17 Oct / 2016

What the Candidates said they would do for Deakin


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.