25 Nov / 2023

23/24 Committee

The Committee for 2023 -24  is

  • President – Dr. Mark Rebentrost
  • Vice-Pres – Prof George Wilson AM
  • Secretary – Martin Jennings
  • Treasurer – Dr. John Bell
  • Member – Rebecca Vavic [Public Officer]
  • Member – Krystyna Fitzgerald
  • Member – Sue Gage
  • Member –  Jack Gault
  • Member 
  • Member

Deakin Residents’ Association Inc. was privileged to have Senator David Pocock as guest speaker before our Annual General Meeting Canberra Bridge Club, 22 November 2023

Senator Pocock presented a summary of his Vision for Canberra and spoke to its five pillars, 1. Housing, 2. Events, 3. Innovation,  4. Transport and 5. Sustainability. He encouraged attendees to support his push for more investment and long-term thinking for Canberra as Australia’s national capital. He said we could subscribe for updates using the form at the bottom of the homepage at visionforcanberra.com

He also referred to his role on the current inquiry by the Joint Standing Committee on National Capital and External Territories. Chaired by our local member Alicia Payne MP, it is examining ways to foster and promote the significance of Australia’s National Capital. Anyone who would like to be kept in the loop regarding the inquiry is encouraged to register at the link

The Senator then took questions from the floor on a range of topics from housing shortage,  enforcement of planning laws and the role of the Commonwealth.

Health Minister and Winnunga CEO speaking at ISCCC AGM/Public Forum 14 Nov 2023

The ISCCC welcomes you to join us at our Annual General Meeting and Public Forum on Tuesday, 14 November, at 7-9pm at the Eastlake Football Club. Please register to attend at:


At the ISCCC’s AGM, held 7-8pm, we will report on the ISCCC’s work and hold elections for ISCCC committee positions. We welcome nominations for committee positions. The draft agenda, the roles for which elections will be held, and the nomination form are at:

From 8-9pm, the ISCCC is delighted that we will have two speakers on health-related issues. The ACT Minister for Health, Rachel Stephen-Smith MLA, will provide information and answer questions about the proposed walk-in health centre in Griffith. The CEO of the Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and Community Services, Julie Tongs OAM, will speak about the work of Winnunga, which is based in neighbouring Narrabundah.

Summary Record and Presentations made at ISCCC Public Forum, 10 Oct 2023

See the record of the ISCCC’s 10 October public forum and speakers’ presentations at:

Estate Development Plan for Canberra Brickworks available for comment until 17 November

The Estate Development Plan for the Canberra Brickworks has been released for community comment until 17 November. The EDP can be accessed via the link below:


ACT Government training on new planning system

The Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate is delivering training on the new planning system up until the commencement of the new planning system in late November 2023 and beyond:


Update on Kingston Arts Precinct (KAP)

Conservation Management Plans (CMPs) have been approved for the Kingston Powerhouse Historic Precinct, Former Transport Depot Kingston, and John Fowler Road Locomotive 16161. See: https://yoursayconversations.act.gov.au/kingston-arts-precinct. Further engineering and planning review of carparking requirements has been undertaken, as well as a review of mixed use possibilities. The next community engagement will be held at the end of November 2023.

ACT Government’s Environment and Planning Update


In addition, the annual report of the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development (EPSDD) Directorate has been released.


Marea Fatseas

DRA is pleased to announce an important event on the 22nd of November, 2023. This is an opportunity for residents who care about the future of our neighbourhood to come together.

Our guest, Senator David Pocock, will be with us to discuss his ‘Vision for Canberra’. It’s a chance to hear directly about plans and ideas that could shape our city. There will also be a Q&A session where you can ask questions and engage in dialogue.

The event will also include the DRA Annual General Meeting at 7 pm, a moment to reflect on our association’s activities and goals. Afterward, at around 7:30 pm, we’ll have an informal gathering with drinks and light refreshments, providing a space to meet the new Committee and other residents.

📍 Where: The Bridge Club, Duff St, Deakin
📅 When: 22nd November 2023 ⌚
Time: Starting at 6 pm

We hope you can join us for this informative and community-focused evening.

MEDIA RELEASE – Heritage to be showcased in Deakin

The Deakin Residents’ Association is delighted to announce that the ACT Government has approved
a grant of $14,780 for the Deakin Residents’ Association (DRA) to undertake a project under the
ACT Heritage Grants program 2023-2024 for Discovering and valuing Deakin’s heritage.

The aim of this project is to document and describe heritage aspects of Deakin, emphasising its
importance in the historical development and legacy of Canberra as the national capital based on
Walter Burley Griffin’s designs and garden city principles. The project is planned in stages, with
Stage One being to design and install two Canberra Tracks signs, one at the Deakin shops and one
at La Trobe Park, describing the heritage aspects of Deakin; and to engage an historian to write a
more detailed historical overview of the development of Deakin for the DRA website which will be accessible via the Canberra Tracks app.

