Welcome to the GNCA

Welcome! The Griffith/Narrabundah Community Association (ABN 26503486416) is a not for profit, voluntary community based organisation operating in the Griffith Narrabundah area.   The objects and purposes of the Association are “to protect the amenity and interests of the Griffith and Narrabundah communities, particularly in relation to the preservation of community facilities and open space”.

To view some of the main issues that we will focus on in 2021, please click here.

LATEST NEWS

Please support our GNCA Sponsors during Covid

The Delta Covid will be with us for much longer than we had all hoped. As you will be very well aware, our local restaurants, cafes, shops and specialty service traders have been hard hit.  Many have had to temporarily close.  Some of our favourite local restaurants offer takeaway services or meal deliveries, and we hope those of you who are able can support them in this way.  In other cases, we can help by putting on our masks and buying the take-away offerings or their products and using the services that are still open.  They need all the help they can get.  

Our Sponsors page provides a list of our very generous Sponsors throughout 2021.  Please support the businesses that support your GNCA.

GNCA Submission’s to the ACT’s Planning System Review and Reform Project

To view a copy of our submission, which makes 14 recommendations on how things in the Griffith/Narrabundah area could be improved, click here

Letter to Minister Gentleman re his media comments about the ‘Manor House’ petition

Following comments by Minister Gentleman reported in the Canberra Times on 15 July 2021, the GNCA has sought his confirmation in the attached letter that the Government will not entertain similar proposals to the proposed “Manor House” elsewhere in Canberra’s RZ1 zones.

Online petition to reject DV 375 – ‘Manor House’

Following up on our efforts to stop the so called ‘Manor House’ being built in a low-density residential zone in Griffith, we need to obtain 500 signatures to submit a petition to the Legislative Assembly, calling on the Assembly to reject the proposed variation.

A petition will ensure that DV375 will have to be considered by the Standing Planning Committee of the Assembly, which must report back to the Assembly.

We note that of the over 520 submissions received by the government on the proposal to change the Territory Plan, only 4 supported the proposal!

We hope you can add your name to the list of petitioners.   Here is the link.  https://www.elizabethlee.com.au/manor-house

Brief Background

  • Draft Variation 375 is being introduced so that a 4-unit, 2-storey Manor House with 9 car parks, can be built in Griffith.
  • Without this DV, the Manor House could not be built.
  • If DV 375 is approved, Manor Houses or their equivalent could be built in any low-density residential zone, in the ACT.
  • Canberra residents require certainty and trust, regarding what can be built near them; random rezoning of single blocks is bad planning.
  • Draft Variation 375 is inappropriate for this part of Griffith and does not meet community expectations for the suburb.
  • The proposal should be built on an RZ2 block, rather than in RZ1.
  • Over 90 percent of the block will be covered by impervious surfaces.
 
Local author Hugh Mackay discusses his new book ‘The Kindness Revolution’
 
This is a very fitting opportunity to support the 50th Anniversary of Lifeline Canberra. The event is being held at the Book Lovers Lane at 36 Mildura Street, Fyshwick (in Fyshwick Markets) on Thursday 22 July at 5pm.  To book tickets please click here.

GNCA meets with The Greens

On Friday 30 April 2021 at 4:15 pm, the President, immediate Past President, Secretary and Treasurer of the GNCA met with Shane Rattenbury (leader of The Greens) and Adriana Boisen, adviser to Rebecca Vassarotti.  The two main issues for discussion were The Manor House and the Review of the Territory Plan. Click here to read the Minutes of that meeting.

National Crime Stoppers Day – “Not all heroes wear capes”

On Monday 17 May, Crime Stoppers ACT is asking Canberrans to help keep our city safe by reporting what they know. National Crime Stoppers Day aims to raise awareness of the vital role Crime Stoppers plays in keeping the community safe.  More information about how you can help solve or prevent crime in the community can be found on their website.

DV375 Manor House

55 detailed responses, overwhelming against the proposal, as well as 475 form letters totalling 530 responses have been received.  These submissions, which make interesting reading, have now been posted on the ACT Government’s Planning website.

Tree planting across Canberra

Across the ACT, 54,000 trees will be planted by 2023-24 to enhance our urban forest. The Canberra community has been helping identify where they should go, with planting locations to focus on areas where there aren’t many trees or where existing trees are ageing or dying.  Please use the interactive map on the attached link to tell the ACT Government where you think a tree should be planted.

April 2021 GNCA Newsletter

To access the latest issue click hereIssues covered include the ‘Manor House’ and the Capitol Hotel at Manuka.

