CSIRO Ginninderra site

Where is the CSIRO Ginninderra site?

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 Site

Downloadable maps

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

What names are used to describe the Ginninderra site?

The name ‘Ginninderra Experiment Station’ still appears on signs and maps and has been the formal name for the site during 60 years of CSIRO management.

We commonly refer to the overall property as the CSIRO Ginninderra site. The area west and north of Kuringa drive is sometimes referred to as ‘Ginninderra West’, while the area east and south of Kuringa drive is known as ‘Ginninderra East’.

What has the Ginninderra site been used for?

During the 60 years that CSIRO has managed the Ginninderra site, 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 property 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 did CSIRO seek a change of land use for Ginninderra?

CSIRO regularly reviews its property holdings to ensure that 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, digital and data solutions, manufacturing and building technology, health and wellbeing as well as our focus on Future Cities’ research and innovation. 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?

Once a developer for the site has been confirmed, further stakeholder consultation, planning and approval will commence and detailed design stages will follow after that. The earliest construction would be several years after confirmation of a developer 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 engage regularly with local residents, community and stakeholder groups. As part of this approach, we have distributed flyers to letterboxes, held community drop-in sessions at venues, as well as conducting the popular community shrub planting days.

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 Gungahlin?

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 would only be one element within 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 built and will there be affordable housing?

We are aware of the interest and demand for a range of housing types and expect that these issues will be examined and 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 Commonwealth and 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?

Agricultural research which was a focus of Ginninderra, is now being carried out at our new agricultural research station at Boorowa. CSIRO aims to continue research into woodland and grassland restoration and sustainability of the urban ecosystem 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.

Environment and heritage

What are the environmental and heritage values at the site?

CSIRO has engaged local ecological consultants to determine the extent of ecological values on the Ginninderra site. Through past and follow-up investigations, the consultants have listed 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 and striped legless lizard.

As part of due diligence activities, 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 site. Both of these projects have been collaborative efforts with the Ginninderra Catchment Group, various other organisations, and hundreds of community volunteers. You can learn more about our grassland restoration and shrub planting activities using these links.