On 27 September DRA sent a set of issues and questions to all candidates for the seat of Kurrajong for whom we had email addresses. This included all candidates of the major parties and some independents.

The purpose was to give Deakin residents specific information from each candidate relevant to the issues our members have identified as important right now for this suburb.

All responses received from candidates are collated against each question, in the order in which they were received by DRA. The Liberal and Greens parties have provided a single response to cover all of their respective candidates, although each candidate was invited to provide an individual response.


1. The DRA considers that Garden City Principles and Values must be applied to all developments in Deakin.  We are especially concerned that any development approvals in Deakin should require strict adherence to these Principles, in particular those relating to solar access, minimising overlooking and retaining existing vegetation on the block.

  • How do your policies support the Garden City Principles and Values for developments in Deakin?


Canberra Liberals believe in the Garden City principles. That’s why we are encouraging development pressure away from the suburbs and into built-up town centres. Our lease variation charge relief will ensure that town centres that have become moribund and run-down can be revitalised, while the ‘bush capital’ character of our suburbs can be retained.

Labor’s tram will mean the wholesale extermination of mature trees right across town. The tall trees along Northbourne Avenue distinguish our city gateway and soften the look of surrounding high rise buildings. This forest-high tree line will be and replaced with a cobweb of tram wires by Labor and the Greens. The miniature ornamental trees that replace them will not soften the look of the new tram wires and poles.

The impressive trees on Commonwealth Avenue, from Albert Hall south wil lalso go. The tall trees on Adelaide Avenue will go. Tram poles and wires will cause the destruction of the dominant urban vegetation on too many of Canberra’s main boulevards.


Our Better Development package includes a review of the Territory Plan to support smarter, greener developments that ensure the protection of the look and feel of our existing suburbs.

The ACT Greens support solar access and the solar access requirements which have been introduced.

The ACT Greens support garden city principles, our Keeping Canberra Green package includes investing $5.6 million a year in planting an additional 7,000 trees to maintain and enhance our urban forest. We also commit to establishing a canopy target of 25% summer shade for Canberra’s streets.

MAREA FATSEAS (Independent)

I have a strong commitment to the Garden City Principles and Values, demonstrated by my strong advocacy on behalf of Yarralumla residents and inner south Canberra residents on major developments such as the massive proposed development near theCanberra Brickworks. As former President of the Yarralumla Residents Association, led a strong community campaign that resulted in a backdown by the ACT Government from a development of 1800 dwellings to a maximum of 380 dwellings,thus helping to preserve significant areas of green urban open space. I cooperated closely during this campaign with the Deakin Residents Association, Inner South Canberra Community Council, and other stakeholders.

Besides my proposal for a root and branch review of the planning system, I will advocate for a clearly articulated urban, suburban and streetscape masterplan for Canberra supported by precinct and suburban character plans including green infrastructure. That would aim to identify areas where high density is appropriate, for example in town centres, and how the character of existing suburbs can be respected in future development. The review of the Planning Strategy 2012, due in 2017, provides an opportunity to do this.


2. The DRA believes that that where a development does not accord with an approved application, the developer should be required to take action to strictly meet the requirements of the approved application.

  • As a member of the Legislative Assembly, what action will you take to ensure developers comply with approved applications?


As with any area of regulation, we will expect and require officials to enforce the rules they are administering. It is tempting for builders to cut corners in an attempt to increase revenues from projects. The Canberra Liberals will require site visits by Planning Directorate officials to be undertaken before certificates of occupancy are issued to large multi-unit sites.


The ACT Greens strongly believe that developments should meet the approved application. As an MLA Shane Rattenbury has made representation to the Minister for Planning on behalf of constituents to take action to ensure that unapproved works are rectified in accordance with the approved DA. As part of our Better Development package we have committed to independent auditing of private certifiers, to address this issue and to improve the quality of construction.

MAREA FATSEAS (Independent)

A core element of my platform is root and branch reform of the planning system. I will advocate for an inquiry into planning and land development to review governance, legislation and regulations, administration, the use of Ministerial call-in powers, enforcement of planning rules, and appeal mechanisms.

In that context, if elected to the Assembly, I will use my role on the cross-bench to make the Government accountable for enforcement of its own planning rules. If a legislative change is needed to ensure that developers build according to the approved applications, then I will advocate for that.


