Monthly Archives: November 2020

Ambalindum Park

A design for the first stage of landscaping around the existing playground in Ambalindum Park has been put together, see the current concept plan below. This plan could possibly be broken into stages – depending on how many people are available to help out. All planting areas will be mulched, edges will be defined inside the design but not on the outside of the design where the plantings merge with the existing park areas. Comments/suggestions are welcome:


Schools attracting home buyers

For families house-hunting in Canberra’s north, the fastest growing school catchment this year was Belconnen High School’s, which includes the suburbs of Florey, Hawker, Page, Scullin and Weetangera. The next highest performing catchment was Hawker Primary School’s, which includes Hawker, Page and Scullin. Hawker has proven to be a suburb that people reside in for a long period of time. (Allhomes, 28 Nov 2020)

Alroy Circuit in Hawker reflects this popularity. It abuts the school grounds of Hawker Primary and has become an alternative drop-off point as the main entrance on Erldunda Circuit is quite busy at peak times. Local residents have expressed concern for the safety of children walking to school along the road as there is no footpath on Alroy Circuit and many nature strips are covered with shrubs or parked cars, leaving no room for walking along the verge, despite the requirement to leave 1.5 m clear for pedestrians. Children tend to walk along the left-hand side of the road so that they cannot see vehicles approaching from the rear on the same side.

Development Applications Inquiry

The ACT Government’s response to the Standing Committee of Inquiry into Engagement with Development Application Processes has been released.  Our submission to this inquiry is quoted many times throughout the report and the final three recommendations (out of a total 66) are particularly encouraging.  The Government Response to all three is: Agreed in principle:

64. The Committee recommends that the Territory Plan Review consider whether the Merit Track should be changed so that Development Applications are not just assessed against minimum standards (tick and flick approach) but are also assessed on the overall outcome of the development.

65. The Committee recommends that the Territory Plan Review consider the role of simple rules versus flexible criteria.

66. The Committee recommends that the Territory Plan Review rectify the disconnect between the Development Application process, as per the Territory Plan, and key design and character elements that are articulated in master plans, planning refreshes and zone objectives.

To clarify, DAs are assessed under one of three tracks: 

  • The Code Track where the rules are applied;
  • The Merit Track where the rules can be overridden by vague criteria;
  • The Impact Track where the impact of the proposal is significant.