Currently there is no publicly accessible information in Deakin describing the suburb’s extensive
and significant social and architectural history, environmental value and heritage importance. This
project will provide signage, and a Canberra Tracks link will provide readily accessible information
to residents, tourists and other visitors.

The DRA also plans to engage school students, community
groups such as the Scouts (based in La Trobe Park), local schools and businesses in the project.

The project will also promote a wider understanding and knowledge of some related historical
developments in Australia. For example, information on signage in La Trobe Park will highlight the
important role of Charles La Trobe who, after the establishment of Victoria in 1851, was its first
Lieutenant Governor and oversaw the establishment of Melbourne’s beautiful Botanical Gardens.

Some streets and parks in Deakin are named after early State Governors.

The DRA hopes, subject to further funding, to undertake the development of a comprehensive
social data base and additional signage in other relevant locations, a heritage trail map and other
material on such issues as landscapes and treescapes. The DRA plans to celebrate Stage One during
the Heritage Festival in 2024 and will keep residents informed of these plans.

Contact can be made with Dr John Bell, President, Deakin Residents’ Association on 0438 732 953.
This project is supported with funding made available by the ACT Government under the ACT Heritage Grants Program.

The tulips and annuals at the Deakin shops are blossoming as part of Floriade. To celebrate our volunteers DRA is hosting a pop-up event.

24th of Sept’23 (Sunday)

From 2 pm onwards come join us near the Alfred Deakin statue and Double Shot.

The Canberra Burns Club Pipe Band will march and play led by one of our volunteer planters. DRA and others will promote their activities – Rotary, Scouts, and Red Hill Regenerators.

Join Us! – DRA will also get feedback on our ”Discovering and Valuing Deakin’s Heritage” project and plans for Heritage signs at Deakin shops and Latrobe Park.

On Sunday 24th Sept 2023 at 2pm people who use Deakin shops will gather to admire the floral display while thanking Floriade.
The event will bring together volunteers who have planted Deakin’s 5600 bulbs and annuals.
Deakin Residents Association plus other community organisations and businesses in our suburb will be able to promote their activities at displays in the forecourt of Double Shot.
The event will also be an opportunity for DRA to describe and get feedback on its recent ACT Heritage Grant – ”Discovering and Valuing Deakin’s Heritage”  which is designing two Canberra Tracks signs to be installed at the Deakin shops and in Latrobe Park.
The Canberra Burns Club Pipe Band will march from Fitness First to Double Shot cafe. They will then play for half an hour.
More music and seating will be provided by Double Shot. Other supporters of Deakin Floriade planting include Deakin IgA, Deakin Fitness First, and Terry Fox Landscaping.

Maintaining the garden suburb is a key aim of DRA and we will be seeking to recruit new members and inform others, while hearing residents views and needs.






DRA would like to draw to your attention a Zoom meeting organised by the Inner South Community Council on the topic of Urban planning for liveability and climate change

Tuesday, 8 August, 2023 at 7pm

Please register to attend at:


Draft Agenda:

  1. Welcome: Marea Fatseas, ISCCC Chair

Presentations 7.05pm – 8.10pm

  1. An overview on urban planning for liveability and climate change

Emeritus Professor Barbara Norman, Urban and Regional Planning, University of Canberra, Chair

of National Urban Policy Forum, author “Urban Planning for Climate Change”.

  1. HOW Missing Middle redevelopment has been delivered before and what’s needed now

Richard Johnston, retired urban planner and architect, and President of the Kingston and Barton

Residents Group.

  1. Case Study: precinct scale redevelopment at Dairy Road, Fyshwick

Wade Bartlett, Senior Development Manager, Molonglo

  1. Lessons from Mr Fluffy and other upzoning initiatives

ISCCC representatives

  1. Perspectives of a landscape architect

Cia Flannery, ACT Chapter President, Australian Institute of Landscape Architects

Discussion 8.10 – 8.50pm

  1. Wrap up and close by 9pm

The planned Over 55s village development successfully negotiated a number of approval processes that required thorough vetting including:

  • Commonwealth Government decided that no approval was required under the EPBC Act as it was determined that the proposed development is not likely to have a significant impact on any matters of National Environmental Significance i.e. listed threatened species including the Superb Parrot, the Gang-gang Cockatoo and the Grassy Woodland;
  • ACT government provided an Environmental Significance Opinion that the proposed development is not likely to have a significant adverse environmental impact;
  • ACT Territory Plan Variation approved and commenced, which includes a raft of rules aimed at minimising the impact of the proposed development on trees, threatened species, wildlife corridors and the ecological values of the site.

