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

CRA meeting about the new Draft Master Plan for Curtin Group Centre – public responses are open

The Curtin Residents Association will hold a meeting for members and interested prospective members on Sunday 6 May, from 2 to 4 pm. This time we will be at the Hughes Community Centre at the Hughes shops.

At this meeting we will explain the revised draft of the Master Plan for the Curtin Group Centre. This plan is open for public comment until 6 June.

The plan has been posted on the windows of Coles Curtin supermarket, and is online at

This plan has been developed from the previous draft that we saw in 2016 and from the community panel process during 2017, at which the government planners heard from developers and community groups including the Curtin Residents Association.

This revision has good points, and some not-so-good, that we think need to be discussed by the community, the residents and users of the Curtin Centre.

We encourage you to submit your comments, whether you are supporting or objecting to the plan. We need to make a strong response to the government to show them how the plan and the centre are still important to the local community.

Posted in Uncategorized

Submission on ACT Government Housing Choices Discussion Paper

The Curtin Residents Association has made a submission on the issues and planning aspects of the discussion paper, rather than try to answer the prompt questions. You are welcome to reuse any part of this for your own submission.

Curtin Residents Association Comments on Housing Choices Discussion Paper 2017–18

  1. Open Urban Spaces

It is essential that Urban Open Space between existing suburbs should not be repurposed into housing developments.

While it may be tempting to take Urban Open Space from within suburbs for new housing, this should be a last resort, requiring community agreement and reserved for the types of housing missing in our communities: public housing, co-housing, housing cooperatives, affordable housing, and modest terrace, villa and dual-occupancy housing for people on average incomes. Any such development must have higher social merit than simply densification.


  1. Community facilities

It is essential that community facilities such as schools, sporting facilities and vacant spaces in target suburbs (even if they are currently under-utilised) should not be replaced by housing. As densification proceeds in nearby town centres and within suburbs (by redevelopment of existing housing stock) there is already a need for increased community facilities in these suburbs. This increase is necessary to preserve relative levels of amenity for both the existing and the future population. The existing community facility sites should be redeveloped for further community uses, by refurbishing existing buildings or creating new complexes of community facilities and specialised housing, if this can be done with acceptable plot ratios and heights to suit the character of the neighbourhood.


  1. Strong data is needed

The current real-life experiment provided by the Mr Fluffy project (that is, relaxing rules in RZ1 to encourage multiple unit construction) provides an opportunity to collect fresh evidence of the effectiveness of these changed constraints, and the choices made by both industry developers and new owners. Only by building a statistically strong collection of data from developments on Mr Fluffy blocks and in RZ2 zones, doing careful analysis, and holding public discussion of the results, can the government build trust in the motivation and likely effectiveness of extending any changes to RZ1 or making changes in RZ2 zone restrictions or areas. Measurement of the effects will make the public debate more informed and meaningful.


  1. An area approach to planning

In general the Curtin Residents Association believes that salt-and-pepper sprinkling of multi-unit developments among single residences is desirable, similar to what may be provided by the Mr Fluffy blocks. To achieve best planning outcomes in the long term, it is necessary that a ‘whole of street’, precinct, section or sub-section approach to planning permissions and outcomes must be adopted. This will be more effective than the current paradigm of hoping for good development performance to emerge from having most of the planning rules apply only at the level of individual properties. For example, the express goals for the number of redevelopments and the number of dwellings in particular areas should be stated in advance, to strengthen the notion that planning is goal-directed; and it could be achieved by incentives that change as the density approaches the goal.

A long-term policy of actively encouraging early proposals for suitable developments, with attendant publicity that later development will be restricted, will help to achieve development planning goals faster and more efficiently. This will also reduce the existing residents’ concerns that allowing any development at all will inevitably escalate from this ‘thin end of the wedge’ to over-development and destruction of amenity.


  1. Mandating housing diversity

The requirement to provide some smaller housing types should be made a concomitant condition – a social payback – for any large-scale development to be approved. If current development activity is providing the wrong mix of housing types as an outcome, then the government should not rely only on changing the development rules or costs to distort market conditions in its attempt to drive developers to build what they see as less profitable developments. Instead, for example, a developer proposing a development of hundreds of apartments should be required to also propose and complete a specified number of dwellings as townhouses or multi-unit housing, whether in the same precinct or in other areas of Canberra (in similar ways that the provision of social or affordable housing is social policy that should be enforced on developers in all zones). A healthy market in unit development licences may result, as developers negotiate with each other to provide suitable mixtures of dwelling types under each project umbrella. The enforced cross-subsidy will have the result of some sharing of costs to create the outcomes desired by government policy at reasonable cost.

