Welcome

Welcome to the Home page for the Curtin Residents Association.  Below is a list of CRA postings in reverse time order.  Each posting is also allocated one or more categories (see panel on the right column) to create groupings.  You can look at such groupings by clicking on categories in the panel.  If you are a CRA member you can add a posting to the site by sending the text to any Committee Member,  or send to info@curtinresidents.asn.au .

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Posted in Current Issues, Curtin

Curtin Welcomes Spring 2020

It’s a small fair, rather than a full-blown festival – but we want to welcome spring! The Residents Association and the Curtin Garden Group have planted some of the bulbs that were destined for Floriade – the flower show is being opened with a small fair of eight stalls on Saturday morning 26th September. It’s socially spaced out, on the Carruthers St side of the shops.

Posted in Uncategorized

Curtin Horse Paddocks and the NCA-ACT Government landswap

The ACT Government has swapped some land in North Curtin that is now used for horse paddocks – between the Yarralumla Creek and Cotter Road, on both sides of McCulloch St and almost up to Yarra Glen – with the National Capital Authority, to use as sites for embassies. The ACT government in exchange gets 2 hectares of the edge and underwater in West Basin Lake Burley Griffin for residential development.

This is a surprise move to the public and there was no hint of it in the 2018 strategic plan for the ACT, no indication in the draft plan for the stops for light rail Civic to Woden, nor any other notice until it was announced as a completed deal in March 2020. The process of planning for the public, with the promised transparency and public consultation has been forgotten, again, despite ACT government pledges and stated intentions. The public deserves better – there must be consultation before change of land use.

In this map the creek (blue line) runs along the lower (southern) edge of the outlined area, Cotter Rd is to the north, Yarra Glen to the east, McCulloch St is the thinner black line running through the western half of the site. The red outline is the area being changed.

This land is grassy and treed open space, used for horse paddocks, open for kangaroos and the public to walk through (keeping dogs on leash, please) and for hundreds of birds to pass through, guided by the creek. The birds can land, feed and sometimes stay. The proposed change is to carve some large blocks from along Cotter Road down to the creek, reserved for diplomatic purposes, and also to change an area along Yarra Glen a couple of hundred metres deep from open to urban, to allow ACT government to create residential development along the proposed light rail route from Civic to Woden. The changes will remove amounts of green open space from the North Woden valley and risk an established wildlife area and connecting corridor. The land around the creek is valuable for wildlife and for community open space: this could have been developed as future parkland along the creek, satisfying birds and people alike.

Although it may be too late to head off the land swap, the use of the land for building rather than open space is not yet finalised. The NCA has opened up a website for public to make submissions and comments on the proposal to rezone this land from open space to embassy plots.

Submissions are sought by 7 July 2020. The NCA consultation process is provided here with some media articles.
https://www.nca.gov.au/consultation/national-capital-plan-draft-amendment-95-north-curtin-diplomatic-estate-and-urban-area

Canberra Times
https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6766450/canberra-to-get-world-class-embassy-precinct-with-horse-paddock-rezoning/
Riot Act

NCA’s embassy ambitions will destroy important bird corridor, says Curtin resident

Rail corridor housing in mix for Curtin horse paddocks

Shock and outrage at West Basin land swap with Curtin horse paddocks

Rail corridor housing in mix for Curtin horse paddocks

NCA’s Curtin amendment paves way for residential development along light rail corridor

Richard Allen is a local resident and long term bird-observer. He writes:

The entire area adjoining Yarralumla Creek including the bike path and North Curtin Horse Paddock is being rezoned from broadacre to urban.

Many Canberra Ornithologists’ Group members will have fond memories of seeing unusual birds like Red-backed Kingfisher, Figbird or Diamond Dove and recently a pair of Cockatiels with two dependent young (probably the only breeding record for ACT). These sightings though exciting are only significant in that they demonstrate that a wildlife corridor exists here. Regular yearly counts of 100 species (overall 169 species including 14 vulnerable) speaks volumes for the diversity and value of the paddock and Yarralumla creek corridor. I have 85 records of Little Eagle, regular returning trillers, whistlers, Dusky Woodswallow, Flame and Scarlet Robin. As well as special records like Painted Button-quail, Diamond Firetail and Southern Whiteface. I was especially excited when two colour banded Superb Fairy-wrens dispersed 7km from Australian National Botanical Gardens where ANU researchers had banded the sisters at nest that spring.

Once rezoned as urban we must consider that this valuable lowland pasture and many of the above species will be lost from the Woden valley. It is a critical corridor linking the Molonglo River valley with Red Hill Nature Reserve and south through Woden valley.