3. Deakin residents have long argued for a detailed Deakin Precinct Code with measurable and mandatory planning requirements to prevent inappropriate development in residential areas.

  • Will you support the funding necessary for the development of this Code and will you commit to working with the DRA to finalise it?


A Liberal Government will commission an independent comprehensive review of the Territory Plan, to be completed in 2017. We will also introduce a heritage grading system, to give certainty and clarity about heritage listed property.

A Canberra Liberals government will also consider appropriate amendments to the Deakin Precinct Code.

Canberra’s planning system needs greater simplicity and fairer enforcementof the existing rules. Part of the current problem is that the Governmentis too quick to take over projects that are not commercially viable and toinvoke call-in powers too often, provoking community cynicism about theeffectiveness of the planning framework.


The ACT Greens are committed to genuine community consultation as outlined in our Better Development package. The ACT Greens are committed an independent planning authority to undertake tasks such as developing master plans and precinct codes, and have allocated additional funds for professional staff resources.

MAREA FATSEAS (Independent)

Yes, I will advocate for the funding necessary for the development of this Code and will be committed to working with the DRA to finalise it.

The trialling of the development of precinct codes in consultation with the community was a major priority that I worked on with DRA as former President of the Yarralumla Residents Association and former member of the committee of the Inner South Canberra Community Council. After our significant efforts, the ACT Government informed us that there were insufficient resources to undertake the trial. I consider that putting resources into this kind of planning at suburban scale will save future resources consumed in addressing objections about inappropriate and spot development.


4. Deakin residents have sought a 40km/hour traffic zone around the Deakin shopping centre to improve pedestrian and driver safety. There are similar zones around shopping areas in Manuka and Kingston.

  • Will you commit to extending the 40km/hour zone around suburban shops to Deakin?  If no, why not?


Over the past 4 years Liberal MLAs for Molonglo have held regular mobile office meetings at the Deakin shops and are well aware of the difficulties caused by lack of parking, exacerbated by cars that stay well beyond short term shopping needs, and the inappropriate pedestrian crossing. They have seen at first hand the near misses on the pedestrian crossing and the cramped car parking. We will expedite examination of options for alternate pedestrian crossing points and consider the speed limit in that context.


The ACT Greens strongly support slow speed zones around areas where there is higher pedestrian/cycling activity, such as schools, shopping areas and community facilities, as well as areas where we want to encourage more walking/cycling. The Greens lead the push for the 40kmh zones that have now been implemented in all town centres and group centres. We agree that these zones can be extended to local centres as well, and that Deakin shops would be a good place to do this, subject to some analysis to determine if there are any unforeseen impediments.

MAREA FATSEAS (Independent)

I commit to engage with the Deakin community on this issue. I will seek accident and other statistics to gain an understanding of the current situation. I would also like to draw on the outcomes of similar zones established in Manuka and Kingston in advocating for a 40km/hour traffic zone around the Deakin shopping centre.


5. Deakin residents consider that the current location of the pedestrian crossing on Hopetoun Circuit is incorrect and that it needs to be moved to ensure pedestrian safety.

  • Do you agree to ensure that the pedestrian crossing on Hopetoun Circuit is relocated to where it is needed?


See answer to Q. 4


We agree to review the crossing location in consultation with Deakin residents.

MAREA FATSEAS (Independent)

I am very concerned about pedestrian safety. I commit to engage with the Deakin community and with relevant government agencies to identify and relocate the pedestrian crossing to where it is most needed.


6. Deakin residents place high importance on protecting and preserving existing public land and access to public land in Deakin.

  • What policies do you offer to ensure the protection, preservation and continuing access to public land in Deakin?


See answer to Q. 1.


The ACT Greens are fully committed to the protection of public land, including land that was granted to clubs for community uses.

Our Keeping Canberra Green package includes an initiative to invest $8.5 million to improve the quality of public spaces, particularly high use parks and public spaces around shopping centres, through better landscaping and maintenance.

We will also invest $300,000 per year to employ community co-ordinators to support volunteers in urban areas such as Park Care, Water Watch, and community garden volunteers.

MAREA FATSEAS (Independent)

Given community disquiet about the loss of public land to the private sector, I will give priority to improving transparency, consistency and community engagement with respect to any proposals to change a lease purpose from community facility/urban open space to a commercial or other private use.