Curtin Residents Association

Posted in Current Issues

Fences in Curtin Square January 2018

All of the shops in the block at 44 Curtin Place are now closed and an ugly fence has been erected on public land around the building – but no demolition or rebuilding work has been approved. The leaseholder has made no new proposal to the ACT Government to redevelop the site.

The media reported on the fence soon after it went up:

  • The Canberra Times ran a story on Thursday 11 January  ‘To Me This Is Greed
  • CRA President Chris Johnson was interviewed on 2CC on Thursday 11 Jan.
  • WIN-TV asked for a statement. We wrote:

Building fenced off but no rebuilding proposal

Curtin residents are angry and disappointed that some of their shops have been forced to close – and are now fenced off – when no proposal to rebuild has been approved.

The community is looking to the leaseholder to work with government planners to achieve a development that suits the Curtin Group Centre’s urban village character and meets the Draft Master Plan and ACT Planning Regulations. It has been a year since the first proposal was rejected.

Jobs and viable businesses have been lost or disrupted because of the forced closures, and other businesses in the Centre are suffering. Nobody in government has looked out for these small businesses and jobs.

An intrusive fence around the building encroaches onto Curtin Square and squeezes pedestrians and other businesses in the pedestrian laneway. The ugly side of this action is that services to the community have been lost, and the redevelopment is no closer to starting.

— we will keep you informed —

Posted in Uncategorized

General meeting on Curtin Planning – Sunday 3 December 2017

The Curtin Residents Association will hold a meeting on 3 December to talk about recent planning developments for Curtin. The ACT Government Directorate of Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development has been running an invited Community Panel to work towards a finalised Curtin Centre Master Plan, bringing together community, planning  and developers’ ideas.

The meeting is at St James Uniting Church, Gillies St Curtin
at 2.30pm on Sunday 3 December.  Members and interested residents are welcome.

For members the Annual General Meeting is at 2pm (financial report and election of new committee).

Here’s a copy of the November newsletter Newsletter Curtin Residents Assn 14Nov17

Posted in Curtin, Curtin General

First Curtin Autumn Fair Saturday 6 May

The first Curtin Autumn Fair will be held on Saturday 6 May, 10am to 2pm in Curtin Square. The Fair will celebrate and build Curtin’s community spirit that was seen so strongly in action over summer.
This is the first Autumn Fair to be held in Curtin, and we plan that it will be an annual event.
There will be stalls as fundraisers for community organisations, craft demonstrations, information tables for local groups, buskers and a barbecue. Children will enjoy the interactive art adventures and storytelling. The Canberra and District Historical Society will hold their open day outside their resource centre at Curtin centre, as part of the Canberra and Region Heritage Festival.
The response from local businesses has been overwhelming, with many supporting and sponsoring the Fair.
The Fair is being organised by a subcommittee of the Curtin Residents Association. The Fair will be inclusive and non-political.

Posted in Community Groups, Curtin General, Uncategorized

Development Application Rejected by ACTPLA

The ACT Planning and Land Authority has rejected the developer’s application to redevelop 44 Curtin Place. This is very welcome news – but it’s not the end of the story. We’ll keep you posted.

For more details see the Curtin Square Development page.

Posted in Uncategorized

Curtin Square planning petition signed by 22% of Curtin

The Association’s petition to the legislative assembly asking that the Minister stick to the building heights in the draft Master Plan, of 2 storeys in the square and 4 outside it – it’s attracted over 847 signatures from adults living in Curtin. The population of Curtin is approx 5,175 [2011 census, according to Wikipedia] of all ages. Around 25% are under 18 (ACT distribution) leaving a candidate population of 75% of 5175=3881.
This means that 22% of the Curtin population have signed on.

This is incredibly high. It shows that the Curtin community is clearly together on this.

The Curtin signatures are 62% of the total. Another 20% come from in the rest of the group centre catchment of 5 suburbs: Lyons, Hughes, Deakin, Yarralumla and Garran. This amounts to 9.3% of the adults in this wider area.


Posted in Current Issues, Curtin, Uncategorized

Successful rally in Curtin Square

It was a great morning to come to Curtin Square, over 700 people were there. A great morning, and  hopes for success.

The rally is reported in the Canberra Times 21 January online: Curtin says no to high rise development.

Thanks to everyone who came, and to all the volunteers who made it fly. And there was music – thanks Dan and Fred.

The rally was  reported in The Chronicle/Queanbeyan Age (page 4, and also in the WVCC segment on p8) Thursday 24 January 2017



Posted in Uncategorized

Caroline Le Couteur says “finalise the Master Plan before developments are approved”

Caroline Le Couteur, Member of the ACT Legislative Assembly, has issued media release – it calls for the Curtin Master Plan to be finalised before the development application is approved.

Posted in Uncategorized