The NCA process and beyond

Following the end of the National Capital Authority (NCA) public consultations, it’s time to look at what happens next in the process of seeking reclassification of the Ginninderra Field Station to “Urban Area”.

There are a number of robust processes, with both the Federal and ACT Governments, that govern land reclassification and development in the ACT.

The public consultation phase was an opportunity for members of the ACT community to provide feedback and input on the suggested change. At this stage, the NCA also has the opportunity to consult with key ACT Government agencies, including the ACT Environment and Planning Directorate.

Following the public consultation process, the feedback will be compiled into a report and submitted to the Minister, currently Paul Fletcher, Minister for Territories, Local Government and Major Projects.

If both the NCA and the Minister support the reclassification, there are still a number of other parliamentary processes to follow before the amendment is registered on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments.

The change would take effect from this point, although the amendment is then put before both Houses of Parliament and is subject to disallowance. You can read more about the process in detail on the NCA website.

We expect to find out about the outcome of the request in February or March 2016.

We share the NCA’s commitment to community engagement. If you have questions or suggestions about the future use of the Ginninderra site, you can continue to contact us through this website.

Throughout this process we will continue to work on environmental and heritage studies to ensure that we have a complete picture of the site’s significant historical and ecological features.

We are hoping that our request to change the use of the land to “Urban Area” is approved. In the meantime, our scientists will continue to look at best practices in urban sustainability that could be adopted at Ginninderra.

We look forward to revealing more about our aspirations that could eventually make Ginninderra a world-leader in innovative and sustainable development.

Sustainable urban development at Ginninderra

Earlier this year, CSIRO hosted a workshop bringing together scientists from around Australia to discuss best practices in sustainability and their visions for future development at Ginninderra.

In this video, researcher Guy Barnett talks about how CSIRO scientists have been involved in the project so far, and how we could create a model of sustainable urban development at Ginninderra.



Read more about how CSIRO scientists can help shape future development here.

Topography of Ginninderra and surrounds

3D map showing topography of the Ginninderra site and the surrounding areas

3D map showing topography of the Ginninderra site and the surrounding areas


The National Capital Plan (NCP) sets out the broad planning principles and policies for Canberra and the Territory, and ensures that they are planned and developed in accordance with their national significance.

One of the NCP’s objectives is to protect the undeveloped hill tops and open spaces which divide and give form to Canberra’s urban areas. People within the community have commented that changes at Ginninderra may put the protection of the hill tops at risk.

Looking at the Ginninderra site in the context of its surroundings, however, we don’t view future urban use as contrary to the National Capital Plan’s objective to protect the undeveloped hill tops. This is because of a number of topographical features.

The site’s topography is an important factor in determining water corridors (flood zones) and visual aspects that can be enhanced with vegetation and link visually to surrounding areas.

When set among the surrounding high points of Mount Rogers Reserve and Harcourt Hill, the site has a relatively low level of elevation with no significant ridgelines. You can see this in the map above.

There are however some higher parts on the site which provide views of different parts of Canberra. At an elevation of 70m across the site, the highest point is located at the northern end of the site (Block 1609). This high point provides views northwest towards rural lots of NSW.

The second highest point is located just to the south of Kuringa Drive (Block 1545). From this point you can see extensive views to the southeast of Canberra, including Black Mountain, Mt Majura and Mt Ainslie. Halls Creek and Ginninderra Creek provide the low points within the site.

These inherent environmental features will shape future development at Ginninderra. Based on studies so far, we have already identified approximately 150 hectares of the land to be kept aside for ecological values and open space.

See more site features on the Draft Concept Plan below.

Draft concept plan

Draft concept plan