Proposed Draft Variation DV 375 – ‘Manor House’

We are pleased to report that many members and residents made detailed submissions to the ACT Government and numerous others signed individual letters objecting to the proposed Draft Variation.  Members are encouraged to send a copy of their submission to local MLAs.

GNCA Raffle

A list of the prize winners for this year’s raffle can be found on the Sponsors page by clicking here.

David Denham addresses the ISCCC Meeting on 9 March re ‘Manor House’ proposal.

A 4 unit, two storey Manor House with 9 carparks next door to you! 

The Demonstrated Housing Project – the thin edge of the wedge?

The ACT Government is proposing to change the planning rules so that a 4 unit 2 storey development can be built at 20 Blaxland Crescent (corner of Frome Street) in Griffith on a block zoned for low-rise, low density residential housing (RZ1). The location and plan of the proposed of the Manor House is attached. This type of building is not permitted in RZ1. The project is supposed to ‘test the effectiveness of different housing types through real examples and future review through post-occupancy modelling’.

Once the precedent has been set for rezoning random blocks, there is little to stop the ACT Government turning most of Griffith and other suburbs into high density areas.  Canberrans need certainty when purchasing the family home, not government -driven spot rezoning in their back yards.

The reasons why GNCA does not support this change and further background information is attached here.

Members are encouraged to email their objections to this proposed Draft Variation to the Territory Plan – DV375 to terrplan@act.gov.au.  Further information which you may wish to include in your own works in your objection email can be found in the attached generic letter.

New trees for Wells Gardens

The GNCA has now received agreement from the ACT Government to the planting of new trees in Wells Gardens.  For further details, including the species to be planted please refer to the attached flyer.

Manuka Capitol Development Plans

As the keynote speaker, Professor Mark Howden gave a very powerful and thought provoking presentation on “The impact of climate change on Canberra”.  A copy of the powerpoint slides can be viewed here.

Margaret Fanning

As it was almost 20 years since the GNCA was formed and as the inaugural President, Margaret gave a speech of her reminicences and reflections on the GNCA’s early years.

Draft EIS – Hi Quality Waste Proposal at Fyshwick

Members are reminded that comments on the EIS close on Thursday 17 September 2020.  To assist in preparation of submissions, please find attached a summary of the draft EIS.

Representations should be addressed to the Chief Planning Executive and made in one of the following ways:

Representations should include the name and contact details of the person making the comments and the draft EIS application reference number (EIS201900001).

David Denham’s presentation at ISCCC Zoom Forum May 2020 in relation to the ACT elections in October

If you wish to see a copy of the presentation, please click here for part A and here for part B.

Bass Gardens Park

This park is located in the Blandfordia 5 heritage district and is bounded by Bass Gardens Street and Durville Crescent. It is of particular interest for its heritage status and its native flora groundcover and exotic trees which have been planted in a noticeable design.  Details are available in the Conservation Management Plan which can be found here.  A list of flora and fauna is available here.  This list will be updated from time to time. A tree survey plan is available here.

FEED FEED- Canberrans helping Canberrans

FEED FEED is an up-to-date list of hospitality businesses adapting to the new social distancing measures.  If you click on this Feed Feed link you will be able to see businesses in Griffith, Manuka, Kingston and other locations that you can support during these very difficult times.

BUSINESS CASE FOR STAGE 2 LIGHT RAIL IS OFF TRACK!!

The ACT Government has now released a Business Case for Stage 2A of the Light Rail, which is a story of a tram running from Civic to Commonwealth Park that contains no cost estimates!  Click here to read GNCA’s Press Release.

TREES AND GREEN SPACE IN CANBERRA

The government’s intention to achieve 30% tree canopy cover and 30% permeable surfaces in urban areas by 2045 is unlikely to be achieved unless Draft Variation 369 -Living Infrastructure in Residential Zones is amended. Attached is a media release of 28 February that GNCA has put out regarding this Draft Variation.   The time period for comments on this Draft Variation has been extended to 3rd April. Members and others are encouraged to make submissions.

GRIFFITH PARK VOLUNTEER GROUP

On Saturday 14 March, an inaugural working bee and BBQ will be held for the new Griffith Park volunteer group, funded by the Government under its “Adopt a Park” program, and with support also from Easts rugby club and LJ Hooker Manuka.  Please refer to the attached flyer.

