DRA believes the National Capital Authority (NCA) should not grant Works Approval for Raising London Circuit (RLC) because it is part of Light Rail stage 2A. Consideration should only take place in the context of a fully documented Works Application for Light Rail Stage 2. It should also await a full response to the Auditor General’s report on Light Rail Stage 2A. This position supports the Inner South Canberra Community Council submission

To view the plans and comment yourself, visit the National Capital Authority and make a submission which closes on 24 Dec 2021

Other points

  •  If the ACT Government needs the revenue from leasing the land within the cloverleaf ramps, it could do so without RLC
  • The RLC proposal makes unsubstantiated and/or unsupported claims about how the RLC proposal is consistent with the National Capital Plan . These need to be examined critically.
  • Claims of “future proofing” the transport network through a massive investment in light rail (which suffers from inflexible routes, inability to provide express services, and high track construction costs with significant greenhouse gas emissions) should be rejected.
  • On its own, RLC will not improve connectivity for cyclists and pedestrians and will not improve access to Lake Burley Griffin
  • There will be significant adverse impacts (traffic, noise, parking, travel time, pedestrian access, greenhouse gas emissions and road damage) during the extended period of RLC construction
  • In particular, the loss of a large number of parking spaces in the CBD will adversely impact on workers, shoppers, businesses and theatre goers.
  • Travel time between north and south Canberra will be increased
  • RLC will have a negative impact on the landscape and vistas that are an essential element of the Griffin design.

Notice of 2021 Annual General Meeting

This is to notify all Members of Deakin Residents’ Association Inc of the 2021 Annual General Meeting of the Association on Wednesday 24 November 2021 at 6:45 pm at the Canberra Bridge Club, Duff Place, Deakin ACT.

Doors will be open from 5.30 pm to enable the sign and observation of COVID-19 precautions. We encourage attendees to arrive early.

The meeting will be accessible by Zoom and will be recorded.

Join Zoom Meeting    https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84885497036

A Public Meeting will precede the AGM with a talk by a guest speaker Senate Candidate, Kim Rubenstein


This Notice attaches the following documents:

  •  The agenda and draft Minutes from the previous AGM;
  •  A nomination form for candidates for election to the Committee
  •  A proxy form for any members unable to attend;
  •  An RSVP form –- the capacity of the venue is limited due to COVID-19 restrictions;  so we request that attendees advise of the intention to attend. Seating will be reserved at the meeting for those who RSVP in a timely manner.
  • Treasurers report

Due to COVID restriction, it is not possible to serve refreshments and attendees are welcome to bring a bottle of water. There will be a very limited opportunity to meet Committee members or other DRA members before or after the meeting.

Nominations for Committee positions:

All committee positions are open for election and members are strongly encouraged to nominate. The DRA can only serve its membership and the community to the extent that individual members are willing to contribute time, effort and ideas to taking the association forward.

We are a happy group that does most of it work by email.  We need 10 committee positions and welcome nominations.

Members considering nomination are welcome to contact the Secretary, secretary@deakinresidents.asn.au to discuss how you might contribute to help the DRA function at its best. 

Public meeting 24 Nov 2021

Bridge Club, Duff Place, Deakin

6 00 pm  Kim Rubenstein, Independent ACT candidate for the Senate is a law professor, author, citizenship expert, human rights advocate. Kim will share her view that the Australian Constitution is out of date, our Parliament is unrepresentative, there are much needed policy changes on climate, on childcare, on gender sensitive budgeting, on where, when and how we work, on inclusion and reconciliation, on moving toward a republic.

She says she is running for the Senate to help foster and encourage a different style of politics.

Annual General Meeting

1.  Welcome and apologies
2. Declaration of conflict of interest.
3. Proxies
4. Confirmation of Minutes of Annual General Meeting of 18 November 2020
5. Reports 

  • DRA President, John Bell – President’s report, to include an update on the Light Rail Stage 2 and·       the proposed densification of the light rail corridor.
  •  Treasurer’s Report

6. Election of Committee Members and Office Bearers. All positions are vacant. A
nomination form is below.
7. Other Business
8. Close of Meeting


Nomination for Office Bearers & Other Committee Members

Note: The Rules of the Deakin Residents’ Association Inc require that nominations for candidates for election to the Committee or specific Offices of the Association should be received by COB 23 November 2021 by the Secretary, (secretary@deakinresidents.asn.au) . However, if insufficient nominations have been received to fill all the positions, further nominations can be accepted at the Annual General Meeting.

