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.

The next ISCCC public forum will be held on 12 February from 7-9pm, Eastlake Football Club, 3 Oxley Street, Griffith:

  • How can more walking and cycling be encouraged?
  • Would you like to see the speed limit reduced to 40km per hour in residential areas?
  • Would you support an expansion in the use of drones as delivery vehicles, and other new technologies such as self-driving cars?
  • What kind of “multi-modal” development would be appropriate around the railway station in Kingston?

Confirmed speakers are:

  • Geoffrey Davidson, Executive Branch Manager, Transport Canberra and City Services
  • Gill King, Chair of Living Streets

Draft strategy can be downloaded at link

DRA is proceeding with our concern about the scale and appropriateness of the proposed Aged Care Facility on Grey St at the art gallery site. The result of our ACAT directions hearing on 29 Jan enables us to continue to assert that amongst a number of faults the proposal:

  • exceeds current plot ratios, i.e. it is too big for the site.
  • breaches the National Capital Authority’s Development Control Plan for a site adjacent to Adelaide Avenue, and
  • underestimates its impact on traffic and parking,
    • especially during student arrivals and departures at the Girls Grammar School – see photo below

Two committee members have donated substantial funds to cover DRA costs. However, without further funding we will not be able to get the legal and other professional support we need to continue the case on behalf of the Deakin community.

The next stage is mediation. To limit costs, we plan to represent ourselves but advice will still cost around $5,000 –$7.000.

We are seeking donations to help the case? Our bank account is BSB 633108  Account # 145088969.

Depending on the outcome of the mediation, we anticipate substantial subsequent legal fees for the final stages of the Tribunal hearing.

We are a resident organisation with very limited funds and we should not have to pay to protect the amenity of residents from decisions by Government agencies. But we have no choice.

We are not against aged care facilities, or redevelopment of the site, but what is the point of rules and codes if they are breached?
Failure of regulators to regulate is very much in the news. We believe ACT buildings codes and National development plans are being similarly overlooked.

The oaks and other trees at the Deakin shops are very sick, see photos below. Action is needed to protect preserve of one of Canberra’s most valuable assets – our street trees. These are an integral part of the ACT’s
urban forest and make a huge contribution to the well-being of the city.

DRA has identified members interested in working to save the trees. Would you like to join.

A petition is open for signature asking the Government to do more to save Canberra’s trees. Link to petition

Griffith Narrabundah Community Association has written to Government ministers seeking their assistance. DRA supports the action.

Trees at Deakin shops

Meeting of residents associations and others on 11 December 2018

Summary notes

Planning Processes –

o   Consultation across all sectors of the ACT Government and the National Capital Authority as well as the key stakeholders including proponents of Deakin section 66 and at the Federal Golf Club.

o   Independent traffic analysis has been undertaken.

o   Next step to take feedback from these meetings and update options and analysis and come back to stakeholders in early February 2019.  EPSDD will work toward a draft Integrated Plan possibly for April 2019.

·        Study area including:

o   The core study area – all blocks adjacent to the Red Hill Nature Reserve and the surrounding open space network.

o   The broader context area – residential areas of Hughes, Garran and Deakin; Deakin office park.  Areas excluded are the Garran hospital precinct; and the Commonwealth land and playing fields adjacent to Adelaide Avenue at Deakin

·        Ecological  values:

o   Mapped within the Red Hill Nature Reserve

o   Review of the Plan of Management for the Canberra Nature Park including the Red Hill Nature Reserve

o   Funding the capping of the old Deakin tip

o   Values, links and corridors on surrounding open space network and leased lands.

·        Opportunities and constraints to urban development in the core study area:

o   Traffic analysis –

§  Kent Street is likely to require upgrades in the near future with implications for development within the Deakin office park and at Deakin section 66;


§  Gowrie Drive traverses the nature reserve and is problematic in terms of emergency access egress for development at the Federal Golf Club

§  Brereton Street is a low order residential street and is not recommended as alternative access for the Federal Golf Club

§  A thoroughfare linking Brereton Street with Gowrie Drive would create a significant rat run.

o   Bushfire risk – is problematic for leases adjoining the Red Hill Nature Reserve including; Deakin section 66; parts of the Federal Golf Club and its sole access along Gowrie Drive; residential low density areas adjoining the nature reserve.

o   The established low density settlement pattern of areas surrounding the nature reserve and potential for increased edge affects limit development potential in the area.

Option 1 – do nothing –

§  The Federal Golf Club could explore uses permitted under the current PRZ2 restricted access recreation zoning including a range of recreation uses; hotels; motels and clubs up to 15% of the site

§  Deakin office park and community facilities allow a range of uses for which there are current development applications in train.

§  Deakin section 66 could be developed for a uses permitted under the current TSZ2 services zoning including storage facility, waste transfer stations and the like.

Option 2 – development as proposed by developers –

§  Retirement village at Federal Golf Course provided the constraints relating to emergency access, traffic and ecological values are addressed

§  Significant mixed use residential development at Deakin section 66 provided the constraints relating to bushfire, traffic, ecological values and the old Deakin tip are addressed.

