Frequently Asked Questions


CSIRO Ginninderra site

Where is the CSIRO Ginninderra Experiment Station?

The Ginninderra Experiment Station is located in the northern ACT. Covering 701 hectares, the site is bordered by the suburbs of Fraser, Spence, Evatt, McKellar, Giralang, Crace, Hall and Nicholls.


Canberra CBD to Ginninderra Experiment Station

Downloadable maps

Canberra CBD to Ginninderra Experiment Station [PDF, 4MB]

What has the Ginninderra Experiment Station been used for?

During the 60 years that CSIRO has managed the Ginninderra Experiment Station, it has been used for a wide range of agricultural research from wheat and crop breeding, stock and pastoral management, irrigated and dryland farming, plant trials and climate and sustainable land management. In recent years we have engaged the community in research on woodland and native grassland restoration.

How long has CSIRO owned this land?

CSIRO acquired the Ginninderra Experiment Station in 1958 as a site for agricultural research. Before this, agricultural research took place on land at Dickson which was resumed for the development of Canberra.

Why has CSIRO sought a change of use for Ginninderra?

CSIRO regularly reviews its property holdings to see whether properties are being effectively used for our research purposes and to identify properties that can be better utilised or divested. We started considering options for Ginninderra in 2011, after identifying that the property was underutilised for agricultural research. We sought an amendment to the National Capital Plan in 2015 to facilitate new opportunities for sustainable urban development on the property and the relevant science that CSIRO could contribute.

What are CSIRO's aspirations for Ginninderra?

CSIRO aspires to see a sustainable urban development at Ginninderra, informed by the best available sustainability science, information and knowledge. This includes CSIRO expertise in environmental sustainability as well as our focus on Future Cities research and innovation.

What are the stages and timeframes for this initiative?

Since 2013, CSIRO has carried out a wide range of due diligence studies to assess the environmental condition of the site as well it’s ecological, landscape, heritage and cultural values and features. Synthesising this information, CSIRO produced a map for discussion purposes, identifying the areas of conservation and development potential across the site.

CSIRO commenced broad community consultation in 2015 and that has continued over each of the following years. Since 2016, CSIRO has been formally looking to identify a suitable collaboration partner and path forward to deliver the vision for a sustainable development.

Once a developer for the site has been confirmed further stakeholder consultation, planning and approval will commence and detailed design stages after that. The earliest construction will commence is several years away and the project would take many years for completion.


Is CSIRO liaising with the ACT Government and relevant Commonwealth agencies in regard to Ginninderra?

Yes, we have had ongoing discussions with the ACT Government, the National Capital Authority and relevant Commonwealth agencies to understand how Ginninderra could fit in with sustainability aspirations and local and national innovation initiatives and opportunities.

How are you engaging with the local community in regard to Ginninderra?

We have been engaging regularly with local residents, community and stakeholder groups since first announcing our intentions in 2015. As part of this approach, we have distributed flyers to letterboxes, held community drop-in sessions at venues around the site in 2015 and 2016, as well as conducting the popular community shrub planting days in 2017 and 2018.

To keep in regular contact with the community we release a monthly e-newsletter, maintain a Facebook page, and present regularly at community meetings and to various residents’ groups.

Will the new area be in Belconnen or Gunghalin?

The Ginninderra site is located within the Belconnen region of the ACT, and is adjacent to the Gungahlin region.

Residential and community

Does the urban zoning mean all the site will be developed for residential use?

Urban classification allows for future uses including residential, commercial, community services, recreation and conservation areas. As a result of our ecological studies, we have identified more than 200 hectares, or about a third of the site, for conservation – so residential buildings are only one element of the potential land use.

How many people do you expect could live there?

As the work on detailed design and planning is some way off, it is too early to say how many people would live at Ginninderra. The eventual population will depend on a wide range of design and planning considerations yet to be determined.

What type of housing will be there and will there be affordable housing?

We are aware of the interest and demand for a range of housing types and convened a think-tank on affordable housing in 2016. These issues will be addressed during detailed design and planning phases.

What sort of recreation and community facilities can we expect?

The open space, recreational and community facilities incorporated into the Ginninderra have been strong themes communicated through our engagement with the community.  These aspects will be picked up in detail at the anticipated design and planning stages.


What will be done about traffic in the Ginninderra area?

Traffic congestion and concerns in the vicinity of the Ginninderra site have been noted through a range of community interactions over the past few years. Already a number of ACT roadworks and proposals are addressing some of these. Traffic solutions will be considered in detail at the planning and design stages and involve all the relevant ACT roads and planning authorities.

CSIRO research

What will happen to the research taking place at Ginninderra?

We aim to carry forward our research into woodland and grassland restoration and sustainability of the urban ecosystem as part of the future sustainable development. Agricultural research ongoing at Ginninderra will be progressively moved to our new agricultural research station at Boorowa.

Environment and heritage

What are the environmental and heritage values at the site?

CSIRO engaged local ecological consultants to determine the extent of ecological values on the Ginninderra Experiment Station. The consultants have provided a report, which lists all species recorded on the site as well as threatened ecological communities. In response, CSIRO has identified more than 30% of the site as areas to be conserved to protect the threatened Box Gum Grassy Woodland and derived native grassland ecosystems, and species such as the golden sun moth.

CSIRO has also been working with a range of consultants and stakeholders to better understand the Indigenous and post European-settlement heritage at, and in the areas that surround, the site.


What is the purpose of shrub plantings and grassland restoration trials?

Since 2016 we have been actively involved in native grassland restoration trials and shrub plantings to regenerate the shrubby layer and biodiversity in the Box Gum Woodlands and Dry Forests at the Ginninderra Experiment Station. Both of these projects have been collaborative efforts with the Ginninderra Catchment Group, various other organisation, and hundreds of community volunteers. You can learn more about our grassland restoration and shrub planting activities using these links.