Environment and Planning Directorate

The Environment and Planning Directorate includes community engagement as an integral part of the development of policies, strategies and plans. Our community engagement follows the ACT Government’s policies and guidelines. We use a range of media to raise awareness about consultations, including: media releases; ACT Government and directorate websites, newsletters and social media; The Canberra Times and weekly magazines.

For localised consultations, such as master plans, we distribute postcards or newsletters to letterboxes in the surrounding suburbs. In recognition that people like to interact with government in different ways, apart from an online presence, we also hold ‘meet the planners’ sessions, workshops, displays and presentations at community organisations such as community councils or residents’ associations. We engage with young people through workshops at primary and secondary schools and with youth groups.

The Environment and Planning Directorate seeks community feedback in a number of ways, including online and paper feedback forms, surveys, general email, mail correspondence and/or at face-to-face events. For major engagements, we prepare formal consultation reports documenting the feedback we receive.

Project Summary
Draft ACT Climate Change Adaptation Strategy – Living with a Warming Climate The ACT Government prepared a draft ACT Climate Change Adaptation Strategy: Living with a Warming Climate to help our city and region adapt to local climate change impacts.
The draft Strategy was released for six weeks of public consultation from 22 February 2016 to 3 April 2016.
Participation by the community included:
  • making written submissions
  • completing an online questionnaire
  • attending stakeholder workshops
  • attending presentations to community councils and other organisations.
Community members were able to talk to policy officers at the Royal Canberra Show and stalls in Garema Place, and provide comments on purpose-designed postcard comment cards (postcards) found at information displays in all of the ACT public libraries.
Nearly 830 people participated in consultation activities as part of this community engagement process, with an estimated 400 more seeking information about the draft strategy and consultation.
Energy Efficiency Improvement Scheme EPD undertook extensive consultation on proposed changes to the Energy Efficiency Improvement Scheme. Activities included:
  • a stakeholder forum in September 2015, which attracted 57 registrations - the EEIS Stakeholder Forum Report on Results[1] shows support for the future direction of the EEIS
  • consultation of stakeholders on the review of the Priority Household Target (early 2016)
  • emailing the EEIS Stakeholder Consultation on 2016 Activities Update[2] to all energy efficiency scheme stakeholders in Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT - it included details on all proposed activities and invited feedback
  • the EEIS Stakeholder Forum (April 2016) with 68 stakeholders attending, including energy retailers, abatement providers, government agencies, industry peak bodies and non-government organisations including both environment and social services groups
  • 17 written responses to the proposals, which were combined with feedback from workshop discussions and considered when developing new EEIS activities and updating notifiable and disallowable instruments.
In general, feedback from stakeholders emphasise support for continuation, competitiveness, harmonisation and simplicity.
Environment and Planning Directorate / Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand Seminar Series This interactive seminar series showcases perspectives on common sustainability issues.
Each seminar presents views from the ACT Government and from a private environment-based expert with the aim of supporting innovative ideas, targeted learning, professional development and networking.
Topics covered in the first three seminars were:
  • how the ACT Electricity grid will be 90% renewable by 2020 and what that means for Australia
  • 2015 ACT State of the Environment Report – A key document for decision makers conserving ACT Heritage.
ACT Waste Feasibility Study: Community Reference Group and Commercial Reference Group EPD sought community views as part of the ACT Waste Feasibility Study, covering topics such as potential new waste services, infrastructure and proposed regulatory changes.
The Community Reference group is largely composed of community members and representatives of organisations such as the Conservation Council. The Commercial reference group is largely composed of waste industry representatives.
Meetings with each group were held bi-monthly between November 2015 and June 2016.
Consultation is expected to continue into 2016–17 and beyond as the Territory implements the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Bill 2016, rolls out a third bin service and releases a 10-year waste infrastructure plan.
Pest Animals Declaration This was a broad public consultation in relation to proposed new and amended provisions for a Pest Animals Declaration to be made under the Pest Plants and Animals Act 2005. The purpose of the proposed provisions is to:
  • declare nationally-agreed noxious fish species and Redfin Perch as pest animals in the ACT
  • remove unnecessary legal impediments to land managers undertaking feral cat control (as agreed by all Australian environment ministers on 15 July 2015)
  • declare additional deer species as pest animals
  • change the declaration status of the European Wasp and European Red Fox to pest animals that are prohibited from supply or keeping.
The consultation was conducted through Time to Talk, commencing 20 November 2015 and concluding 15 January 2016. Fifty submissions were received and analysed.
A regulatory impact statement is in preparation for consideration by the Minister for Planning and Land Management.
ACT and Region Catchment Strategy The draft ACT and Region Catchment Strategy was prepared under the auspices of the ACT and Region Catchment Management Coordination Group, a newly established cross-border multi-jurisdictional body established by the ACT Government to promote enhanced coordination, cooperation and collaboration in catchment management in the ACT region.
There were two phases of public consultation. The first phase targeted environmental, community, industry and regional development organisations, catchment groups, local councils and government bodies to ensure they were informed about the strategy development process and able to provide input according to their interests.
This was done through:
  • engaging independent consultants to facilitate the consultation and engagement process
  • establishing an officer level working group
  • conducting regional workshops in Murrumbateman, Queanbeyan and Cooma
  • 10 targeted stakeholder meetings
  • a public online survey of community values to catchment management conducted by the University of Canberra.
The ACT Government sponsored a regional natural resource management forum by the Upper Murrumbidgee Catchment Management Coordinating Committee (UMCCC) that addressed issues raised in the development of the Catchment Strategy.
The second phase, formal consultation on the draft Catchment Strategy, was open from 10 April to 18 May 2016. The draft Strategy was accompanied by a draft prospectus detailing actions to be implemented under the draft Strategy.
Consultation used the government’s timetotalk.act.gov.au and the directorate’s Haveyoursay.planning.act.gov.au web portals to facilitate consultation and encourage feedback through written submissions or by completing an online survey.
Well-patronised stakeholder workshops, held in Jerrabomberra and the Tuggeranong Town Centre, were co-hosted by the Upper Murrumbidgee Catchment Management Coordination Committee and the ACT Division of the Australian Water Association.
The independent Chair of the Coordination Group also held meetings with NSW Minister for Primary Industries, NSW Parliamentary Secretary for SE NSW, local NSW members of parliament and senior NSW government officials.
ACT Water Resource Plan The draft ACT Water Resource Plan is intended to meet the requirements of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan as required under the Water Act 2007 (Cwlth).
Development of the plan included two stages of consultation. The first stage involved consultation with: Icon Water and Queanbeyan City Council; Indigenous representatives; NSW Government; a risk stakeholder group including representatives from UMCCC, Uni of Canberra and ANU; water quality experts; ACT Government; and Rural Leaseholders. Consultation ensured stakeholders were informed about the ACT Water Resource Plan development process and were able to provide input during that process. This was done through:
  • meetings with organisational representatives, as required
  • undertaking the Aboriginal Waterways Assessment project, as well as numerous group and individual meetings
  • circulation on three occasions of drafts of the ACT Water Resource Plan for comment.
The second stage, formal consultation on the draft ACT Water Resource Plan, was open from 15 June to 15 July 2016. Consultation used the ACT Government’s web portal to show the consultation sessions and how to make feedback.
A summary of the draft ACT Water Resource Plan was online and the draft ACT Water Resource Plan Comprehensive Report and Index and Tables, were available on request.
Community consultation sessions were held in Civic (June 2016) and Belconnen Town Centre. The Belconnen session was co-hosted by the ACT Division of the Australian Water Association.
The ACT Regional Landcare Facilitator program The Program supports the development of a skilled and capable Landcare community in the ACT. Community engagement highlights included workshops, field days and training for rural landholders, such as:
  • the ‘Soils for Food, Fibre and Environment’ day held on 16 October 2015, attracting 100 ACT and NSW rural landholders.
  • the ‘Grazing in El Nino Farm Walk’ on 27 November 2015, which attracted 36 participants.
  • Whole Property Planning workshops and four sessions of the BetterGrow BetterGraze program.
Activities to engage members of urban Landcare and ParkCare Community, included:
  • ACT ParkCare forum ‘Community Voices in Reserve Management’, held in partnership with the Parks and Conservation Service on 4–5 September 2015
  • the 5th Annual Landcare for Singles event in partnership with Greening Australia on 22 May 2016; 65 single people planted more than 400 native trees to support revegetation of box gum woodlands.
  • promoting Landcare at: the ACT Volunteering Expo, 23 September; the Connect and Participate Expo, 19 March 2016; the ACT Woodlands Celebration, 2 April 2016.
ACT Landcare Awards The Landcare Awards celebrate the achievements of the diverse ACT Landcare and ParkCare community, including volunteers, farmers, those working in sustainable agriculture, Landcare and natural resource management. The awards, held 12 November 2015, were funded by Landcare Australia with support from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme. The 2015 ACT Landcare Award Winners were:
  • Australian Government Individual Landcarer Award – Wendy Rainbird, Farrer Ridge ParkCare Group
  • Australian Government Partnerships with Landcare Award – The ACT Woodland Restoration Program, ACT Government/Greening Australia
  • Australian Government Innovation in Sustainable Farm Practices Award – John Starr, Gold Greek Station
  • Australian Government Landcare Facilitator or Coordinator Award – Martin Lind, Waterwatch Coordinator, Southern ACT Catchment Group
  • Fairfax Landcare Community Group Award – Mt Taylor ParkCare Group
  • Junior Landcare Team Award – Wanniassa Hills Primary School
  • Indigenous Land Corporation Land Management Award – Wally Bell, Coordinator, Malangang Aboriginal Landcare Group
  • Manpower Young Landcare Leader Award – Ian Rayner, Greening Australia Capital Region
  • ACT Government Environment Community Support Award – Fiona Spier, President, Friends of Tidbinbilla
  • Inaugural ACT Government Citizen Science Award – The ACT and Region Frogwatch Program, Ginninderra Catchment Group
  • The People’s Choice Award – Canberra Nature Map.