We’d like to encourage as many members as possible to come along for the launch of the new group.  Even if you don’t feel up to physical work at the moment, your moral support and your ideas are very welcome.  It’s our opportunity to establish a long term program to curate the park and plan for improvements over the years.  If you can’t come along on 14 March but would like to be kept informed about the work of the new group, please email info@gnca.org.au

‘DEMONSTRATION HOUSING PROJECTS’ IN RZ1 ZONES

The GNCA claims in the attached Press Release that the ACT Government, has found a way to breach existing residential planning regulations to allow medium density developments throughout Canberra suburbs currently zoned for low-rise, low-density residential housing (RZ1). This is being done under the pretext of an architectural design project called the ‘Demonstration Housing Project, which selects housing designs that could be used for ‘high quality, medium density infill’ (RZ2). The Territory Plan is then varied to allow this to happen in RZ1 zones. The blocks have not been chosen for their locations; they could be anywhere in the suburbs.

BUSHFIRE FUNDRAISER

Easts Rugby club are organising a bushfire fundraiser at the Griffith oval no.1 on Saturday 18 January 2020 from 11am to 3pm.  Everyone is most welcome.  Please come and help raise funds for this very worthy cause.

EASTLAKER NEWSLETTER

To access the latest issue, no.7 September 2019, click here. The cover story features the Kingston Art Precinct and there are articles of interest in relation to the Manuka tree, Fyshwick waste EIS and many planning issues.

MASTERPLAN FOR BLAXLAND PARK TAKES SHAPE

The attached image summarises the draft masterplan for Blaxland Park.  It was prepared by Barbara Payne of Quandong Designs Pty Ltd, with funding from BaptistCare.  Barbara will be speaking at our AGM on 23 October in East Hotel to explain how it will all work and seek feedback.

ACT’s NEW AND IMPROVED RECYCLOPAEDIA IS LIVE

The Recyclopaedia is a website designed to help the community decipher the often complex world of recycling and waste. From aerosol cans to x-rays, you can search for hundreds of items to find out what to do when you no longer need something. As one of the ACT Government’s most frequented websites, the Recyclopaedia provides the community with a tool that helps recover valuable resources and materials.

OWNERS FACE NEW FINES UNDER ACT DOG STRATEGY

Canberra dog owners could be fined if their pet is not on a lead while on a street or footpath, under new changes proposed by the ACT government.  For the full story published in the Canberra Times click here.

MANUKA PLANE TREE – REVERSAL OF DECISION

On 21 June, the President of the GNCA, Leo Dobes sent the attached letter to the Chief Minister to direct his attention and those of our other local MLAs to the need to improve conditions in the Manuka Precinct.

GOWRIE COURT REDEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY INFORMATION SESSION

Proposal for residential development at Block 3 Section 62 Narrabundah

As part of the preparation of a Development Application, Amalgamated Property Group is undertaking a program of community consultation to engage with the neighbouring community and key stakeholders.  Amalgamated Property Group invites interested members of the community to attend an information drop-in session to discuss and provide comments on this proposal prior to the submission of a Development Application.

The Session will be held between 2:00pm and 4:00pm on Friday 21 June 2019 at the Amalgamated Property Group Office, Level 3, 113 Canberra Avenue, Griffith ACT.

SHERGOLD BUILDING QUALITY REVIEW 

Observations on the compliance and enforcement systems for the building and construction industry have now been published in the attached report. The report also includes recommendations for a national best practice model which will strengthen the effective implementation of the National Construction Code.

LETTER RE ACT BUDGET FROM ANDREW BARR

The GNCA has received the attached letter from Chief Minister, Andrew Barr MLA.

EASTLAKER NEWSLETTER

To access the latest issue click hereOn page 2 there is an article by Barbara Moore about the CRS and Hi Quality Group’s proposals for waste management facilities in Fyshwick and on page 3 an article by Richard Johnston on the ACT’s Government’s decision in relation to the London plane tree.

MANUKA PLANE TREE

The London plane tree at the centre of a long running dispute over the re-development of the Capitol Theatre (to be replaced by a hotel) will stay on the Register after a decision by the Conservator of Flora and Fauna, Ian Walker.  Click here to view a  copy of the decision.

ANNUAL RAFFLE

The theme for  our 2019 Raffle was Eat, Drink and be Healthy in Griffith.  As in previous years, we received outstanding support from Griffith businesses and there were 21 prizes to be won.  Some of the funds raised will be allocated to maintain our local parklands.  The prizes were drawn at the Griffith Shops on 20 April (see below). Details of the prizewinners can be found on the Sponsors page.

ACT ASSEMBLY INQUIRY INTO COMMERCIAL RATES

Local business and commercial property owners will be keenly interested in the outcome of this inquiry.  The report of the inquiry and the submission made by the Manuka Business Association can be found at https://www.parliament.act.gov.au/in-committees/standing-committees-current-assembly/standing-committee-on-public-accounts/inquiry-into-commercial-rate-in-canberra  

The Manuka Business Association has argued that the high level of commercial rates is a major factor behind the empty retail premises around Manuka.