Committee positions comprise the four named Office Bearers, plus up to six other Ordinary Committee Members


We the undersigned members of the Deakin Residents’ Association Inc nominate the following Member for election to a Committee position:

Name of Member nominated ………………………………………………………………(please print)

Position for which Member is nominated (please circle):

President   |  Vice-President  |  Treasurer  |  Secretary  | Other Committee member

Names and signatures of two Members nominating candidate (nominations need to be signed by two current Members of the Deakin Residents’ Association Inc ):

Name 1: …………………………..……… (print)    Signature 1: …………………………….………Date:       /    /2021

Name 2: …………………………………. (print)     Signature 2: ……………………………………..Date:     /     /2021

I consent to the above nomination:

Signature of Member nominated: ………………………………….. …………..Date:    /     /2021

Please return nomination by email (attach a photograph, PDF or scan showing signatures) to secretary@deakinresidents.asn.au.

Nominations can also be sent to PO Box 9056, Deakin, ACT, 2600.


Deakin Residents’ Association Inc

Reg No: A05199

I (name)……………………………………………………………………………

of (address) ………………………………………………..……………………….

being a member of the Deakin Residents’ Association Inc hereby appoint


(name)………..……………………………of (address)………………………………….

as my proxy to vote for me on my behalf at the Annual General Meeting of Deakin Residents’ Association Inc to be held on 24 November 2021 and at any adjournment thereof



the Chair of the meeting to vote on my behalf

[strike out or delete whichever of the above does not apply]


this…………………………..….…..day of ………………………….…….…..2021



DRA continues to be concerned about the growing expense of the Light Rail proposal – Civic to Woden compared to the benefits of alternative options such as electric buses and improved cycleways.

We believe that Stage II will be too slow, – taking twice as long as existing bus services, locks the ACT into outmoded technology. Its construction will be severely disruptive – reconstruction of Commonwealth Ave bridge will take years, it will cause more pollution than is ever likely to be saved, and that it will damage major heritage values of the Parliamentary Zone and Triangle.

A summary of the meeting is at the Youtube link. The detailed presentations at the Zoom meeting are available at these links

  1. Light Rail history and options  – Beatrice Bodart-Bailey
  2. Economic costs and benefits – John Bell
  3. National Heritage and alternatives – George Wilson
  4. Transport convergence for Woden – Fiona Carrick
  5. Nine points to sum up – Richard Johnston
  6. Discussion

Click on the links to see the presentations on YouTube. After each one hit the back buton to come to the page to look at another video.


Leo Dobes from the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy has examined the business case and cost / benefits of  Light Rail. In an article published in the Canberra Times on 5 Oct 2021, Dr Dobes noted that a business case is typically used to promote or justify a particular project, such as Canberra’s light rail.  He went on to offer that unfortunately, politicians, and even the media, often use the term interchangeably with cost benefit analysis, resulting in confusion about the economic value of government policies or projects.  Here is the rest of his article.

A genuine cost benefit analysis starts with the principal policy issue.  In the case of light rail, it would be to ask if public transport between Civic and the Woden valley can be improved.  The analysis also needs to specify the counterfactual case of what would occur if the current system continued unaltered into the future.  The costs and benefits of each of the possible alternative public transit alternatives, for example underground metro, light rail, an O-Bahn or minibuses, can then be compared to the current ACT bus network.

The ACT Auditor-General’s report number 8/2021 on Light Rail Stage 2A from Civic to Commonwealth Park should be applauded for its thorough critique of the 2019 business case.  It identifies the omission of the cost of retrofitting the existing light rail vehicles with wire-free technology (an extra 17 per cent of capital costs), and the omission of disruption costs to traffic and businesses during construction.  Interestingly, however, the audit did not query the presentation of positive transport benefits, which would be negative if travel time on the light rail is greater than existing bus transport, an important issue for the Civic to Woden link.

On estimated benefits, the audit report noted that expected passenger patronage was modelled on data from South-East Queensland, Sydney, and Melbourne – but not Canberra – resulting in likely overestimation.  It also notes that so-called “city-shaping benefits” and “wider economic benefits” account for more than 60 per cent of the estimated benefits, but the business case fails to provide “any narrative that describes, explains or supports the estimates of wider economic benefits”.

A 19th century economist, Alfred Marshall, posited that a denser urban population would generate wider economic benefits because people would interact in coffee shops, learn from each other and develop new ideas.  Proximity would also mean workers could find and specialise in jobs better suited to their talents, and employers could more easily recruit available skilled workers, thus increasing productivity. But Marshall cautioned that negative externalities such as the “want of light and air” would reduce the benefits of agglomeration.

