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

Trackless Tram

three keynote speakers who will present papers on:

  • 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 this seminar include:

  • 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.

A dynamic discussion took place following the presentations.


Resources – 

  1. A shared fleet of autonomous cars in Canberra 
  2. Electric bus rapid transit
  3. Introducing Trackless Trams

Here is as an update on preparations for the Deakin Floriade display. Note the revised timings. If you can help, could you complete the form at the link https://forms.gle/Eevx51teGGTwRyDd9

Our allocation of 5600 bulbs and 5600 annuals: enough for approx 140 square will become available next week which is earlier than we anticipated.

  • Sun 14th May at 10 30 raking of mulch, leaves and weeds and take to the tip.
  • Thu 18 May – the first delivery of topsoil will occur in the morning courtesy of Terry Fox Landscapes, IgA and
    Double Shot. GRW to manage.
  • Fri 19th May at 1130, collection of bulbs and annuals and delivery to John Bell’s carport by GRW
  • Fri 19th May 1300h, Fitness First will begin digging the beds. Extra help and tools are needed. GRW and Jason (FF) were present.
  • Sat 20th further digging and extraction of last year’s bulbs. Scouts will plant them at the McGregor Street site. Robin Miller is in charge. Scout leader Janelle Tennent
  • Sun 21st, 1400 planting of bulbs begins.  John Bell and GRW
  • Mid-week delivery of more soil if required.
  • Sat 27th from 1030h planting of the remainder of bulbs and over the planting of annuals – John Bell
  • Sun 28th placement of protective nets. – John Bell

To achieve the high impact of visual displays Floriade recommends a planting density of approximately 40 bulbs per square meter, layered with annuals over the top, also at 40 plants per square meter.

If you can’t open the survey form, Please get in touch with us 

Some of the brilliant display is on our website at
Flowers looking better with every day – Deakin Residents Association

The Floriade Community Team has congratulated DRA and said they are delighted to inform us that our application to be a part of Floriade Community has been successful!

To achieve the high-impact visual displays Floriade is known for, they recommend a planting density of approximately 40 bulbs per square meter, layered with annuals over the top, also at 40 per square meter.

Details of our allocation are

  • Bulbs: 5600
  • Annuals: 5600
  • Approx. Sqm: 140 square meters

Both bulbs and annuals will be supplied in assorted mixed colors.

Plant Collection

Plants will be available for collection from Yarralumla Nursery in mid-May. They are currently finalising dates with the supplier and will send us an updated email with confirmed dates, a map of the nursery and further instructions on the collection process shortly.

Bulbs for DRA to plant at the Deakin shops are being available from mid-May.

Looks like we will have to bring forward our preparatory work on the beds.

They look forward to working with us and seeing your gardens bloom in Spring!
Welcome to the Floriade Community!

Deakin Residents Association is applying for Community Participation Projects support from the 2023-2024 ACT Heritage Grants Program. These are projects that will ‘actively engage people in understanding, celebrating and promoting heritage places and objects through education (of all ages), oral histories, tourism, digitisation, interpretation and events.’

Our proposal is to erect signage at Deakin shops and two or three other sites such as Latrobe Park, The Lodge Park and Rosemary Dobson Park on Deakin’s historical aspects, significant houses, wider architectural issues, streetscapes, parks biodiversity, plus geology such as the anticline.,

The signs will have QR codes linked to a website where other material can be stored including acknowledgment of supporters of the project and their enterprises. Logos of supporters can also be displayed on the Canberra Tracks signs.

If commercial entities would like to be included, can you get back to me as soon as possible and ideally before 27 April which is the deadline for us to lodge the application?

An indication of commercial support by donation would also enhance our proposal to the Granting agency.

We invite you to a seminar on trackless trams and other public transport options for Canberra.

When: 8th May, 2023         

Time: 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm.

Where: Canberra College Theatre, Phillip, ACT

The seminar aims to provide Canberrans with an insight into alternative public transport technologies/solutions that are available/will be available to improve public transport in Canberra — alternatives that could provide a more efficient, cost effective, public transport system. The seminar will feature three keynote speakers who will present papers on:

  • driverless cars
  • electric buses
  • trackless trams.

The highlight of the night is expected to be the trackless tram presentation by Alex Paton, who has some 30 years’ experience in the infrastructure sector, and is currently employed by a company that provides access to leading edge technology, suitable for the mass transit market, including Digital Rail Transit (also known as a Trackless Tram). The other two speakers are local, well qualified and well-known. After the presentations, the speakers will form a panel and take questions from the floor.

Attendance at the seminar is by invitation only (numbers are limited by fire regulations). We are sending invites to residents’ groups and community councils, current and former Canberra MLAs, members of business groups and other interested parties.

If you are interested in attending, could you please let us know as soon as possible, by email to president@deakinresidents.asn.au so we send you a ticket closer to the seminar date?

This meeting is supported by the Deakin and Yarralumla Residents Associations, assisted by Anthony Senti.

If you have any questions, please contact John Bell on 0438 732 953.

