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

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


  • 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.

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.