Indicative Land Release Program 2019-20 to 2022-23

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The ACT Government is in the unique position of setting the strategic planning directions and shaping how our city will grow and change as well as managing the supply of land to meet the needs of our growing and changing city.

The Indicative Land Release Program aims to make sure enough land is released to the market to cater for Canberra’s growth and change. The program plays a strategic role in catering for our population growth, building a compact, liveable city, attracting investment in the ACT land market and strengthening our economic advantage in the ACT region.

The program is informed by, and aligns with, several of the ACT Government’s strategic priorities. It contributes to building a sustainable, equitable and competitive city by:

  • Delivering affordable housing choices 
    and promoting housing diversity
  • Stimulating urban renewal where it is appropriate and sustainable, and contributing to delivering up to 70% of new housing within our existing urban footprint
  • Balancing a stable supply of land with forecast demand and maintaining an appropriate inventory
  • Meeting the demand for land in the ACT across all sectors and attracting investment into Canberra
  • Supporting a sustainable and competitive land development and construction industry which creates good jobs for Canberrans
  • Achieving satisfactory returns to Government from the sale of unleased Territory land and surplus property assets.

Each year the Government publishes a four-year program of land releases to supply the residential, community, commercial and industrial sectors. The program is reviewed annually and is subject to change by the Minister for Planning and Land Management 
as Government priorities are adjusted or market conditions shift.

The Environment Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate is responsible for preparing the program in consultation with other ACT Government directorates.

The Suburban Land Agency and the City Renewal Authority deliver the programmed land releases.

Residential

As our city’s population continues to grow, we expect around 32,000 more people will come to call Canberra home by 2023.

By 2023, Canberra’s population is estimated to exceed 460,000 people. Over the next four years the residential land release program targets the release of 15,600 homes to cater for demand for new housing in the ACT. 
In 2019-20, 3,440 homes are programmed for release across 950 single residential and multi-unit blocks in Gungahlin (Taylor and Throsby), the Molonglo Valley (Whitlam) and Belconnen (Strathnairn). This will be followed by target releases of 3,874 homes in 2020-21, 4,666 in 2021-22 and 3,620 in 2022-23.

Having a stable supply of new homes available in new suburban estates in a variety of locations and at different price points contributes to the ACT being an attractive place to live and buy. Over the next four years, the focus for greenfield releases will shift from Gungahlin, with the release of the remaining residential land in Taylor, Throsby and Jacka (by 2020-21) and the release of the final suburb Kenny (2021-22 to 2022-23), to the Molonglo Valley in Whitlam and new suburbs planned to the east of John Gorton Drive.

Construction has now started on the initial stages of Strathnairn in West Belconnen. Residential releases there will increase the diversity and affordability of new homes on offer over the next four years. Strathnairn is the first suburb to be developed as part of the Ginninderry development, which is a joint venture between the ACT Government and Riverview. It will deliver a total of 11,500 new homes over the next 30 years. Ginninderry will be a six star-rated Green Star Community, and there are plans to open a display village in 2019 to showcase homes with an innovative range of sustainability features.

Growing the range of housing choices on offer across Canberra is a priority for the ACT Government as we work to deliver a more compact and sustainable city. From 2019-20, we will release more significant urban renewal sites in the City and in the Woden, Gungahlin and Belconnen town centres to provide more opportunities for Canberrans to live close to these community hubs.

Land in Watson is being prepared for release from 2020-21, and from 2021-22 the final stages of the master-planned Kingston Foreshore precinct will be ready for release. The initial stages of the East Lake urban renewal precinct are also expected to be ready for release from 2022-23.

Affordable, community and public housing

To be a sustainable, competitive and equitable city we need to meet the housing needs of all Canberrans. To achieve this objective, the Government has set a target of delivering 15 per cent of the annual residential program for public, community and affordable homes.

The ACT Government has established the delivery of annual housing targets as a key statutory responsibility for the Suburban Land Agency and City Renewal Authority.

For 2019-20 the Government has set a target of releasing 628 dedicated public, community and affordable homes. This target is made up of 80 new public housing properties, 60 new community housing properties and 488 individual properties dedicated for affordable 
home purchase to eligible low income households.

Mixed use

Mixed use commercial releases promote a combination of residential living and commercial activity within a single building.

219,613m2 of mixed use land is programmed for release over the next four years.

Mixed use releases are identified in the program as having a mixed use land area and a residential yield. The release of these sites is a key part of delivering on the ACT Planning Strategy’s objective of sustainable urban growth. We are working towards 70% of new housing being delivered within Canberra’s existing urban footprint, with a focus on the city, town centres and key transit corridors.