The wider economic benefits concept can be extended to “effective urban density” if a major transport project (think high speed rail in China) brings in workers from regional locations or dormitory suburbs to the city centre, so that urban density is temporarily increased during the working day.  Higher metropolitan productivity, reflected in higher wage levels, can be correlated statistically with changes in worker density levels.  However, many consultants rely on off-the-shelf parameter estimates obtained from studies in large cities like London.  Application of those estimates derived from studies of large cities to Stage 2A, or even to a tram from Civic to Woden, would be unlikely to pass the pub test.

Wider economic benefits estimates are often used to bolster infrastructure business cases, although review of such estimates after project completion is rare.  But a 2004 study of the Channel Tunnel found that it did not appear to have produced significant wider economic benefits.  And a 2007 study of the French Train a Grande Vitesse found that traffic levels increased in both directions, but there was no overall impact on the cities linked by the train.

The ACT Government has been presented with a providential opportunity to test the credibility of wider economic benefits values assumed for the extension of the light rail line southwards.  The 2014 Capital Metro business case for Stage 1 (Gungahlin to Civic) included ‘wider economic impacts’ (i.e. wider economic benefits) in its estimate of benefits.  Verification of the actual extent and distribution within Canberra of those benefits supposedly produced by Stage 1 would undoubtedly be welcomed by the punters who will incur higher housing rates in years to come.

Business cases may well be a useful way to lubricate the machinery of government, but they are a slippery slope to bad governance, if not worse.

Dr Leo Dobes is an Hon Assoc Professor at the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy, and taught Masters courses in cost-benefit analysis.



Unveiling Deakin Floriade

DRA 4800 flowers and bulbs provided by the ACT  Floriade team have been unveiled.  They were planted by President John Bell and his team of volunteers.  Terrific effort which is getting lots of plaudits from visitors to the Deakin shops.  Thank you all.




Light Rail Stage 2B

DRA continues to be concerned about the growing expense of the Light Rail proposal Civic to Woden compared to the benefits of alternative options such as electric buses and improved cycleways.  Since it is some time since the last round of election promises, we would be pleased if the ACT Government could remind us again why we are doing it? We believe that Stage II is too expensive, slow, locks the ACT into outmoded technology. Its construction is disruptive, will cause more pollution than is ever likely to be saved, and damage major heritage values of the Parliamentary Triangle.
We said so in a 2018 submission to Parliamentary Inquiry by Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories. It was supported by DRA survey results at the link.
In July 2019 we proposed that the matter was so serious, and of such national importance, the proposal should be the subject of a full Public Inquiry under the Commonwealth EPBC Act. We still hold that view – EVEN MORE STRONGLY. The Inquiry would consider the whole project, and the detail that impacts Adelaide Avenue which is a responsibility of the National Capital Authority.

  • Are new bridges proposed to position light rail from State Circle to the middle of Adelaide Avenue and then to cross Hopetoun Circuit, or  will traffic lights be used instead.
  • Does the case for light rail depend on densification up to 800 m on each side of Adelaide Avenue?
  • Can this be achieved without damaging to the garden suburb nature of Deakin, removing trees and increasing crowding?

Red Hill Regenerators Landcare award

DRA would like to congratulate the Red Hill Regenerators for winning the 2021 National Landcare Community Group Award. Since 1989 the group has been on the Reserve, weeding, planting, and counting in an excellent combination of commitment, deep knowledge and broad experience. Thanks pass to Michael Mulvaney RHG founder and guru who continues to inspire and guide the Group under the Presidency of Ross Kingsland. Their work is especially well regarded by the Deakin community as we take intense appreciation of walking on Red Hill during the Covid lock-down.

The Red Hill Regenerators work closely with the ACT Parks and Conservation Service and involve many other groups including local primary and high schools, Scout groups and businesses.  The reserve is an educational resource and the RHG host visitors on guided walks, developed interpretive signage and distributed educational brochures to neighbouring communities.  More details at http://redhillregenerators.org.au/

La Trobe Park Revival

In lockdown we are valuing our open spaces even more. DRA remains interested in supporting a subgroup  – Friends of Latrobe Park to initiate change. Let us know if you would like to get involved.  It would:

  • Develop a plan to make the park more attractive, safe and useful to all age groups in the community
  • Facilitate community awareness, ownership and valuing of the park so it remains in the hands of the community for the long term
  • Encourage more active engagement by the community with the park.