The developer for the proposed village is now undertaking the required lead-in Development Application consultation process (notice attached). Should this proceed without issues, a formal Development Application would be submitted in the next couple of months.

One of the approved Territory Plan variations includes the transfer of about 10ha of golf club lease to the Red HIll Nature Reserve. Some of this area needs rehabilitation and we met with Mbark and the Federal Golf Club to discuss this and to learn about the current plans for the proposed village development. While the development will involve the removal of a number of mature trees, there are a number of compensations planned and we are happy with progress on plans for both the village and the rehabilitation & transfer of lease to the Reserve. There has been research undertaken of the wildlife in the proposed development area that has demonstrated limited impact including with regard to the threatened Gang-gang cockatoo.

There is some community opposition to the development and so this may play out in the media but the Red HIll Regenerators have not changed our belief that the plans at the golf club are the best option available.  I would be happy to provide more details if this would help.

The Territory Plan Variation for the other end of the Reserve near Kent Street was also approved but we don’t have any further information about it at the moment. This included transfer of some leased land to the Reserve.

On 8 May 2023 Deakin, and Yarralumla Residents Associations, assisted by Anthony Senti hosted a Public Seminar to provide Canberrans with an insight into alternative public transport technologies/solutions that are available/will be available to transport in Canberra — alternatives that could provide a more efficient, cost-effective, public transport system. The seminar featured three keynote speakers who presented papers on:

Trackless Tram

  • driverless cars
  • electric buses
  • trackless trams.

The meeting, which took place at the Canberra College Performing Arts Centre Theatre in Phillips attracted an audience of approximately sixty people.

The reasons for holding the seminar included:

  • Climate change presents some major challenges for the transport sector.
  • Vehicles with internal combustion engines are a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • New technologies have become available over the last decade to reduce these emissions.
  • The Australian public has limited knowledge of how fast these technologies are being adopted.
  • Word of this progress seems to have been slow in reaching Canberra.

The seminar heard about some options which are currently available and warrant more serious consideration. The options presented have important advantages over the cars, buses, and light rail currently in use in Canberra (flexible, fast, efficient, economical, and near-zero emission urban transport solutions). 

Reduced traffic and more open space

In opening the seminar, Dr John Bell, President of the Deakin Residents’ Association noted that more of us may be working from home since the arrival of COVID, but for most of us, getting to our place of work requires transport. We also need transport to access goods and services. Not all our requirements for daily living can be provided by local shops. Up till now, our suburban transport has largely relied on petrol or diesel-powered vehicles. This is going to have to change.

John went on to observe that decarbonising transport is now seen as critical to limiting global warming. The transport sector contributes around 20 per cent of Australia’s emissions. Electricity from wind and solar sources is seen as the best solution for decarbonizing the transport sector.

John noted that the direct use of electricity to power buses and rail has been around for a long time. However, advances in battery technology are reducing the need for overhead wires for buses. In a statement by the then Western Australian Premier, Mark McGown, on the 23 of April, he announced that WA bus fleets would go electric. There will be $125 million in State Government funds invested in the next financial year. This will be supplemented by a $125 million from Federal Government. This investment will deliver 130 new locally built electric buses and depot upgrades. The WA  Premier said:

“Electric vehicles are the future, and this investment will ensure Western Australia’s public transport network is clean and green for our net-zero future.

“Expanding our electric bus network is already having a tangible impact to reduce carbon emissions.

“Importantly, we will build these busses right here in Western Australia – creating local manufacturing jobs and supporting local businesses.”

In Canberra, the ACT Government announced in February that it would lease 12 electric buses this year. Minister Steel said that the Government planned to order a further 90 electric buses with a view to having an all-electric fleet by 2040. That target has been criticized for not delivering emission reductions sooner. The need to achieve reductions in greenhouse gases is urgent. John observed that, given that Action Bus currently has a fleet of 456 buses, buying 102 electric buses by 2040 falls a long way short of what is needed. If the money currently being invested in Light Rail Stage 2A was invested in electric buses, it would cover replacing the entire Action bus fleet.

John noted that, when it comes to electric cars, Canberra is ready and enthusiastic. A couple of weeks previously, Cupra, a car company based in Spain and owned by Volkswagen, launched its new electric car at the Arboretum. Canberra has a relatively high ownership rate of electric cars. This suggests that numbers of Canberra residents recognise the merits of electric vehicles and buses.

Three speakers made presentations at the seminar. Their details and links to the presentations follow:

  • Kent Fitch spoke on autonomous cars – presentation URL:  bit.ly/427yhBk 
  • Leon Arundel spoke about electric buses 
  • Alex Paton presented on trackless trams.
  1. A shared fleet of autonomous cars in Canberra 
  2. Electric bus rapid transit
  3. Introducing Trackless Trams

A dynamic discussion took place following the presentations.