Posted in Uncategorized

Curtin Garden Group and CRA have been plotting and planting

Floriade in Commonwealth Park is cancelled, but the bulbs and seedlings have been made available to community groups for Floriade in the Suburbs.

Curtin Garden Group and the Curtin Residents Association got together and applied for a bunch of bulbs, we bought some containers and potting mix, and we planted them out on Carruthers St in front of the Red Brick Cafe, near the PO Boxes, and in Curtin Square against the black fence. Looking forward to September when we will have Floriade in Curtin. There are other plantings in Woden suburbs and throughout Canberra.

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Pots to Plots Curtin Gardeners Market Saturday morning 28 September

Saturday 28 September 9am-noon in Curtin Square

  • Garden stalls and information
  • meet the gardeners Q&A
  • gardneing books stall
  • children’s activities
  • square dancing
  • cactus group
Posted in Uncategorized

Curtin community events coming in Winter-Spring 2019

Tree planting morning Saturday 3 August

in the loop park, Macalister Crescent / Collier St 9am-1pm. Curtin Garden Group

 

Curtin Supper Club Saturday 31 August

see Facebook www.facebook.com/CurtinSupperClub – tickets will appear on Eventbrite

 

Pots to Plots:Curtin Gardeners Market Saturday morning 28 September

see Curtin Village Life on meetup.com for updates

 

Curtin Vet 5th Birthday party 9am-1pm Saturday 26 October

contact the Curtin Vet for more information

Posted in Uncategorized

The final Curtin Master Plan is published: mainly good, must be implemented

The final version of the Curtin Group Centre Master Plan has been released by ACT government directorate for Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development.

The plan is here (PDF document, 12.4 MB)
https://www.planning.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/1286387/Curtin-Masterplan-Final-ACCESS.pdf

The plan contains a lot of the community interest and input from years of work by people in and around Curtin. The building heights around the small central square are set at maximum 1 storey or 5 metres around 3 sides, and a setback then up to 5 storeys on the fourth southern side. This should maintain much of the sunlight in the square through the year. There can be a 5 storey building at the southwestern corner which will unfortunately cast shadows in the afternoons in spring and autumn, when children and parents are in the square, but the plan keeps this building height back to the edge in line with the Coles building line (not its awning).  The plan shows the opportunities for developing business and accommodation around the centre, while keeping the heart of its community, urban village character at the centre.

Now this plan needs to be implemented as regulations and enforced in practice, because the square is so small that we cannot allow it to be nibbled away at the edges. The plan talks about improving waste management, service access, car parking and pedestrian access. It emphasises the idea of using the Radburn principles of openness and working with the green spaces for pedestrian and cycle access through the centre and into the neighbourhoods of Curtin. This is a successful place for living and working and playing, a good plan will keep this working and not need to make places from scratch.

There are opportunities for development around the centre. The plan shows ways of developing to 6 storeys on the existing hotel area in the southern side of the centre, at a good distance from the square. This is shown to allow good green areas and business frontages at the human scale for people to use the centre, encouraging access as walkers and cyclists, and being an attractive place for car users as they park cars and become local pedestrians.

The government must also follow up implementing its share of the plan, and make investment in managing services, maintaining and improving the infrastructure of roads and car-parking, green spaces and pathways in Curtin as for the good of everyone in Canberra. This plan is the start of showing where and how – it also needs to be implemented in actions.

Posted in Uncategorized

Submissions Handout and Public meeting Saturday 25 August

Handout For Submissions – for a copy of the meeting handout How to make a submission and points to make 

handout – click here 


Public Meeting

2pm Saturday 25 August 2018

St James Uniting Church hall, Gillies Street, Curtin

The developer of the fenced-off site on Curtin Square has lodged an application to reconsider a revised development application (DA).

The proposed building is a variation on the plans rejected 18 months ago.

Come along to hear about the revised DA, show your concern, make your views known, and hear how to make a submission to ACT Planning

The facts

  • ACT Planning is reconsidering a major revision of the DA for 45 Curtin Place that was rejected 18 months ago, under rules intended for minor revisions.
  • The Curtin Master Plan has been in draft (2016), revised (May 2018) and should be finalised by the end of 2018.