AGE FRIENDLY PATHWAY UPGRADES

Northrop Engineers is working with the ACT Government in providing footpath and footpath related infrastructure upgrades as part of the age friendly suburbs initiative. As part of these works they are looking at obtaining feedback from the community within this year’s proposed area of works, including Narrabundah.

If you wish to provide feedback on the project or thoughts on pathways within the suburb, please visit https://www.yoursay.act.gov.au/AFSP  

EASTLAKER NEWSLETTER 

The Eastlaker is a free bimonthly paper serving the inner South east of Canberra. Issue 5/March 2019 includes many interesting articles featuring planning and other local issues, which can be viewed if you click here.

NEED FOR PROTECTION OF OUR STREET TREES

The GNCA has recently written to the Minister for City Services drawing his attention to the noticeable rise in builders and developers failing to fully protect the verges.  The letter, a copy of which can be accessed here, also suggests a number of policies and actions that the Government needs to take to protect verges and in particular, our street trees.

GNCA SUBMISSION RE CAPITOL HOTEL (MANUKA) DA

Members and residents might be interested to read the submission we made re the Capitol Hotel DA in June.  Please click here to access it. The ACT Government has belatedly also released an assessment of the proposed hotel by its National Capital Design Review Panel, which can be accessed here.

EASTLAKER NEWSLETTER

Issue 4/December 2018 can be viewed if you click here.

ONLINE MEMBERSHIP AND RENEWALS ARE NOW AVAILABLE!

As we are using low cost Event software, Ticketebo, please be aware that we were unable to modify some of the ‘Event’ style (rather than membership) wording.

Please click here to renew or become a new member.  Donations are also welcome.

WASTE-TO-ENERGY

Consultation on the ACT waste-to-energy policy policy has been extended til 14 December. If you wish to have your say on the policy there is a survey you can complete and the opportunity to register your interest in participating in a focus group on the development of the policy. Further information is available at https://www.yoursay.act.gov.au/waste-energy

REVIEW OF CEMETERIES AND CREMATORIA

A review of the Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2003 is underway to identify regulatory changes that will ensure management of cemeteries and crematoria in the ACT is contemporary, sustainable, flexible, and meets the needs of all Canberrans.  If you wish to have your say on the policy there is a survey you can complete and an Information paper available at https://www.yoursay.act.gov.au/cemeteries-and-crematoria-act

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 

This year’s AGM will be held on Wednesday 23 October 2019.  At last year’s AGM, our guest speaker was Minister Shane Rattenbury MLA, who spoke on the proposed Integrity Commission for the ACT.  To view a copy of his powerpoint presentation, please click here.

TIME TO THINK ABOUT BUSHFIRES  Residents will be only too aware of the recent drought, which together with the forecast El Niño means we face a particularly high bush fire risk over the next few months. While our area is not as close to the bush as many parts of Canberra, a fire on Red Hill could push spot fires in our direction in a high wind. We suggest you take a look at the official advice – here’s a link to the Government web site. And a couple of tips from members with recent experience of bush fires down the coast:

– keep your gutters clear and flat roof areas clear of leaves
– do you have bushes or shrubs against the walls of your property? These could draw fire towards your property. It’s time to think about pruning them back or removing them if you don’t really want them there.
– Make sure your outside taps and hosepipes are in good working order.
– do you store firewood in your back yard? Firewood stacks burn well during bush fires and you might want to avoid ordering more wood until the end of the bush fire season.
– think now about your evacuation plan, including for your pets. And do you have your important documents and photos in a place where you can easily grab them if you need to evacuate? Do you have people with mobility problems who may need special help in an evacuation? Plan for it now!
– and don’t forget to make sure your property and contents are insured against fire – a third of properties burned in the recent fires down at the coast were not insured. Now’s the time to do this – insurance companies won’t cover you when fires are threatening. If you are not sure your insurance has been renewed, check now. And make sure your valuations are up to date!

As in all things, we should hope for the best, but plan for the worst!  http://esa.act.gov.au/bushfireready

SEPTEMBER NEWSLETTER Please click here to access pdf.

BLAXLAND PARK VOLUNTEER GROUP – Working Bee on Sunday 19 August 2018. For further information please click here.

EASY STEPS GUIDE TO REPORTING ILLEGAL PARKING   Please click here to access the submission. 

GNCA SUBMISSION ON THE DRAFT EIS PRESENTED BY CAPITAL RECYCLING SOLUTIONS.  Please click here to access the submission. 