§  Deakin office park as per option 1

Option 3 – expanded Deakin office park

§  The Federal Golf Club could explore uses permitted under the current PRZ2 restricted access recreation zoning as for option 1

§  Include Deakin section 66 into the Deakin office park area with limitations on residential development on the site provided the constraints relating to bushfire, traffic, ecological values and the old Deakin tip are addressed.

§  Deakin office park as per option 1

o   Option 4 – expanded Deakin office park and alternatives for the Federal Golf Club

§  The Federal Golf Club could explore development at another location on the site with alternative access of Kitchener Street.

§  Include Deakin section 66 into the Deakin office park area with limitations on residential development on the site provided the constraints relating to bushfire, traffic, ecological values and the old Deakin tip are addressed.

§  Deakin office park as per option 1

·        Discussion/comments from the group:

o   The Prime consideration /objective relates to the preservation of the Red Hill Nature Reserve and any impacts on it.

o   The broader context has been considered (and largely related to if certain options might be pursued).

o   Weeds and management of weeds in the Red Hill Nature Reserve is a fundamental consideration for the protection of the values of the reserve.

o   Ecological values – have been mapped within the area of the Red Hill Nature Reserve as well as the identification of key values, links and corridors outside the reserve.

o   Traffic analysis – discussion was broad ranging and included: time counts; modelling; the recent upgrades (speed bump) in place

o   Deakin Section 66 – is essentially two parts being the  current footprint of development and vacant land

o   Federal Golf Club site –

§  Gowrie Drive  widening might have impacts on the wildlife and environment

§  Suggestion for handing part of the site back to the reserve with the balance being utilised for recreation and/or education

§  The scale of development was discussed including – height, number of units (scale) and location (siting).  GAHRAG will forward some considerations of this.

§  Management of site retained if developed under the retirement village MBark model

§  preference is for Gowrie Drive as is or closed.

DRA has learnt that the Development Application for the Aged Care Facility in Grey St was approved in March 2018 by both EPSD and the NCA and that work is due to begin ‘early in the New Year”. See a copy of the decision approval.

DRA did not get a response to our submission on parking, traffic and apparent breeches of codes and rules before the proposal was approved.

EPSD has said “they didn’t know what had happened but suggested that the person concerned may not have been familiar with the procedure”. EPSD ‘appreciated’ the problem and that DRA had the right to access the ACAT process.

DRA has also learnt that expansion of the CGGS Junior School and the Early Learning Centre next year are likely to increase vehicle movement and parking by approximately 75% for the ELC and 25% for the Junior School.

John Bell and Di Johnstone are leading our scrutiny of these issues and potential impact on our suburb. If you would like to support their work, you could contact John on 0438732953.

Presidents Report 2017 /18

The Report by George Wilson that was presented at the AGM is available at past year 2017_2018.

The report also raised a number of more positive activities for DRA so as to avoid appearing only to being a brake on what we see as inappropriate building and other developments.

DRA is seeking to make contact with members who would like to initiate them.  Topics include:

  • Community Gardening
    • Shops
    • Roundabouts
    • Latrobe and Rosemary Dobson Parks
  • Restoring Nature Strips
  • Growing Street Libraries – like the one in Barron St
  • Developing a Community Garden
  • Reviewing bicycle routes
  • Suburb-wide power infrastructure and communications technology
  • Community Party in Latrobe Park
  • Growing membership –
    • especially younger members
    • commercial members

To indicate you interest please complete the form at Deakin Initiatives

Gai Brodtmann MP, Member for Canberra

We are fortunate Gai Brodtmann is able to attend the beginning of our meeting. She will not be re-contesting next year’s Federal election and will speak to us about her term since election in 2010. She is also a member of the Joint Standing Committee on National Capital and Ext Territories which considered Light Rail through the Parliamentary Precinct.

Update on PROGRESS and IMPEDIMENTS to Developments in Deakin

Rob Purdon from Purdon Planning has kindly agreed to take questions on proposals for which his company has been engaged by developers to consult.

  1. Grey Street – Aged Care Facility
  2. Houses on the former Church site on Newdegate St
  3. Multi- units on Telstra site on Kent St -Telstra – Section 66

All Welcome – Bridge Club, Duff St

Drinks and nibbles from 5.45pm

Please let DRA Secretary know if you are able to attend.

Followed at 7 pm by the AGM of DRA


Waste and waste-to-energy policy

7-7.30pm ACT Government presentation Speakers:
• Greg Haraldson, Manager, Industry Development, ACTNoWaste
• Lisa Johnson, Senior Manager, Business Development Unit

Transport Canberra and City Services Directorate

7.30-8pm ACT Government presentation on new integrated transport network
The new bus network will come into effect in January 2019 – ACT Government officials will provide an update in response to earlier community consultations.

Judith Sturman, Executive Director Transport Canberra
Peter Steele, Manager Business Improvements Transport Canberra

ISCCC Annual General Meeting: 8-9pm

• Find out what the ISCCC has been doing in the past year.
• Nominate for, or participate in, the elections for officeholder positions.
Nomination forms at: