Help shape our vision for Ginninderra
We are excited to be working with the community to create something unique at Ginninderra. With this in mind, we invite you to attend one of our upcoming drop-in sessions in August.
Our engagement with community groups, nearby residents and industry associations began in September 2015.
Our first round of engagement included three drop-in sessions at Gold Creek, Evatt and Charnwood and involved more than 220 people. The aim of this consultation was to ensure in particular that residents in suburbs adjacent to the site had an early opportunity to be aware of, and comment on, the proposal to change the use of the site.
Community engagement was strong and constructive, and covered a wide range of areas including housing, environment, traffic and community facilities, as documented in the Phase 1 Consultation Report.
This was only the beginning. Now we aim to involve more people and groups in the discussion about how we can design and work together for a liveable, sustainable and resilient urban area.
To continue our conversation, we will be holding further neighbourhood drop-in sessions in Evatt and Gold Creek later this month to provide community members with an opportunity to receive an update on the project and to ask any questions about plans for the site.
Session 1 – Evatt
Date: Thursday 25 August 2016
Time: 3:00pm to 6:30pm
Venue: Evatt Scout Hall
Address: Heydon Crescent, Evatt
Session 2 – Gold Creek (Nicholls)
Date: Saturday 27 August 2016
Time: 12:00pm to 4:00pm
Venue: The Abbey
Address: Gold Creek Village, Nicholls
There will also be the chance to provide general feedback about the project or particular issues identified.
If you can’t attend either session, but still want to provide feedback, please complete the online feedback form.
Many people have already taken the time to speak to us and provide their comments on the future of Ginninderra. Thank you for your valuable contribution.
Project update – June
After some key announcements in early May, over the past month we have been working with community conservation groups and taking the first steps towards finding a joint venture development partner.
Following the decision regarding Amendment 86, we commenced an Expressions of Interest process where we asked for responses from suitably qualified development partners to work with us to deliver a new benchmark in sustainable urban development at Ginninderra.
Expressions of Interest to join CSIRO as a Joint Venture Partner closed on May 23 and we are currently undertaking an evaluation process before shortlisting ahead of a formal tender process.
As part of CSIRO’s commitment to the conservation and restoration of natural values on the Ginninderra property, we have been working actively with the Ginninderra Catchment Group’s grasslands restoration project.
Recently we joined the Ginninderra Catchment Group, Landcare groups, the Rural Fire Service, community experts and volunteers to conduct autumn burning of five experimental sites across the Ginninderra property.
The findings of this community-driven project will provide the scientific evidence base to inform best-practice future management of native grasslands at Ginninderra.
As part of our ongoing engagement activities, CSIRO hosted a site visit with member groups of the Conservation Council last week. This was attended by representatives from the Friends of Grasslands, Ginninderra Catchment Group, and Conservation Council’s Biodiversity Working Group.
CSIRO remains committed to working with all key stakeholders and an event is being organised to update the community and to continue our conversations in the second half of July. More details on this will be made available in the coming weeks.
Bold green vision for Ginninderra future
Over the past few years a vision has been emerging for what a sustainable urban development backed by science and innovation could be like.
Our vision is to restore and improve our natural environment while setting a new benchmark for sustainable urban development.
The terms ‘benchmark and sustainable’ apply to the extent to which we can maximise and maintain the stream of future environmental, social and economic benefits, that flow from the development and its surrounding natural values.
The aspirations for Ginninderra are closely aligned with many of Australia’s key policy settings and targets namely in areas of national innovation, infrastructure, cities and built environment, energy and climate, water and the economy.
CSIRO is well placed to significantly address these important issues because of our coverage of relevant research areas and our capacity to draw on all of these and engage the right collaborators and partners.
We are looking to provide multiple benefits through combining a diversity of housing, community and recreational facilities together with some retail and commercial opportunities, all integrated with the restoration, conservation and management of the landscape and its important natural and heritage values such as the endangered Box Gum Grassy Woodlands.
We are absolutely committed to the management and restoration at Ginninderra of areas of threatened vegetation types and species that are protected by ACT or Commonwealth legislation.
Protection of trees regulated and administered by the Tree Protection Act 2005 is an essential component and CSIRO is developing guidelines that extend beyond its regulatory obligations to ensure their preservation.
This commitment has extended to comprehensive environmental studies that sees approximately 130ha of the site largely protected by legislation and a further 80ha that CSIRO has identified should be managed to protect ecological and heritage values.
Ginninderra residents and other water and energy users will draw benefits from the efficient and sensitive management and use of water and the leading-edge energy efficiency and renewable energy opportunities that we are exploring for the site.
We want to contribute to the evolution of urban areas from being ‘consumer and polluter’ to being ‘energy and water efficient’ and ‘environment protectors’.
We want to help solve the issue of affordable housing, particularly for those in the lower 40 per cent of incomes.
