The Deakin Residents Association will be holding our Annual General Meeting at the Bridge Club, Duff Street, Deakin. The date for the meeting is 20th November at 6:30pm (1830h).

The DRA is honoured to have Chris Steel MLA, (Minister for Transport and City Services; Community Services and Facilities ; Multicultural Affairs; ACT Government and Canberra) attending as the guest speaker at our Annual General Meeting. He has undertaken to talk topics of particular interest to members of the DRA. These include the Light Rail proposal, the potential impact on existing bus services and travel times between Woden and Civic.

ADOPT-A-PARK – COMMUNITY GRANTS PROGRAM

DRA has submitted an application for support under the Adopt a Park program that seeks to facilitate the formation of a volunteer group within the DRA in the upkeep and maintenance of the park. Our hope is that the funding will lead to increased community use of the park; and, contribute to the enhancement of Canberra’s reputation as a ‘garden city’.  We will ask the Minister at our AGM how our application is going.

For your information , the Double Shot at the Deakin shops has applied for a liquor licence and extended opening hours. Seems like a reasonable proposal to DRA.

It seems like a reasonable proposal and will add to Deakin amenity.

Also making changes to enable easier access for patrons morning takeaway coffee.

The ACT government has released a draft of the ‘Integrated Plan for the Red Hill Nature Reserve and surrounding areas’  as prepared in accordance with the resolution of the Legislative Assembly.

It proposes the development of a retirement village in the southern portion of the Federal Golf Course with access via Kitchener Street. See map below.

DRA supports this change as it acknowledges that the previously proposed retirement village on the driving range adjacent to the clubhouse which to be accessed via Gowrie Drive and was less then half as close to Deakin shops as it was to Garran shops. Traffic would have increased on Gowrie Drive plus putting further pressure to Deakin shops.

We understand that residents adjacent to the proposal are now agitated.

In supporting the change we are also advocating that the proposed land swap should proceed.  It anticipated the re-dedication of a a high conservation area in the north-west of the golf course lease as an addition to the Red Hill Reserve.

This image outlines the timing and sequence of planning stages and engagement with stakeholders undertaken to develop the draft Integrated Plan for the Red Hill Nature Reserve and surrounding areas. The process began in October 2017, when a resolution of the ACT Legislative Assembly resolving that an Integrated Plan for Red Hill Nature Reserve and surrounding residential areas is required. It also called for a considered and integrated approach to planning in the area. Throughout 2018, the project area was scoped and defined, and initial research was completed including site inspections and the assessment of various ecological, development, land use and traffic issues. Stakeholders were consulted throughout 2018 including government agencies, community councils, local residents’ groups and environmental organisations. Draft findings for the area were identified in early 2019, which prompted further traffic studies and additional ecological research. Draft directions and recommendations were completed in August 2019 and presented to stakeholders. The draft directions will be available for broader community information in late 2019, following which a final plan will be prepared and presented to the Legislative Assembly in early 2020.

The other elements are

  • Providing community facilities through the development of a retirement village, to be located in the southern portion of the Federal Golf Course with access via Kitchener Street.
  • Retaining open space which adjoins and links to the Red Hill Nature Reserve, preserving the ecological values of the area.
  • Implementing buffers around the Federal Golf Course and associated development.
  • Managing the Red Hill Nature Reserve in line with the Plan of Management for the Canberra Nature Park and the National Capital Plan.
  • Identification of proposed upgrading to a number of roads and intersections to cater to the current traffic volume of the roads and prepare for future growth and capacity.
  • Retaining residential zones adjoining the Nature Reserve.
  • Expanding the Deakin Office Park (rezoning Deakin Section 66) to partly include further urban open space and commercial use.

The full report is available at the ACT Gov website

 

 

Determine what further impact assessments need to be undertaken before formal approval is sought.

Commonwealth Approval is needed under the EPBC Act where an ‘action’ has, will have or is likely to have a significant impact on one of nine matters of National Environment Significance or Commonwealth land values.
Major Projects Canberra has referred Light Rail stage 2 to Commonwealth Minister for the Environment for her opinion whether it is a ‘controlled action’ and if the impacts are significant.

The Deakin Residents Association believes the impact on these values is significant and will be putting in a submission seeking a full Environment Impact Statement. Indeed, we believe there should be Public Inquiry which is possible under the ACT.

The documentation identifies New Structures that are needed including new bridges near The Lodge and over Hopetoun Ct.

Site of proposed new bridge to position Light Rail to middle of Adelaide Ave
Proposed new bridge over Hopetoun Circuit. DRA assumes a lift will also be installed.