Mixed use releases will be delivered in the town centres in Gungahlin (2019-20 and 2020-21), Woden (2019-20), and Belconnen (2019-20 to 2021-22) as well as the new Molonglo commercial centre (2022-23).

Suburban releases for mixed use development opportunities will be delivered in Moncrieff (2020-21), Coombs (2019-20 and 2021-22) and Wright (2020-21).

Kingston Foreshore (2021-22) and the East Lake urban renewal precinct (2022-23) represent larger scale development opportunities. In Parkes, direct negotiations are underway for a major new university campus and student accommodation near the City centre (2020-21).

Commercial

The commercial program targets the release of 163,500m2 of commercial land over the next four years with a strong focus on the Gungahlin Town Centre and the Molonglo Commercial Centre which is planned to service the Molonglo Valley district.

Building on the ACT Government’s investment in light rail from Gungahlin to the City, significant commercial land releases in the Gungahlin Town Centre are programmed for the next four years. Sites will be available in the retail core to support a large retail anchor (2019-20) and a retail core/mixed use precinct (2020-21). A mixed use east precinct (2021-22 and 2022-23) will also support commercial office development with ancillary uses including residential.

The Molonglo Commercial Centre will begin to take shape with commercial releases starting in 2021-22. The centre will deliver land for a full line supermarket as well as more retail, commercial and community facilities as the Molonglo Valley continues to welcome more new residents.

Suburban commercial centres in Taylor (2019-20), Coombs (2021-22) and Whitlam (2022-23) are programmed to provide local shops for residents in these growing communities. The group centre at Moncrieff will also be released in 2020-21, which is planned to provide for a full line supermarket.

Scope also exists for an expansion of commercial or retail activities in the existing Erindale, Wanniassa and Casey group centres.

Commercial releases in the City (2019-20) comprise the remaining sites for sale to the Australian National University (ANU) under a long standing collaboration between the ANU and ACT Government on the ANU Exchange Master Plan.

Industrial

The ACT is well positioned to maintain a competitive advantage in our region through the continued supply of industrial land. Industrial releases in strategic locations support key growth industries, encourage new investment and support the ongoing diversification of the ACT economy.

Population growth, a strong economy and employment growth drive demand for industrial land which is key to attracting a diverse range of industrial activity to the ACT.

Over the next four years 100,000m2 of industrial land is programmed for release in four industrial estates across the ACT. General industrial land in Hume will be ready for release in 2019-20.

New release areas include the industrial mixed use zoned land at Symonston (2020-21) and future industrial land releases in Fyshwick (2021-22) and Pialligo (2022-23), which require changes to the Territory Plan to rezone the land to support industrial and related activities.

Releases in the new estates may still be impacted by Commonwealth consideration and approval of the Eastern Broadacre Strategic Assessment under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Community and non-urban

Over the next four years 294,085m2 of community land is programmed for release to bring new Government schools and more local community facilities to our suburbs.

New Government school sites will be released in Gungahlin (Throsby, 2020-21) and the Molonglo Valley (Whitlam, 2021-22). Land will also be made available for future schools in Belconnen as part of the Ginninderry joint venture development.

Demand for residential aged care beds in the Gungahlin district supports the release of two sites identified for this use in Ngunnawal and the Gungahlin Town Centre (2019-20). A site in Calwell (2020-21) may also be suitable for a small scale retirement living, aged care or other community use.

The supply of land through the community land release program is informed by population growth and the ongoing need for social infrastructure and facilities. Several community land releases suitable for a range of community uses will be available in Wright (2019-20), Taylor (2020-21) and the Gungahlin Town Centre (2021-22 and 2022-23). A community site in Moncrieff (2019-20) is proposed for release by direct sale to a community group. A site in O’Malley is also being prepared for release in the near future.

Stromlo Forest Park

In 2019-20 the Government proposes to call for Expressions of Interest for the next stage of development of Stromlo Forest Park.

Located within 15 minutes from Canberra’s city centre, Stromlo Forest Park offers world-class facilities for running, mountain biking and road cycling. It will also feature a new aquatic centre and there are further opportunities to expand the range of facilities on offer in the park. Realising the vision set out in the Stromlo Forest Park Master Plan will mean leveraging the uniqueness of the site, expanding the park’s commercial viability and attracting new sporting events to showcase its facilities across Australia and around the world.

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