We must ensure that adequate public land remains to meet community needs, and that Canberrans have access to green open space for enjoyment and active recreation.


7. Many Deakin residents are concerned about growing parking pressures in Deakin as it becomes more densified. Parking restrictions are needed in affected streets and action is required to enforce restrictions and prevent a growing problem of illegal parking on nature strips.

  • How will you ease parking pressures in Deakin, enforce parking restrictions and ensure commuter parking does not encroach on Deakin residential zones?
  • What action will you take to prevent parking on nature strips?


We will encourage development pressure away from the suburbs like Deakin and into built-up town centres. Our lease variation charge relief will ensure that town centres that have become moribund and run-down can be revitalised, while the ‘bush capital’ character of our suburbs can be retained. We will consult residents groups on parking issues that arise from development.


We support measures to prevent problem parking – such as enforcement to prevent parking on nature strips, and parking restrictions to prevent problem parking in residential areas, in consultation with residents. More broadly our transport and planning policies – which support public and active transport – are designed to try and ease issues of car dependence. Without this approach issues of congestion and parking pressures will only worsen. 

MAREA FATSEAS (Independent)

I appreciate the parking pressures in Deakin as I have many times found it difficult to secure parking to attend meetings or other functions in the suburb.

If elected to the Legislative Assembly, I will engage with Deakin residents, relevant government agencies and my Assembly colleagues to identify the areas facing the greatest parking pressures, and agree on appropriate parking restrictions and enforcement action to prevent parking on nature strips.


8. Residents in West Deakin are especially concerned about parking pressures in that part of the suburb resulting from pay parking in employment zones.

  • Will you commit to working with the DRA and West Deakin residents on parking solutions in West Deakin?


See answer to Q.7

MAREA FATSEAS (Independent)

Yes, I will commit to working with the DRA and West Deakin residents on parking solutions in West Deakin.


Yes, as noted above we are happy to work with local residents to help find solutions to parking pressures. 


9. Deakin residents are concerned that there should be genuine public consultation on any major developments in Deakin and those that will have an impact in Deakin.

  • How will you ensure Deakin residents and the DRA are consulted on plans for major planned developments in Deakin and in surrounding areas?


A Canberra Liberals Government will develop a Planning App or mobile site to encourage community participation in planning decisions, including through a feedback function for Development Application consultation. The current Government engages in sham consultation and oversteps its role as both a regulator and a developer. We will also ensure thorough consultation with interested groups and individuals on the Territory Plan, other planning legislation and major developments.

MAREA FATSEAS (Independent)

The need for genuine public consultation is an issue dear to my heart and one of the factors that led me to stand as an independent in the ACT elections, given my frustration with the way such consultation is undertaken currently.

If elected, I will advocate for the community to be engaged from the beginning on an issue, and at different stages of the decision-making process, and with a range of approaches. I will use diverse approaches myself in engaging with the community, and will evaluate those approaches to see if they could be improved.

I will support community engagement approaches consistent with the core values of the Quality Assurance Standard for Community and Stake holder Engagement (https://www.iap2.org.au/documents/item/391), especially:

• The right of those who are affected by decisions to be involved in the decision making process.

• The promise that the public’s contribution will influence the decision.

• The importance of input from participants in designing how they participate.

• The provision to participants of information they need to participate in a meaningful way.

• Communication to participants about how their input affected the decision.


As part of the ACT Greens Better Development Package we commit to a process of genuine community consultation. The Greens want to re-establish trust with the community regarding future directions of the City. There is a need for dialogue across the demographics to ensure that our city works for young and old, for today and into the future.

The ACT Greens are committed to facilitating and engaging broad, inclusive and meaningful conversation around the future of our city through a process of deliberative democracy. This could include citizens’ forums on planning and development, to provide an opportunity for lively and constructive conversations between different groups that have different aspirations. This will help build understanding and foster ideas that can respond to currently competing interests. This could include for example existing residents who wish to maintain the qualities of the communities that they have helped develop and where they may want to age in place. It would also involve younger people who aspire to live in a vibrant city with housing options to rent or buy, including in established areas.