GNCA SUBMISSION ON THE ACT GOVERNMENT’S DRAFT PEAFOWL MANAGEMENT PLAN. Please click here to access the submission.

CALLS FOR ACT GOVERNMENT TO ALLOCATE MONEY TO ESTABLISHED SUBURB REPAIRS.  Please click here to access media release.

APRIL NEWSLETTER    Please click here to access pdf.

APPLICATION LODGED TO BUILD WASTE RECYCLING FACILITY IN IPSWICH STREET FYSHWICK      

The planning and land authority within the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (EPSDD) received a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) relating to the above proposal.

The draft EIS is now available on the EPSDD website (http://www.planning.act.gov.au/topics/design-and-build/assessment_of_dev/environmental_assessment/environmental_impact_statements/current-eis-projects/materials-recovery-facility-fyshwick) and is open for public comment until 5 June 2018.

Any enquiries on the EIS process can be directed to the Impact Team on 62071923 or epdimpact@act.gov.au.

GNCA SUBMISSION RE MANUKA OVAL MEDIA CENTRE

Click here to view DA 201731693 MANUKA OVAL MEDIA CENTRE

GNCA FACEBOOK PAGE follow me on facebook
We have recently set up a community Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TheGNCA. The page will provide updates about the GNCA, as well as information about the local area and the issues that are affecting all of us.  Please share our page with everyone you know that lives in Griffith and Narrabundah.

GNCA SUBMISSION TO BUILDING BETTER SUBURBS PROGRAM

Click here to view the Building Better Suburbs submission to TCCS 15 Nov 2017

PRIORITIES FOR THE ACT GOVERNMENT’S 2018-2019 BUDGET

In September 2017, the ACT Government invited residents to share their views on priorities for the 2018-2019 Budget.  Rather than proposing new services in a Budget-constrained environment, the GNCA has proposed that existing rules and regulations should be enforced by providing adequate administrative resources.  Non-compliance creates uncertainty and degrades trust in government because of a perceived corruption of administrative processes.  Recognising that increased compliance would require additional resources, the GNCA has suggested a number of potential sources of revenue.

To view the GNCA’s submission, click here.

PROPOSED FYSHWICK WASTE INCINERATOR

Capital Recycling Solutions (CRS) is a joint venture between Benedict Industries Pty Ltd and Access Trading Company Pty Ltd (Access Recycling) in partnership with ActewAGL.

It proposes to establish a facility in Ipswich Street, Fyshwick to sort and incinerate waste from the ACT and NSW. The facility will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will be located less than one km from residences in Symonston and Narrabundah.

Documents that may be of interest are available at the following links:

FINAL Flyer Public Forum 23 August 2017

Information sheet CRS proposal 080817

www.blacktown.nsw.gov.au/News_and_Events/News/2017/March/Opinion_Against_Energy_from_Waste

www.canberratimes.com.au/cqstatic/gxfp8u/CapitalRecyclingSolutions.pdf

PLOT RATIO FACTSHEET

To view this useful document, click here.

GNCA’S SUBMISSIONS TO GOVERNMENT

To access our submission to the National Capital Authority’s on the King’s and Commonwealth Avenues draft Design Strategy, click here.

To access our submission to the ACT’s Select Committee on the establishment of an Independent Integrity Commission, click here.

16 LANDSBOROUGH STREET – THE SAGA CONTINUES  

The height of the garage wall must be reduced and the developer must submit a third Development application.

After representations by neighbours and the GNCA, the government recognised that several elements of the house being built did not comply with the approved plans. It instructed the developer to submit an amended Development Application to cover the non-compliant issues. This was submitted on 2 June 2017 and there were 39 submissions from concerned neighbours and the GNCA.

The two main issues were the bulk and scale of the alfresco and the height of the garage wall adjoining 18 Landsborough Street. Most of the other issues were minor, such as reconfiguring the entry door, extending the awning feature and replacing a window with timber cladding. As the Government’s delegate stated:

“The alfresco wall/columns on the north-western side of the dwelling have not been built according to the approved plans. This modification has not been included in the in the amended application. Thus, it is not part of the approval and a separate amended application will need to be lodged for approval.” And “The raised parapet garage i.e. increase in garage height will increase the bulk and scale of the development, and will have an unacceptable adverse overshadowing impact on the neighbouring block.”

As a result, the developer has reduced the height of the garage wall and we are not aware of him submitting a second amended Application. We believe he may be altering the alfresco to comply with the original application. We await the outcome of the government inspectors, after the required changes have been completed.

The GNCA still considers there were several non-compliant parameters in the original application, which should not have been approved.

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