The NCA process and beyond

November 26th, 2015

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.


  1. In terms of housing for ‘urban development’ I hope it will blend in to the surrounding suburbs and not be a hideous apartment development such as the apartments in crace, harrison etc.

    1. Thank you for your comment. We intend to incorporate community ideas and views into the development, although this is still a number of years away. The website will advise when we plan to undertake further consultation events, and we encourage you to attend and share your ideas.

      We appreciate your interest and welcome further engagement and feedback you may have as we progress.

  2. The CSIRO has not identified the “approximately 150 hectares of the land is unlikely to be developable due to its topography, heritage and ecological values, and will likely remain open space” through this website, in consultations or in response to questions from the Conservation Council and others. The Conservation Council’s view is that it is not appropriate to change this area to ‘future urban area’ then later go back to identify environmental values. The CSIRO proposal should also take account of broader environmental factors including nearby areas especially with regard to ecological connectivity including wildlife corridors and riparian areas along Ginninderra Creek.

    As a general position planning in Canberra, including for the CSIRO, should start with working out what areas might be suitable for urban development, before we start planning the urban development, and then undertake investigations to establish what environmental values are to be protected.

    1. Hi Larry, thank you for your comment.

      CSIRO has provided a broad indication of the areas of the site that are unlikely to be developed. These areas were identified in the draft concept plan as “open space and nature reserve”. The draft concept plan was used by CSIRO in community consultations and is available for download here:

      Additional environmental studies are being undertaken to fill gaps in knowledge and understanding. CSIRO is committed to protecting the environmental values on the site and linking with broader conservation efforts in the ACT and neighbouring parts of NSW.

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