Sydney

The Federal Government has made decisions about the assessment process for of the Light Rail Stage 2. The delegate has determined that under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 construction and operation of

  • Stage 2B of the Light Rail proposal is a controlled action and the assessment will be made by way of an Environmental Impact Assessment to be be conducted by the ACT Government – Major Projects Canberra.
    • The controlling provisions were National Heritage places, listed threatened species and communities and Commonwealth land
  • Stage 2A of the Light Rail proposal is a controlled action and the assessment will be by way of an examination of preliminary documentation.

DRA along with ISCCC had submitted that the Stage 2B assessment should be way of independent public inquiry. This request has been rejected.

While DRA fully endorses the objectives of Light Rail we remain sceptical that the current proposal will achieve its objectives. 

Objective 5: deliver an affordable project solution to the Territory that drives innovation and provides a value for money outcome.

Objective 4: provide Canberrans with an attractive, convenient, efficient and reliable integrated public transport system that facilitates choice, increases public transport patronage and reduces car dependency.

We ask if the current express bus to Woden and local Deakin bus services will operate after Light Rail is built.


The ailing oak trees at the Deakin shops are responding to watering. They are being supplied with 500L per tree by a contractor. The ACT Government is buying lake water for the purpose

The eucalypts are also in urgent need of similar attention. Without it they must soon be candidates for removal

Would DRA like to support water purchases? Perhaps the commercial members and patrons of our terrific cafes and restaurants would back the initiative.

In the meantime DRA has been using watering cans to help the agapanthus on the Hopetoun Circuit roundabout to survive.