We say

  • We object to the process of reconsidering an application that has changed a lot, when we do not know whether it will be evaluated against the old precinct rules, the draft Master Plan, the revised Master Plan—or the yet‑to‑be‑seen final Master Plan.
  • The proposed building is still too big. It will loom over neighbouring low buildings. Its 5-storey part encroaches onto the area that the revised Master Plan restricts to one storey to preserve sunshine in the Square and keep the ‘urban village’ character of the shopping centre.
  • The traffic and service trucks for the proposed building conflict with pedestrians and parking.
  • The ACT Government has put in a lot of effort to consult the community so far—it now has to enforce its planning rules to keep the community’s trust.
  • We are not against development, but this one is still not right for the Square.
Posted in Current Issues

media release 5 August: Curtin surprised by application to reconsider failed development proposal in Curtin shops

The President of the Curtin Residents Association, Chris Johnson, said “I am surprised – and staggered – by the unexpected submission of a modified proposal to redevelop the building at 44 Curtin Place. Thisnew proposal was submitted to ACTPLA as a request to reconsider the development application that was rejected by ACT Planning and Land Authority nearly 18 months ago.  Normally, any request for reconsideration must be submitted within three weeks of the decision and only involve small changes.”

The decision to accept this application for reconsideration is totally inconsistent with a trustworthy public planning and development process,”said Mr Johnson.

The new proposal is for a block of one storey on the western edge of the Curtin square, extending to 5 storeys at the corner.  It is very different from the original development application. Therefore, in keeping with its own planning processes, ACTPLA must provide a reasonable opportunity for the community to respond to this new development proposal.

The developer has submitted their new proposal just before the new Curtin Master Plan is to be finalised along with the likely introduction of new planning rules. The developers cannot know what the final Master Plan and these planning rules will be and ACTPLA should not have accepted any request for reconsideration like this.  ACTPLA should certainly not try to assess any development proposals until the latest version of the Master Plan is made public and after subsequent comments have been received and properly considered.

The first community consultations about the Curtin Group Centre were held in 2015 and in the first draft master plan was developed soon after.  In early 2017, more than 700 people rallied in Curtin Square and nearly 2,000 people from Curtin and surrounding suburbs signed a petition to the ACT Minister for Planning to ask that no development applications should be considered until the Master Plan was made final.  After the first development application was rejected the government asked all parties to participate in meetings of a community panel, which resulted in a revised master plan for Curtin.  This revision was published for public comment in May and June 2018, and the final result has not yet been made public for approval by the Legislative Assembly or the Minister. It is expected by the end of 2018.

Only last week, the ACT Government stated in its Our Canberra brochure that the “Master Plan for the Curtin Group Centre is almost finished”.  Mr Johnson stated that “Any move to reconsider a development proposal before the Plan is finalised will kill any trust in the Government’s planning process that has been built up by the long community consultation process.”

The developer’s reconsideration application allows only 3 weeks for comments [since extended, to 11 September]. “If the process of writing the new master plan had made no progress for the past two years this might be a good way to speed up development of replacement shops in Curtin.  But the Master Plan is still being developed and, although the process is slow, it is close to being finished. There is no good public reason to reconsider this application in this way. The developer should not be allowed to rush the process.”

The time for responding to the new proposal is dangerously short.  The developer’s application consists of 49 separate documents and these require careful and detailed analysis by the community.

It is not clear what rules and criteria ACTPLA will use to assess the developer’s application for reconsideration.  “Nobody can make meaningful comments when the background rules are unknown.  Is this new proposal going to be evaluated against the old precinct code (allowing 2 storeys maximum?) or the draft master plan (2 storeys in one part, and 4 storeys in another?) or the revised master plan (which allows 1 storey in part, and possibly 5 storeys, only under some conditions)?

This new proposal anticipates that the revised Master Plan will be accepted – but the directorate has not yet finished collating all of the comments and other submissions.  The application tries to cherry-pick parts of the existing Territory Plan, Precinct Code, Draft Master Plan and Revised Master Plan while ignoring the planning controls that the community expects to see and ignoring the character of Curtin as an urban village. The final height constraints in the Curtin Master Plan are still unknown and the proposed heights in both the first and revised drafts were strongly contested by the community.

 

Posted in Current Issues, Uncategorized

come to Curtin JamFest of Foodie Goodies Saturday 7 July

It’s a celebration and sale of jams, chutneys, sauces,
honey, cakes, slices and all kinds of home-made food.

Come along for breakfast toast and marmalade
with a coffee or Devonshire morning tea.

       A Curtin Residents Association

                  community project

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Presentations on the Master Plan at the 8 May meeting

Chris Johnson introduction-pdf

Robin Stanton Building Heights part1-pdf   /  part2-pdf

Ian Elsum Shadows and sunshine part1 /  part2 / part3

Ivan Johnstone Parking and services Curtin parking on verge photo  / Curtin waste bins photoJohnstone-feedback 2 May 2018

Posted in Uncategorized