NCA Amendments allow development in West Belconnen and CSIRO Ginninderra Field Site

The National Capital Authority today announced amendments to the National Capital Plan, permitting residential development at the large CSIRO Ginninderra Field site alongside the Barton Highway. The amendments also permit the Riverview development in West Belconnen to proceed.

The BCC continue to consult with both the CSIRO and Riverview to bring about good planning outcomes for existing and future Belconnen residents.

We are mindful of local concerns around loss of open space. The large volume of residents moving in over the coming decades also warrant revisiting the light rail master plan to look at whether light rail along the Barton Highway is feasible.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr responded to the announcement by the NCA by saying:

“The approval of the amendment will now allow the ACT Government, in a joint venture with the Riverview Group, to proceed with development in West Belconnen that will extend into NSW and include up to 11,500 dwellings, of which 6,500 will be in the ACT,” Andrew said.

“Planning and consultation on this development has been underway since 2007 – which has involved environmental studies and discussions with the community on the proposed development. The development is an important part of the ACT Government’s land release program and it will include a number of key planning elements that are required for a new development such as shops, bus stops, community facilities and schools.

“While the ACT Government is supportive of further housing development in the Tuggeranong area, we remain deeply concerned about any proposed expansion across the Murrumbidgee River.

“The ACT Government is unable to support this proposal as it would require significant infrastructure expenditure to facilitate housing development in the area. There are also major environmental concerns with any development that would require crossing the river.

“The ACT Government is currently in consultation with the Tuggeranong community on the possibility of a significantly more modest development in West Tuggeranong which wouldn’t require crossing the river. There is some demand for new property in Tuggeranong, but new developments must be prepared in consultation with the community and must also consider the environmental impacts on the river corridor.

“The Government is also concerned to see that land at Ginninderra Farm, currently owned by the CSIRO, has been zoned in the National Capital Plan as Urban Development. We would have preferred it to be designated future urban development – to enable more consultation with the community. The Government is concerned about the lack of community consultation and environmental planning on the proposed development with a potential for up to 6,500 dwellings at this site.

“The ACT Government will continue to press for the remaining processes for Ginninderra Farm to be undertaken within the ACT Government controlled framework and in a manner consistent with all our normal land release processes.

“We would also like to have a fresh discussion with the Commonwealth about a truly meaningful simplification and clarification of the planning system in Canberra.”

The media covered the announcement here and here.

Ginninderra electoral district 2016

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Ginninderra electoral district 2016

Ginninderra electoral district 2016

In 2015 the Australian Electoral Commission changed the boundaries for Canberra’s Assembly seats. The ACT went from three seats and 17 MLA’s to five seats and 25 MLA’s, from the 2016 Assembly election.

How does this affect you?

Prior to 2016 all residents of Belconnen were in the Assembly seat of Ginninderra.  You may now live in Belconnen, but now vote in the predominantly Gungahlin seat of Yerrabi. The map above shows where the electoral boundaries of Ginninderra are in 2016.

The changed boundaries affect the voters of Evatt, Mackellar, Lawson, Giralang and Kaleen.

If you are enrolled to vote you will not have to do anything except be aware of which seat you are now in. If you were keen on a particular candidate, you may no longer be able to vote for them!

Be mindful of where you are enrolled and ensure the policies you are voting are ones you support, ask your local candidates questions about issues that matter to you. Although much of Belconnen is in Ginninderra, the residents of Belconnen in Yerrabi deserve the same priority as Gungahlin residents.

Voting and ensuring you are enrolled

If you are over 18 and an Australian citizen you must enroll to vote. You can ensure your details are up to date by checking with the Australian Electoral commission at this link.

If you are not enrolled you can download a form here or visit the AEC site here.

You can change your enrollment details and update your address here.

Voting is important and keeps our democracy strong and relevant.