Environment and Planning Forum Minutes - March 2016

Community Councils and Industry

Angie Bletsas – ACTCOSS
Sheila Hughes – Australian Institute of Architects
Andrew Mackenzie - ACT Institute of Landscape Architects
Damian Haas – Belconnen Community Council
Larry O’Loughlan - Conservation Council ACT Region
Stephen Hodge – Cycling Promotion Fund
David Denham - Griffith Narrabundah Community Association
Kevin Cox – Gungahlin Community Council
Austin Lynch - Inner South Canberra Community Council
Denis O’Brien – North Canberra Community Council
Gillian Helyar – Pedal Power
Rachel Lynskey – Pedal Power
Clare Wall – Planning Institute of Australia
Michael Hopkins – Master Builders Association, ACT
Peter Moore – The Kingston and Barton Residents Group
Glenys Patulny - Tuggeranong Community Council
Pat McGinn – Weston Creek Community Council

ACT Government

Dorte Ekelund – Director-General, EPD (Chair)
Jim Corrigan – Executive Director, Planning Delivery, EPD
David Roulston – Director and Chief Information Officer - TAMS
Tim Wyatt – Manager, Transport Policy, Strategic Planning, EPD
Simon French – Senior Policy Officer, Climate Change, EPD
Scott Walker – Strategic Engagement Officer, Climate Change, EPD
Jess Buik – Executive Officer to the Director-General, EPD (minute taker)


Adam Hobill – Building Designers Australia
Ewan Brown – Council of the Aging
Kirk Coningham – Master Builders Association
John Armstrong – Pedal Power
Jeff Ibbotson – Pedal Power
Lorraine King – Tuggeranong Community Council
Wayne King – Tuggeranong Community Council
Mike Reddy – Woden Valley Community Council

Gary Rake – Deputy Director-General, EPD
Tony Carmichael – Executive Director, Strategic Planning, EPD
Suzanne Jurcevic – Senior Manager, Transport and Major Projects, EPD

1) Welcome & Apologies

The Director-General of the Environment and Planning Directorate, Dorte Ekelund, welcomed attendees and advised members of apologies received.

2) Notes and actions from previous meeting – 17 December 2015

Notes and actions from the previous meeting were agreed.

Jim Corrigan advised that presentations by Planning Delivery on the DA process to community councils are in the process of being planned.

3) Director-General’s update report

The Director-General presented her report for January to February 2016.

On the issue of the single conservation agency, Larry O’Loughlan asked whether city rangers will still look after urban parks. Dorte Ekelund confirmed that is the case. Dorte Ekelund also highlighted the expertise of Dr Annie Lane as the Conservator, and noted that the Parks and Conservation Service will report to Dr Lane from 1 July 2016.

On the Dickson mixed use proposal, Gillian Helyar asked if the proponents could provide information that makes it easier to see the changes made. Dorte Ekelund replied that the changes are sufficiently substantial such that the application should be reviewed afresh. Gillian Helyar also expressed concern about the present bicycle parking requirements. Dorte Ekelund encouraged Gillian Helyar to make a submission on the development application and also to make a submission to the Environment and Planning Directorate more generally on bicycle parking.

In response to the issue of Tuggeranong’s proposed next generation suburb, Damien Haas, Pat McGinn and Sheila Hughes raised concerns about transport links to support an increased population. Dorte Ekelund acknowledged the concerns but noted that, as the proposal is only in very early stages, housing density issues have not determined. Pat McGinn suggested the area should be conserved. Sheila Hughes noted that the Australian Institute of Architects is on the one hand concerned about the river corridor but on the other hand notes the opportunity to develop is worth exploring. Dorte Ekelund noted ongoing public discussions on the proposal and invited public submissions.

On the issue of residential solar access provisions, Damien Haas asked if a person’s neighbour plants a tree and it blocks solar access can that person ask the Environment and Planning Directorate to remove tree. Dorte Ekelund replied that there is no role for the Directorate to remove trees in that manner.

Peter Moore asked whether there was anything that Dorte Ekelund could say about the Manuka proposal. Dorte Ekelund noted that there is a committee run through CMTEDD, to facilitate all directorates reviewing the merits of proposals. Dorte Ekelund further noted that there is no certainty that the ACT Government will support the proposal and that the proposal is subject to consultation. Dorte Ekelund confirmed that issues such as transport are considered as part of the review process. Peter Moore raised concerns about parking, noting that any parking issues will become the community’s problem. Peter Moore encouraged consultation with the whole of the Canberra community. Sheila Hughes asked whether the Environment and Planning Directorate will review its planning priorities and how the proposal would affect those. Dorte Ekelund noted that if a Territory Plan variation takes place, there will be a scoping exercise.

4) Active Travel Office Update

Tim Wyatt advised that the ACT Government, the Heart Foundation and the Planning Institute of Australia are together hosting international walking expert, Dr Rodney Tolley, on 17 and 18 March. A series of events are planned and Tim Wyatt encouraged all attendees to promote these activities through their networks.

Damien Haas recommended putting walking maps into hotel lobbies. In response, Rachel Lynskey noted that the focus so far has been on bicycle stores but welcomed the suggestion.
Larry O’Loughlan asked if there was a walking maps app. Tim Wyatt replied that there is not as yet, but that his team is aware of great work in other jurisdictions and noted that this is something that could be looked at in future.

Kevin Cox asked whether any work was being done on walkability ‘scores’ or ‘indexes’. Tim Wyatt noted there has been thinking around this, particularly walkable networks around schools.

Angie Bletas asked whether any work done on walking to supermarkets, including those who travel using wheelchairs. Tim Wyatt noted it was a helpful suggestion.

5) City and Gateway Urban Renewal Strategy

Dorte Ekelund gave a presentation on the project, updating on key developments to date.

Damien Haas asked about integration across public transport options (bus to light rail). Dorte Ekelund reassured those present that the creation of Transport Canberra will facilitate excellent integration across public transport.

Andrew MacKenzie noted that east-west urban villages will not happen symmetrically along Northbourne Avenue.

Sheila Hughes highlighted the importance of protecting open and recreational space during development.

Denis O’Brien noted that on Sunday April 3rd there will be a pop-up picnic in the city to demonstrate what Northbourne Plaza might look like.

Austin Lynch asked about separating cyclists from traffic. Dorte Ekelund noted ongoing work with Pedal Power to look at this.

6) ACT Draft Climate Change Adaptation Strategy

Sheila Hughes strongly encouraged the Environment and Planning Directorate to continue its work on living infrastructure.

David Roulston noted the streetscape project in TAMS.

Angie Bletsas noted the importance of shelter around bus stops, which is critically important on hot days. Dorte Ekelund acknowledged that this is an important issue and encouraged a submission from the ACT Council of Social Services.

7) Members Issues

No members issues raised.

8) Other Business

Review of the terms of reference

Dorte Ekelund asked for any concerns about the proposed changes to the Terms of Reference to be emailed to the Environment and Planning Directorate. Pat McGinn asked for annotated changes to the Terms of Reference be re-circulated.
Damien requested a presentation on the CSIRO land sale and the NCA’s plans for the site.

Dorte Ekelund thanked attendees.

The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday 28 April 2016.

Action Summary Table





Follow-up with Jim Corrigan on the possibility of presentations on the DA process to Community Councils.

Planning Delivery will prepare a presentation for early 2016.


Update on the CSIRO land


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