ACT Biodiversity Adaptation Pathways Project The goal of the ACT Biodiversity Adaptation Pathways Project was to consider how long-term drivers of change (such as climate change and social values) influence appropriate adaptation responses in biodiversity conservation.
Exploration of adaptation options focused on four broad themes in regional conservation:
  • woodlands
  • grasslands
  • river corridors and wetlands
  • knowledge management.
The project was delivered through two participatory-based workshops (October–November 2015) with subject-matter experts spanning government and community perspectives including representatives from decision-making bodies in the ACT and NSW, not-for-profit conservation groups, researchers and community groups.
The process integrated two distinct methodologies—scenario planning and adaptation pathways—to explore contrasting, plausible future scenarios for the region, and then develop flexible and appropriate responses for adapting to future change.
Participants successfully envisioned distinct regional futures, then developed appropriate adaptation responses to assist with biodiversity conservation.
Through the process, regional stakeholders co-created knowledge relating to:
  • how biodiversity is currently valued in the ACT and Region
  • how future climate and/or social expectations may change in the future
  • how management and policy options can help biodiversity adapt to future change.
Story Maps Training Workshop ACT Natural Resource Management (NRM) hosted two full-day workshops (12–13 May) to expose partners in community and government to innovative new spatial planning tools and web-based communication products.
Both days were led by Terrain NRM, the Regional NRM Organisation for the Wet Tropics in Queensland, which has a growing reputation for innovation in the NRM planning space. The first workshop was structured around two information sessions—‘Spatial Tools Show and Tell’ and a ‘Story Map Demo’ where Terrain NRM provided an overview of how their spatial planning tools are used by community project partners, and gave a tour of how Terrain NRM is using Story Maps to communicate place-based stories.
The second workshop provided hands-on training in the construction of Story Maps for both community and government partners. These workshops helped demonstrate that Story Maps will be a useful tool for helping ACT NRM and our community project partners to communicate on-ground achievements.
Practical guidance on planning for climate adaptation This hands-on workshop (28 June 2015) provided timely input into multiple regional NRM planning processes in the form of practical guidance on planning for climate adaptation. It was attended by all three community-led catchment groups, who will soon be updating strategic plans, and ACT Government’s Conservation Research unit, which is in the process of updating an aquatics strategy.
 Staff from CSIRO presented on an NRM Adaptation Planning Framework developed through the Murray Basin Cluster Project, which provided a practical approach to take participants from visions to actions using an interactive workshop that used participants’ own assets.
Draft ACT NRM Investment Prospectus (2013–23) A draft ACT NRM Investment Plan (2013–23) was developed through a consultative process to provide strategic direction for NRM activity in the ACT region. The final Investment Plan will be a ‘living document’ on ACT NRM’s website that will be updated to reflect new partnerships and opportunities. The draft Investment Plan is aligned to Australian Government and ACT policies and priorities through objectives identified for each of the three Investment Priority areas: sustainable agriculture; biodiversity adaptation; Aboriginal NRM. The Investment Plan sets out current and future investment priorities to guide the work of ACT NRM, including how the regional body works through delivery partners to achieve outcomes.
To date, the following consultation on the Investment Plan has occurred with the NRM community:
  • Investment Prospectus Discussion Paper (18 February 2016)
  • Three expert advisory council workshops (October and December 2015, February 2016)
  • Consultation meetings with ACT Government (various line areas)
  • Community Groups (Landcare ACT, Catchment Groups, Parkcare group convenors, traditional owners, Greening Australia, rural landholders)
  • Industry and researchers (Universities, CSIRO, agronomists)
  • Others (NSW Government and Local Land Services, Commonwealth Government)
  • ACT NRM will continue to consult the NRM community in the ACT and region on all components of the plan, and aim to finalise the Investment Plan by the end of 2016.
Scarlet Robin Action Plan On 20 May 2015, the Minister for Environment declared the Scarlet Robin (Petroica boodang) to be a vulnerable species at risk of premature extinction in the ACT in the next 25–50 years due to a serious population decline.
In December 2015, under the Nature Conservation Act 2014, the Conservator of Flora and Fauna resolved to prepare an action plan to reverse the observed decline in abundance of the species.