As a minimum the Core Values for the Practice of Public Participation (as defined by the International Association for Public Participation) would be applied in a genuine way. These are that:

  • those affected by a decision have a right to be involved in the decision-making process.
  • there is a promise that the public’s contribution will influence the decision.
  • sustainable decisions recognise and communicate the needs and interests of all participants, including decision makers.
  • those potentially affected by, or interested in a decision are sought out and their involvement facilitated.
  • participants have input in designing how they participate.
  • participants are provided with the information they need to participate in a meaningful way.
  • participants are communicated with on how their input affected the decision.
20 Sep / 2016

Current Issues updates

Our Deakin Matters  newsletter distributed on 28 August updated subscribers on current issues in Deakin:
• Latrobe Park,
• Pedestrian safety at the shops,
• West Deakin commuter parking,
• Formation of a Forrest Residents group,
• ACT Election candidates public forum.

Meeting with Girls Grammar and ACT Govt on Latrobe Park future.
After several postponements, DRA finally had a meeting on 8 August with both CGGS and the relevant ACT Government office – formerly TAMS, now known as “Transport Canberra and Community Services” (TCCS).

The meeting was not to make decisions, but to gain information and ensure that all parties were aware of different interests and what would be required for any proposal to be considered.
There has been no change to the CGGS proposal since the 12th May public meeting. DRA representatives have made clear that our role is to convey views of residents and keep residents informed, not to agree to anything that does not have community support.

The situation was left with Girls Grammar to consider whether they would make a proposal on the basis of a licence (non-proprietory) rather than a lease (proprietory).

Bedford Street/Latrobe Park parking
Following complaints by residents about all-day parking hampering access to Latrobe Park, Deakin Pre-school and Bedford Street residences, the government has contacted Bedford Street residents regarding time-limited parking on at least one side of Bedford Street. Consultation is not complete and we understand residents have different views on the best solution.

Pavement safety barriers at Deakin shops
DRA has been working with business operators at Deakin shops for several years lobbying to to improve the safety of pedestrian traffic. This follows a number of incidents where vehicles have mounted the pavement outside shops and caused significant damage.

Visitors will note that substantial protective barriers have recently been installed between the car parks and the footpath, to the benefit of all users.

Pedestrian crossings and speed controls on Hopetoun Circuit.
Danger to pedestrians and to vehicular traffic on Hopetoun Circuit between Adelaide Avenue and Stonehaven Crescent has been raised repeatedly by residents, and by DRA, with the ACT Government.

We continue to seek a proper meeting with officials to discuss solutions. Options might involve a 40kph speed limit, relocated pedestrian crossings, improved signage, or other traffic engineering elements.

West Deakin pay-parking impact on residential streets
An active group of local residents has been negotiating effectively to reverse the trend of commuters to the West Deakin Business Precinct lining residential streets (Jersey, Nathan, Lawley, Norman, Fuller and Beauchamp Streets), following the ACT Government’s action to impose pay- parking in the Geils Court parking area.
The residents have successfully lobbied the ACT Government to reinstate free all-day parking for about 150 parking spaces in Geils Court and the removal of all parking meters in that car park, other than some 30 spaces that will remain for 2 hour parking. There are already signs that the reinstatement of free parking has had a definite impact and reduced the number of vehicles parked in residential streets. The ACT Government, via Roads ACT, has also responded positively to the group’s concerns about the need for a review, to address the provision of sufficient parking in new Precinct developments such as the Deakin Bowling Club and elsewhere in the Precinct.

While welcoming the initial response by the ACT government and the promise to undertake a full review of the Precinct’s parking problems, affected residents plan to maintain community pressure to ensure changes made to date become permanent and that, in the absence of a stated timeframe, the review is undertaken in a timely manner.

Formation of Forrest Residents Group
DRA is in contact with a growing group of Forrest residents who are in the process of establishing a formal residents group, similar to DRA. We anticipate future cooperation on many issues of common interest. A public meeting to establish the Forrest group is scheduled for Tuesday, 30 August.

ISCCC “Meet the Candidates” Forum – 27 September
On 15 October Deakin residents will vote to elect 5 members to represent us in the ACT Assembly in our new electorate of Kurrajong. Make sure you know where they stand on the issues that matter to you – planning, transport, parking, heritage, public housing, rates, development on public land, transparency in government, etc etc.

The Inner South Canberra Community Council is hosting a “Meet the Candidates” Public Forum on 27 September 2016, 7.00 pm, at Eastlake Football Club, 3 Oxley Street, Griffith. Hear what candidates have to say and question them, to decide who earns your vote!