The full list is:

  • A new bridge between the existing Commonwealth Avenue road bridge over Lake Burley Griffin. 
  • New Commonwealth Avenue bridge over Flynn Drive. 
  • New Adelaide Avenue bridge over State Circle. 
  • New Adelaide Avenue bridge over Hopetoun Circuit. 
  • New pedestrian bridge over Adelaide Avenue to the Kent Street light rail stop. 
  • New pedestrian bridge over Yarra Glen to the Carruthers Street light rail stop. 
  • New light rail bridge over Yarralumla Creek. 
  • Decommissioning and removing the road vehicle bridge from Yamba Drive to Melrose Drive. 

DRA fully endorses the objectives of Light Rail especially:

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 remain sceptical about the current proposal achieving those aims. We ask if the current express bus to Woden and local Deakin bus services will operate after Light Rail is built.

More information and documents at link to Light Rail referral site


The forum organised by the Inner South Canberra Community Council on Sunday 5th May 2019 at Eastlake Football Club, Griffith was attended by 176 participants and generally agreed to be a great success.
The meeting was compered most effectively by Malcolm Farr, national political editor of news.com.au.

Marea Fatseas, Chair of the ISCCC was not able to attend at last minute and George Wilson filled in for her. Many thanks to Sonia Owens for her organisation.

We met and heard from a variety of CANDIDATES seeking our VOTE on May 18th in the electorate of Canberra and for the Senate in the Federal Election.
The House of Representatives candidates for the electorate of Canberra
• Labor – Alicia Payne
• Greens – Tim Hollo
• Australian Progressives – Robert Knight
• Independent – Tim Bohm
• Liberal – Mina Zaki (attended towards the end)
Senate Candidates
• Labor  – Katy Gallagher
• Labor   Nancy Waites
• Independent – Anthony Pesec
• Independent – Gary Kent
• Greens – Penny Kyburz
• Sustainable Aust Party            John Haydon
• Independent    Nick Houston
• Independent    Gary Cowton

QUESTIONS to CANDIDATES included

  • Will you commit to advocate for increased funding and other resourcing of the National Capital Authority to enable it to fulfil its responsibilities more effectively in planning for, and protecting the heritage values of not only the Parliamentary Triangle but the national capital and ACT more broadly?
  • What will you do to ensure the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories exercises its responsibilities effectively, including its oversight of the National Capital Authority?
  • When the ACT government seeks Commonwealth approvals for light rail stage 2, will you advocate for an inquiry by the Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories, including on:
  • whether a rigorous cost-benefit analysis has been undertaken, including whether alternative technologies can deliver the same outcome at less expense
  • what lessons have been learnt from evaluation of stage 1, and
  • whether an integrated transport and land use plan for the Civic to Woden corridor has been developed with meaningful community engagement?
  • Will you commit to advocate for meaningful community engagement on a masterplan and precinct code for Manuka to the Foreshore, an area with many heritage listed places and valued parks and landscapes, and that includes land under the responsibility of both federal and ACT Governments?
  • Given that the ACT and region are experiencing rapid growth, but the ACT essentially remains a city state with a narrow industry base, are you prepared to lobby for a review of federal funding to ensure adequate funding, especially for infrastructure, taking into account cross-border issues?
  • Will you advocate, with your “local members” hat on, to the ACT Government to ensure proposals for new waste management facilities in Canberra, including in Fyshwick, are subject to rigorous cost-benefit analysis, especially of health and environmental impacts?

Section: 66 DEAKIN, which is the site behind the Telstra Building on Kent St, has been refused development approval as a storage facility.

A copy of the Notice of Decision Number 201833473 in accordance with the requirements of Section 170 of the Planning and Development Act 2007 can be downloaded at link

A copy of the application and the decision are also available for inspection on the Public Register.  The register can be inspected between 8:30am and 4:30pm weekdays at Access Canberra Customer Service Centre, 16 Challis Street, Dickson, ACT.


Ben Morton MP, the Chair of the Standing Committee said he was surprised that the ACT Government was proposing a light rail service that was slower than the existing bus service. Nevertheless planning is proceeding after a decision by Standing Committee. See CT

Then on 12 March, Federal Labor announced $200m to support the project. CT

The route on Adelaide Avenue needs closest attention by DRA.

The latest the maps from the Canberra Times show light rail not in the middle of Adelaide Avenue but descending to Hopetoun Circuit then rising on the other side. The Hopetoun / Adelaide intersection is already dangerous and complex, especially at school drop off times, let alone when the proposed Aged Care facility is built. Its hard to imagine how light rail travelling in both directions can be accommodated on ramps with cars travelling in one direction. Are traffic lights planned?