Encouraged by the ideas and feedback generated at our recent gathering of experts – The Affordable Housing Think Tank – we are firmly committed to providing real and lasting affordable housing options, among the property mix at Ginninderra. This will extend well beyond the asking price for moving into the neighbourhood, to various other aspects that affect the cost of living including energy, water and transport.
These topics and others including urban food growing, waste minimisation, recycling and reuse have regularly been raised in our community conversations and we will continue to explore these in future planning together with our joint venture partner.
We are aspiring to urban planning and design that can promote such features, encourage social interactions and connections and maintain an accessible open space network.
CSIRO is committed to keep building this vision with the community and to plan the development with and for the community. There are many steps and stages in front of us before any development occurs and we want to work with the community throughout.
We see community innovation and opportunities for ‘citizen science’ as fundamental components in the creation and future success of this venture.
Citizen science and community activity is already underway and helping to deliver our environmental commitments at five sites across our Ginninderra property, led by the Ginninderra Catchment Group, Landcare member groups and some of its 500 volunteers. This group is extending its work with autumn burning to recover and restore native grasslands in the Ginninderra catchment.
This and other community-driven work will provide valuable insights on how best to restore and conserve areas of the endangered White Box-Yellow Box-Blakely’s Red Gum Grassy Woodland and Derived Native Grassland located on the site.
CSIRO is committed to remaining involved and achieving the exemplar in sustainable urban development.
The reason we are seeking a joint venture development partner is because we want to be closely involved with Ginninderra – firstly, to ensure that we can achieve these conservation, sustainability, liveability and affordability goals. Beyond that we want to realise knowledge and innovation from this development that can be applied more broadly for benefit in the ACT, Australia and beyond.
Aspiring for best practice at Ginninderra
As we welcome in 2016, some of the Ginninderra project team have been enjoying a holiday break while others are working hard to scope the vision and potential for a liveable, sustainable and resilient urban development at Ginninderra.
A team of CSIRO researchers, and experts in their fields, gathered in Canberra late in 2015 to discuss the areas of research, technology and innovation that could be included in the Ginninderra venture.
“The workshop produced a lot of ideas and energy about specific science and innovation that we could integrate if the project gets the go ahead,” said science leader Mr Guy Barnett.
“We have some exciting research knowledge and technologies that can contribute to a best practice urban development and we are now working those ideas into a consolidated vision.”
We look forward to revealing these ideas and seeking your input as the project progresses. Stay tuned.
As the vision continues to emerge, the process of seeking reclassification of the Ginninderra Field Station to ‘Urban Area’ also continues.
As mentioned in our last newsletter, we are still following through the processes that govern land reclassification in the ACT.
In the meantime, we’re continuing environmental, heritage and other studies to ensure we have a thorough understanding of the site and needs of a future residential community.
Community feedback and September drop-in sessions
During September we held three drop-in and information sessions in Evatt, Gold Creek and Charnwood to listen to your comments and answer your questions about the future of the Ginninderra Field Station.
The focus was discussing the CSIRO proposal with residents living in the suburbs surrounding the Ginninderra Field Station: Fraser, Evatt, Spence, McKellar, Giralang, Crace, Nicholls and Hall.
It was fantastic to see so many people who wanted to find out more about the Ginninderra site and speak to the project team. A total of 224 people came along, which shows the high level of interest from the community.
In addition to attendance at events, we have also received over 60 written comments and questions via comment forms and email.
It’s important for us to understand community views in order to make the right decisions for the site in the future.
Thank you for coming along, asking questions, and for your understanding in relation to questions we don’t have the answers to yet.
From the feedback we’ve received so far, a number of clear themes have emerged. These themes include:
- Interest in maintaining the environmental value of the site, including retaining green spaces and corridors and continued protection of protected or endangered species
- The inclusion of community facilities and open spaces in any future development
- That any future development should be sustainable and well-planned, and consider large block sizes
- The need for additional services, for example schools, shops, sports facilities and medical services
- Consideration of traffic and road infrastructure, noting current safety and congestion issues on the roads bordering the Ginninderra Field Station
- CSIRO’s ongoing involvement in the future development of the site
In addition to the drop-in sessions held in September, we’ve also spoken to local groups such as community councils, environmental associations, industry bodies, welfare and social service organisations, and businesses. These discussions will be ongoing and if you are part of a local group that would like to meet with us, please let us know via the contact page.
The comments and feedback we have received so far will be de-identified and passed on to the National Capital Authority (NCA) as part of their consultation phase on the reclassified use of this land.
The NCA consultation process started on 1 October 2015 and runs until 13 November 2015. You can find out more about leaving feedback or attending an event on the NCA website.
While we welcome your comments at any time via the contact page, we won’t be holding any CSIRO drop-in sessions during the NCA consultation process.
Over the coming weeks, we’ll be exploring some of the key themes in more detail in the News section of this website, so check back each week for updates.
Don’t forget if you’d like updates straight to your inbox you can subscribe to our monthly email updates.
We look forward to continuing the conversation about the future of the Ginninderra Field Station.