Here is the ISCCC flyer for the Meet the Candidates Public Forum.

After several postponements, DRA finally had a meeting with both CGGS and the relevant ACT Government office – formerly TAMS, now known as “Transport Canberra and Community Services” (TCCS).

The meeting was not to make decisions, but to gain information and ensure that all parties were aware of different interests and what would be required for any proposal to be considered. There has been no change to the CGGS proposal since the 12th May meeting. DRA representatives have made clear that our role is to convey views of residents and keep residents informed, not to agree to anything that does not have clear community support.

The situation was left with Girls Grammar to consider whether they would make a proposal on the basis of a licence (non-proprietory) rather than a lease (proprietory).

The summary below is as agreed by the participants.

DRA, CGGS and TCCS Meeting – Latrobe Park

Date: Monday 8th August 2016, Time: 10 – 11am,

Location: Canberra Girls Grammar School

Present: John Bell, Richard Thwaites, Di Johnstone (DRA), Matt O’Brien (CGGS), Fleur Flanery, Julie Garbode (TCCS), Emma Wright (sec)
Documentation provided

  • Summary of information session dated 12th May 2016
  • Summary of CGGS proposal for La Trobe Park
  • Map of La Trobe Park

Deakin Residents Association
An information session was held in May; formal community consultation is still needed
Since May, the DRA received many comments from concerned members of the community regarding the proposal.

  • Overall loss of public space is the primary issue, whilst some fear the potential for changes to land use.
  • Community seems more interested in improvements to facilities, such as toilets and picnic areas, rather than upgrade to the land.
  • Fences viewed by many as restrictive and exclusive.
  • CGGS girls’ parking in the Latrobe Park carpark and along Bedford Street has restricted public vehicle access to Latrobe Park and resulted in residents’ requests for time-limited parking, however girls continue to park all day and many residents consider the school responsible.
  • Community considers the term ‘lease’ implies a change in proprietorship of the land and that long term leases may also be converted to other uses. The nature of a ‘license’ for use may avoid these assumptions. Provided appropriate clauses are agreed upon and there is sufficient transparency, a license proposal may receive less opposition.

Canberra Girls Grammar School

  • Initial proposal from May remains unchanged.
  • Facilities would be offered to the public outside of school hours.
  • Parking not likely an issue. Matt can discuss vehicle access in future if need be.
  • CGGS is not necessarily chasing up either a lease or a license at this stage; still early on in the proposal.

Transport Canberra and City Services

  • Community’s wishes set the framework for what goes ahead.
  • Fences are popular with dog owners in dog parks.
  • Permits are not appropriate in this case; they are for short-term, periodic, event-type use of public space.
  • License would allow Government to retract with short notice. Government would have to compensate the license-holder in that case
  • Cost of license or lease depends on the conditions agreed upon in the contract, such as what contributions CGGS is making and maintenance of the park
  • TCCS to provide a more comprehensive summary of the differences between permits, licenses and leases.

The Federal Golf Club on Red Hill is proceeding with a proposal to develop 125 residences on part of its land (a concessional lease that is currently zoned for parks and recreation).

A meeting of members on 20th June gave the Club board authority to go ahead with seeking the lease variations and zoning changes that will be required, and to conclude negotiations with the private developer.

Proposed plan for housing development on Federal Golf Course, Red Hill

Here is the Club Board’s leaflet promoting the development to its members, which describes the proposed arrangement.

The development involves a 99-year sublease to a private firm who will build, own and operate the residential development as an “0ver-55” residential community, surrounded by the golf fairways.

A number of community groups have already expressed concerns over the proposal, which is the latest in a long series of attempts by FGC to capitalise on the land it was granted on concessional terms for a recreational facility.

Strong opposition is being expressed by the Garran and Hughes Residents Action Group.

Ten community groups have signed a letter seeking a meeting with the Planning Minister, Mick Gentleman, to discuss their concerns.

This is the letter from the community groups.

Deakin residents may share concerns about

  • direct effects on the environment of Red Hill,
  • the continued privatisation of public recreational land, and
  • the traffic impact on Deakin if Gowrie Drive (up Red Hill from Melbourne Avenue) becomes the sole access route for a community of about 250 new residents.
  • If a second access road to the Golf Club is put through from Garran, this would create a rat-run across Red Hill between South Canberra and Woden Valley.