Equally problematic is how does light rail can pass in both directions between State Circle and Adelaide Ave in front of the Lodge. What are the implications for the bike lanes? Are more traffic lights envisaged

Then what happens at Novar /Kent St intersection with Adelaide Ave. How does light rail fit with plans for an interchange to pass traffic to the Molonglo?

Perhaps the option to avoid light rail disrupting traffic flows is the laying tracks down the middle of Adelaide Avenue, (or the exiting bus lanes) but that means the route via Capital Circle, not State Circle, with even less chance of it being used.

These matters need to be incorporated in a thorough cost benefit analysis is needed that considers these issues before Stage II proceeds.

DRA also believes light rail must be part of an integrated transport plan that follows agreement on the extent of proposed infill along the route such as the Deakin Mint ovals and Curtin horse paddocks.

DRA remains concerned about the impact of light rail on the heritage values of the Parliamentary Triangle and the Lake. We note Jack Kershaw’s option of another lake bridge along lines of Burley Griffin’s original proposal.

After a day of mediation/negotiation at the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal, DRA agreed to:

  • an additional basement with a net increase of fifteen spaces on site.
    • This will reduce the demand for parking on adjacent streets and around the Deakin shops from staff and visitors.
    • This concession has involved some redesign, including a new level of basement parking, and will involve significant additional costs for the developer.
  • a reduction in the number of day care patients from forty to twenty.
    • will reduce traffic to and from the facility in periods when school traffic is significant. The trade-off for this change is a possible additional three-beds.
  • changes to the Hopetoun Circuit end of the building which result in the planting of a row of large evergreen trees to hide the facade and reduce the visual impact of the building.
    • The facility entrance on Hopetoun will deleted.
  • in principle agreement to another pedestrian crossing on Hopetoun Circuit
    • this will be a raised crossing which will also serve to slow traffic.
  • Other traffic-slowing measures in Hopetoun
    • the speed limit is proposed to be lowered to 40 k between Adelaide Avenue to just past (and into) McGregor Street.
  • pedestrian safety islands are proposed in Gawler Crescent and Grey Street.
    • DRA is to be involved in consultations on all these changes.
  • additional landscaping adjacent to the north eastern courtyard wall which will be visible from Adelaide Avenue
  • acceptance from ACT Government representatives that a solution has to be found to the traffic problems in Grey Street –
    • DRA expects to be involved.

Overall the outcome reduces the building capacity, reduces its traffic and parking impacts in the suburb, provides additional landscaping on its surrounds which will make it less intrusive in its suburban setting and lays the groundwork for significant improvements in pedestrian safety and other road users in Hopetoun Circuit as well as for further negotiations with the ACT Government for a workable solution to the traffic chaos on Grey Street in school peak periods.
In addressing resident concerns about this facility, the DRA has been advised by Ted Streatfeild of Resolution Planning and Alan Bradbury of BAL Lawyers. The negotiated outcome has avoided further major legal costs. While we did not get everything we argued for, the result is a major improvement on the original proposal. The decision is at the link.
The DRA would like to thank those who contributed to the costs involved in challenging this development.

The Liberal Party has proposed that Deakin move from Kurrajong to the neighbouring ACT electorate of Murrumbidgee. See Canberra Times

Should DRA oppose the suggestion?

We note that Labor proposes that Red Hill be moved to Murrumbidgee.
There are no suggestions to change for Yarralumla.
We have until 18 March to comment on these and other proposals.

Some discussion points which DRA proposes to put in a submission follow:

The DRA committee believes there should be no change in electoral boundaries as the projected Kurrajong population in 2020 is still within the acceptable range for the size of an electorate.

While it may make political sense for the Liberal Party (and moving Red Hill would deliver advantages for Labor) it does not make geographical sense for Deakin residents or for gaining traction on issues relevant to the residents of Deakin and on which DRA would be looking for representations by our local members.

DRA notes that:

  • Deakin is geographically part of the inner south of Canberra.
  • Deakin is a unique garden suburb with strong heritage issues similar to surrounding suburbs and unlike many of those in the Woden area; a major issue for Deakin is preservation of its historic garden suburb status.  
  • Deakin hosts a number of national institutions such as embassies and The Lodge. It is a varied suburb and less a dormitory suburb like Garran, Hughes or Curtin. Many issues in the Molonglo Valley are different.
  • Parts of Deakin are covered by NCA planning zones and rules which overlap with ACT Govt planning requirements and as such have a close affiliation with Forrest and other inner south suburbs
  • Deakin is bounded by two National Avenues (Adelaide and Melbourne) with heritage issues relevant to that status; unlike suburbs in Murrumbidgee. It adjoins the nationally significant National Parliament and the Central National Area.  
  • Deakin and Yarralumla have very similar planning and resident issues and interests and should be kept in the same electorate.