Inner South Canberra Community Council
Public Forum 11 April, 7pm: Engage with elected representatives about Planning Review
East Lake Football Club, 3 Oxley Street, Griffith
Find out about East Lake Place Plan

Planning Review

The Legislative Assembly is likely to debate in May the new Planning Bill which will pave the way for a massive change in the way decisions are made about planning matters in the ACT, from a rules-based to an “outcomes based” planning system.
The ISCCC made a about the Planning Bill in November 2022 to the Assembly Standing Committee on Planning, Transport and City Services. A summary is also attached of the ISCCC’s Key Asks that will be presented at our public forum on 11 April.
The Standing Committee reported to the Assembly in December. The ISCCC considers the Committee’s report is excellent and responds to many of our concerns. We urge the ACT Government to accept the Committee’s recommendations:
Since the Standing Committee handed down its report, the ISCCC, member groups and the community have had a chance to go through the new draft Territory Plan and District Strategies to see how the proposed Outcomes Based Planning System will work in practice.
We have found a proposed planning system that will create uncertainty about what requirements will be mandated for new developments, given that “rules” will give way to more subjective assessments by planners about whether developments meet vaguely worded “outcomes”.
This is in the context of the lack of an evaluation by Government of the planning outcomes of the Mr Fluffy dual occupancy program. This raises questions about whether there would be a genuine commitment to monitoring and evaluation of a much bigger, ACT wide “outcomes based” planning system.
Now is a good time to speak with our elected representatives to hear their responses to the ISCCC’s Key Asks before they participate in the Assembly debate about the Planning Bill. That’s why we have invited three MLAs to our forum on 11 April:
  • Rachel Stephen-Smith, Labor member for Kurrajong
  • Rebecca Vassarotti, Greens member for Kurrajong
  • Peter Cain, Liberal Shadow Minister for Planning
Please come along and hear what they have to say.
Find out more about the East Lake Place Plan
At our 11 April public forum, we will also have three speakers provide information and perspectives on the recently released East Lake Place Plan which is out for comment:
  • Ben Riches, Senior Director, Implementation and Coordination, Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate
  • Donna Fitzgerald-Verrent, resident of The Causeway
  • Rob Evans, President, Fyshwick Business Association
The ISCCC looks forward to seeing you at our public forum.
5 Apr / 2023

Growing Up Modern

There is a difference between knowing a house and knowing about it.

Growing Up Modern is Roger Benjamin’s fascinating tribute to his childhood home, Canberra’s innovative and iconic building: the Round House. Appearing broadly circular from its exterior, the Round House was—in actuality—of a Pythagorean, geometrical design. Complete with a glass cylinder down its centre and accentuated with rich mahogany beams and unique handmade furniture by Krimper, the Round House is reckoned to be a modernist masterpiece, winning Australian House of the Year in 1958 and becoming Heritage Listed in 2003.

The book is striking not only in the beauty and eccentricity of the author’s childhood home, but in the retelling of the lives of those people who were integral to the house’s creation. It was commissioned by affluent philosopher and professor, Bruce Benjamin, and his wife Audrey, a daughter of the CEO of Carlton and United Breweries, become writer and environmental activist. The Round House architect was Czech refugee Alex Jelinek, who was a brilliant student of Modernist Architecture in Prague before he fled his homeland by hijacking a plane post World War II. Alex Jelinek was also known for helping to construct Australia’s Snowy Hydro Scheme.

Growing Up Modern is a comprehensively rich text set against many social and cultural forces in history: from Communist Czechoslovakia post World War II, to the impact of Modernism in the Canberra of the 50s, and the psychedelic influence of the 60s and 70s on the newly widowed Audrey as she raised her young children on her own. The story of the Round House is not simply nostalgia for the author’s childhood—richly captured in this visual record—but the celebration of legacy, architecture, love and art.

The design and construction of the Round House has been meticulously documented by Roger Benjamin.

Wide pages and full colour throughout.

Nothing is so uniquely personal to a man as his memories. Our inner lives revolve around their contemplation, and in guarding their privacy we seem almost to be protecting the very basis of our personalities.

In 2023, Floriade Community will return for its fourth year, expanding Floriade’s signature blooms beyond Commonwealth Park and into Canberra’s suburbs.

Events ACT are seeking applications from eligible community groups/organisations to participate in Floriade Community and add some extra colour to our city in Spring.

The Floriade Community program will provide bulbs and annuals to successful applicants to plant and maintain in their local area.

Applications close at 5pm on Sunday 2 April 2023

DRA is considering applying – WOULD YOU LIKE TO HELP

Locations are required to be visible to a large number of Canberrans who can enjoy the plantings in their daily life.

Our exhibition was a great success in 2021.

Your feed back and interest is needed quickly so we can decide to proceed. email vicepresident@deakinresidents.asn.au


Deakin/Yarralumla road closure update

Construction works are progressing to upgrade three intersections along Kent/Novar streets.

Based on the current program progress, the current closures including Dudley Street, Kent Street bridge and the Adelaide Avenue off-ramp will be completed at the end of March (weather permitting).

We understand these closures are impacting travel times, particularly during the morning peak period on weekdays.

To help ease the traffic impact to local residents, stop/slow traffic controller arrangements will be in place at the Hopetoun Circuit interchange during the morning peak period on weekdays from Wednesday 15 March until the closures are lifted.

When these road closures are lifted at the end of March, major road works for this project will be complete with traffic lights operational at the three intersections. This brings the program forward by around six months.

Minor works will continue beyond March, including landscaping work. These works will be conducted outside of peak travel times and are not expected to cause traffic disruptions.


Updates will continue to be provided via the project page and email.

If you have any questions, please email communityengagement@act.gov.au.

The Deakin Residents’ Association (DRA) believes that, in relation to the draft Inner South Canberra District Strategy, urban intensification should be rejected on economic, social, environmental, cultural, and heritage grounds.

We have commented on the Meccone report on infill and densification and the connection to justifying light rail 2b.

In our response to the Draft Strategy, we have also addressed cultural and heritage issues environmental issues, social issues and concerns about the future of the Deakin shopping center.

Our submission can be found at the link below.