In considering the proposal, it is worth noting that the Federal Golf Club itself will receive very little cash. Instead, the developers propose to make a range of capital improvements to the irrigation and other infrastructure of the golf course, and to build a luxurious clubhouse that will also be an amenity for the residents of the premium private housing community (and so increasing the capital value of the housing).

In order to proceed, the proposal will need to pass several points that provide opportunities for community input: a lease variation, variation to the Territory Plan zoning, and a Development Application. DRA may make submissions at any of these points, so we would welcome residents’ views on how to respond.

Many residents of streets close to the West Deakin employment zone (west of Kent Street) have raised concerns with DRA about extensive commuter parking in their residential streets, since the introduction of pay parking in the employment zone of West Deakin.

Following the recent Transport Forum hosted by the Inner South Canberra Community Council, a meeting was arranged for West Deakin Residents to discuss these issues with senior ACT officials. On 7 June, DRA President (John Bell) and Vice-President (Di Johnstone), together with affected resident representatives Bruce Taplin and Angelo Zorbas, met at West Deakin with Jim Corrigan (A/g Deputy Director-General, City Services, TAMS) and Robyn Hawkins (Roads ACT).

The group noted parking issues around Rosemary Dobson Park, and several streets in the area as well as nearby car parks. Some possible solutions were raised, to which the ACT officials agreed to give thought.

A Roads ACT survey is currently in progress and finishes on Friday 10 June, covering some but not all the streets in the relevant area. The officials were alerted to the weakness of a less-than-comprehensive area survey, as solutions in some streets could simply shift the problem to other streets. The DRA will stay in close touch with West Deakin residents and the government about this issue. There will be further updates as things progress.

Canberra Girls Grammar School hosted an Information Session on Thursday, 12 May 2016, concerning their interest in development of the Latrobe Park sports oval and surrounds.

DRA strongly encouraged residents to attend, via email and letterbox publicity.

The meeting was well attended (over 70 people)  and many residents took the opportunity to ask questions and express their views, following a short presentation from CGGS Principal, Ann Coutts.

Some expressed cautious support for an upgrade and greater usage of Latrobe Park.

Most speakers raised concerns about:

  • Potential loss of public land into private ownership
  • Exacerbation of parking and traffic issues that already cause problems for nearby residents
  • Pedestrian access, including dog exercising and the effect of any fencing of the oval
  • Change to the character and accessibility of the park if being used frequently for organised school and other sporting activities
  • Effect on the natural environment and wildlife currently using the park.

A summary of the Information Session discussion is available here.

DRA has also received a substantial number of emails on this subject.  We still require solid advice on the legal options and implications of this proposal, and we are pursuing the ACT Government’s Territory and Municipal Services (TAMS) directorate for a full briefing (so far, without success).

When we have enough information, DRA will prepare our own position paper, taking into account resident, school, and government views,  and circulate it for all residents to comment.

Until that has occurred,  DRA cannot offer support to the school’s proposal. We remain in discussion with CGGS and appreciate their wish to proceed with a proposal only if it has community support.



Canberra Girls Grammar School has contacted the Deakin Residents Association regarding the school’s interest in taking a 25-30 year lease over the sports field and maintenance sheds in Latrobe Park.

The school would offer to invest approximately $1million to upgrade and maintain the facilities of the ground, including installing a 300 metre running track and building new changing and toilet facilities.

For the term of the lease, the school would seek exclusive or pre-emptive rights to use of the sports field between 8.00am and 5.00pm on all school days, with occasional use at weekends. Public access would be available at other times, or by arrangement.

They are also interested in obtaining use of the storage depot (between the field and the Scout Hall) for school purposes.

See these links for all correspondence between CGGS and DRA on this matter:

  1.  CGGS original draft proposal, with illustrations ( Dec 2015)
  2. DRA response to CGGS raising initial concerns (Feb 2016)
  3. CGGS response to DRA, including revised proposal and invitation to information session (May 2016)

Deakin Residents Association needs to know the views of residents and other groups who currently use or otherwise value the public open space of Latrobe Park, in order to determine a response to this proposal. The School has asked for our views, hopes for our support, and wishes to discuss any local concerns before directly approaching the ACT Government.