Floriade in Deakin

Our flowers at the Deakin shops are going well although the bulbs in the Macgregor St beds are slower emerging. We have been advised by Floriade experts not to worry too much as different bulbs flower at various times.
The Floriade Head Gardeners recommend we fertilise every couple of weeks with natural fertilisers like kelp, Seasol or anything fish-extract based to promote plant growth. They also recommend we pinch the flowers out of the pansies now to encourage them to flower later. However this is difficult because of the netting, which is needed to keep the cockatoos from digging up the bulbs.  More material at the link. Due to the lock down, we are unable to do these things as a group but maybe individuals en route to the shops could do a bit. IGA, Fitness First and Double Shot have been particularly helpful. Their support will be more important as we weather warms and watering becomes necessary.  IGA has supplied Seasol which is available to spray on flowers.

Equinox on Kent St

In July, the ACT Gov EPSDD approved (DA 202138388) proposing excavation and preparing the Equinox site on Kent site to support construction of a basement included as part of a design and siting application (DA 202138277) for a development of Equinox on Kent Street. However, it was recommended that works not to commence on site before the other two DAs are approved. We continue to watch developments on Kent Street. The two other applications are:

• DA 202138277 (Design and Siting); and

• DA 202038169 (Lease Variation) currently under assessment. and Equinox II.

Additional thoughts on Light Rail Civic to Comm Park –  Stage 2A

Traffic chaos is the current plan for Civic, with flow along Commonwealth Ave to be reduced by 80% and various other permanent road closures from next year.
There is a “virtual” information room up on the web site at  https://www.act.gov.au/lightrailtowoden
DRA believes all Inner South residents should read the information on the web site and complete the online survey on the social / economic effects – the link is click here 
There will be a major consultation exercise starting September with the release of a number of reports on social and environmental impacts and other matters – the release of the survey results will be part of this.
The restriction of capacity across the bridge will apparently begin from mid next year.  The clover leaves, the ramp from London Circuit to the Southbound Lane of Commonwealth Ave and the section of London Circuit from Constitution Avenue to Edinburgh Avenue will also be closed permanently at that time.  Explanations have been lacking why this all has to happen next year or why the Southbound ramp (on the opposite side to the proposed light rail route) has to close at all.
DRA believes the current plan couldn’t have been devised to create more pain.  The 80% restriction is expected to last for several years and the road closures will be permanent.

DRA has made a submission that supports in principle the development of District Planning and Strategies as a mechanism to underpin an agreed coordinated approach future planning and development in Canberra, provided their provisions are enforceable, accountable, transparent, fully consulted with residents and accommodate differences between suburbs covered by District-level planning. Submission can be downloaded


  • wants clarity about the standing of existing Precinct Codes
  •  is opposed to rezoning for intensification that would bring dense infill and high-rise development into suburban areas of Deakin, to Deakin’s sporting fields, or to Deakin’s other green spaces.

Such development would be unacceptable to residents and inconsistent with Deakin’s unique status as a garden suburb. It would also be contrary to the heritage values of Deakin, an original Griffin designed suburb in Australia’s National Capital.
In light of the above, the DRA rejects any suggestion that, in the next planning stage for the light rail corridor, there is any scope for densification in the suburb. Residents of Deakin can be expected to
respond at the next election to any plans for densification.

18 May / 2021

Floriade in Deakin 2021

DRA has been granted 4800 bulbs and annuals as part of ‘Floriade in the suburbs. Our proposal is to plant them on the roundabout at junction of Buxton St and Stonehaven Cres, and at the Deakin shops.
If you can you contribute to either site preparation, planting and maintenance maybe you could complete the form at the link to indicate your availability.

Maintenance of the bulbs and annuals will continue until 10 Oct 2021

Where is Canberra’s development and planning taking us?

And what should we do about it?

5.00pm, Friday 12 March 2021

Manning Clark House, 11 Tasmania Circuit, Forrest

The Greens recently announced a New Plan for Canberra. Join us as we explore the issues confronting planning and development in the ACT with three well-informed speakers:

  • Jack Waterford: former Editor-in-Chief of The Canberra Times and well-known critic of Canberra’s planning environment will open the Forum
  • Caroline Le Couteur: former member of the ACT Legislative Assembly and Chair of its Planning Committee will present the New Plan for Canberra, its strategy and timeline
  • Richard Johnston: Life Member of the Planning Institute of Australia and former senior planner with the ACT Planning Authority (ACTPLA, formerly NCDC)
  • Jack Waterford will invite questions and statements from the audience

Booking essential$15.00

Bookings: https://www.trybooking.com/BPBPV

 Refreshments will be provided but please bring your own glass, due to COVID restrictions.

The event will be held in the MCH garden – perhaps bring a hat