DRA is not ready to support this proposal without a better understanding and careful evaluation of the pros and cons of such a development on what is currently public open space, and precisely what terms would apply to any agreement with the ACT Government.

We will be deciding on our position after the information session being hosted by CGGS on 12 May (see DRA home page)

Melbourne developers Grocon, and the Greater Western Sydney Giants football club, have made an “unsolicited proposal” to the ACT Government trade off upgrades to Manuka Oval facilities for the rights to develop hundreds of new apartments within Manuka Circle.

Following much publicity and controversy over the proposal, the Inner South Community Council hosted a Public Forum
at 7.00 pm on 28 April, Wesley Uniting Church Hall, 20-22 National Circuit, Forrest, to hear the range of views concerning this development proposal.

The Forum Flyer is at this link.

To see the resolutions passed at this meeting , visit the ISCCC web page. 

[UPDATE  31 March 2016]:
DRA’s submission commenting on the Discussion Paper can be read at this link.

By the close of the consultation period, the online consultation format appears to have had an extremely limited response. The foreshadowed “Garden City Principles” questions never appeared in the online Quick Poll, after all.

The ACT Government’s Heritage secretariat have acknowledged DRA’s submission and inform us that there will be a further consultation opportunity later in this year, once a Draft Strategy has been released. We remain alert but not alarmed in anticipation of that Draft Strategy, noting that with both Federal and ACT Elections due in the next few months, potentially controversial topics may be left until elections have passed.

In mid-February 2016 the government opened consultations on a Five Year ACT Heritage Strategy.  DRA was represented at a recent workshop and we note that one of the “Quick Poll” topics to be put to the public questions the effectiveness and relevance of the Garden City Principles.

Garden City Principles underlie the planning rules that limit the size of buildings per block, minimum setbacks from streets and fence-lines, and the scope for adequate vegetation, including substantial trees.

We are all aware of the tree-less deserts that have emerged in newer suburbs where these planning principles have been discarded.  The Principles have long been under attack by those who seek to exploit the landscape character of established garden suburbs, while contributing nothing to it.

DRA will be making a submission to the consultation, urging respect for heritage values in relevant locations, and also defending the importance of Garden City landscaping principles.  Let us know your views on both the heritage and the landscape issues.

We also encourage residents to participate in the consultations individually. The Discussion Paper is currently available from the ACT Heritage Strategy consultation website.  Consultation closes on 29 March.

For some reason, the “Quick Poll” questions on Garden City principles have not yet been put online – poll questions are being released periodically rather than all together.

DRA will update with the online link when the Garden City poll questions are available for response.

Deakin Fluffy Footprint

Click on map to enlarge display

On 1 July 2015 the ACT Government’s Asbestos Remediation Taskforce published the full list of addresses of residences that it intends to demolish, on the grounds that traces of “Mr Fluffy” loose-fill asbestos may remain in the building, and that no safe level of contamination can be agreed.

Twelve residences in Deakin are on the list. DRA extends full sympathy to those residents who are being forced to re-locate, some at considerable personal cost. Under the Government’s policy, the blocks will be redeveloped under new lease conditions set up by a special variation to the Territory Plan. Departing residents will have no control over the future of their blocks, unless they are able to buy them back after remediation is completed. Since the the Government’s intention is to increase the value of those blocks by permitting dual-occupancy development, most current residents expect to be priced out of any buy-back opportunity.

Remaining residents, and particularly residents of adjoining properties, are legitimately concerned about what form of re-development will occur on those blocks. In Deakin, all but one of them are zoned RZ1, meaning only single residences are permitted. The special Territory Plan Amendment will alow subdivision of those blocks for dual occupancy, and thus change the character of the neighbourhood to some extent. The process is likely to be extended over at least five years.

DRA is monitoring and representing resident interests on this matter, and welcomes comment and participation from any resident. Better still, join DRA to show your support.

For your reference, we list below the 12 Deakin addresses published by the Government, and a map showing locations of adjoining residences potentially affected by the demolition and redevelopment.


5 Normanby Crescent, 3 Northcote Crescent, 14 Carrington Street, 33 Macgregor Street, 70 Macgregor Street, 12 Gormanston Crescent, 12 Galway Place, 11 Beauchamp Street, 7 Norman Street, 13 Norman Street, 17 Norman Street, 45 Norman Street.