The five objectives of the action plan are:
  • identify, protect and restore critical breeding and foraging habitat for survival of the species in the ACT
  • manage critical habitat to conserve the species in response to the identified threats
  • promote and support the survey, monitoring and research of the species in the ACT to better understand its ecology and conservation needs
  • co-operate with state and local government agencies in formulating and implementing conservation measures
  • increase community awareness of the need to protect the species in its habitat in the ACT and engage in community-based conservation action.
Consultation (4 April to 18 May 2016) was conducted through Time to Talk, publicised through the media, social media and advertised in The Canberra Times.
Five submissions were received and analysed. The action plan is due to be finalised in the new financial year.
General Environment Protection Policy Environment Protection Policies (EPP) are made under the Environment Protection Act 1997 (the Act) and explain how the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) administers and applies the Act and associated regulations.
The General EPP is part of a series of eight EPPs that include Air Quality, Water Quality, Contaminated Sites, Noise, Motor Sports Noise, Outdoor Concerts Noise and Hazardous Materials.
The EPA released the updated draft General EPP 2015 for public consultation for 40 days, in accordance with the Act, with written submissions sought until 23 December 2015.
The media strategy included a media release, public notice in The Canberra Times, advertising on the Time to Talk website, in the Our Canberra newsletter and a whole-of-government notice. Paper copies were provided to public libraries, the Canberra Business Council, the Conservation Council ACT Region, the Environmental Defenders' Office and the Commissioner of Sustainability and the Environment.
Two submissions were received during the consultation period with changes incorporated as a result. The general EPP was finalised and approved by the Minister for the Environment and gazetted on 27 May 2016. http://www.legislation.act.gov.au/ni/2016-253/default.asp
City and Gateway Urban Renewal Strategy EPD invited the Canberra community to inform the City and Gateway Urban Renewal Strategy to ensure that the City and Gateway Corridor becomes an even better place to live, work and visit.
The City and Gateway Urban Renewal Strategy Discussion Paper was open for community consultation from 18 January until 14 March 2016. ‘Meet the Planner’ sessions occurred at the, National Multicultural Festival (12, 14 and 16 February) Dickson Group Centre (20 February), O’Connor Local Centre (26 February) and Ainslie Local Centre (27 February). A stakeholder briefing and a stakeholder workshop were held respectively on 26 April and 10 May.
Feedback was received via, ‘Meet the Planner’ sessions (6), stakeholder workshops (2), online surveys (104), and hard copy forms (3). 44 post-it notes were collected from ‘Meet the Planner’ sessions and 20 letters/emails were received to inform the community’s aspirations for the corridor.
Master Plan Program
  • Belconnen Town Centre
  • Calwell Group Centre
  • Curtin Group Centre
  • Kippax Group Centre
  • Tharwa Rural Village
Community engagement for all master plans aims to inform, consult and involve key stakeholders and the community at important stages of the planning process.
The master plan project team engages with businesses, building owners and lessees, community groups and residents to ensure concerns and aspirations are understood for the development of each master plan, particularly at:
  • the initial discussion phase, which determines the community’s ideas and concerns and informs the draft master plan
  • the draft master plan phase, which informs the final master plan.
Consultation provides the community with an opportunity to comment online and to meet with planners face-to-face at each stage of the master plan development, usually at a time and place convenient to the community such as the relevant shopping centre. The master plan team also presents to local community councils and interested community groups.
A range of media is used to publicise engagements, including: media releases; the ACT Government’s websites, newsletters and social media (including the Time to Talk website and Our Canberra); the Directorate’s Have Your Say website, Facebook page and Twitter feed; and The Canberra Times.
A community engagement report that details feedback and how it has been incorporated in the plan is produced for each centre for each stage of consultation.
Potential new neighbourhood in West Greenway The ACT Government is investigating the possibility of developing land to the west of the Tuggeranong Town Centre to boost the economy of the centre and provide greater housing choice in the district. The area is valued for its environmental significance and its role as a hub for community recreation.
Following a media release, consultation was conducted using the online engagement tool, haveyoursay.Planning.act.gov.au.
More than 250 people responded to the online survey and forum and about 60 submissions were made by individuals and organisations. The Government also met with 10 stakeholders in or near the proposed development.
An engagement report is available. Government is considering the next steps in the community engagement process.
Light Rail Network The draft Light Rail Network is the ACT Government’s vision for a modern transport system that showcases Canberra as a prosperous, sustainable and liveable city.
The draft Light Rail Network shows six future stages of the light rail network—a 25-year vision that highlights the opportunities and drivers for building convenient and reliable light rail across our city.
The draft was released by EPD for community consultation from October 2015 to December 2016 and publicised through the media, ACT Government and directorate websites and social media. The consultation was hosted onhaveyoursay.Planning.act.gov.au.
Almost 900 people completed the survey or made a written submission to comment on the draft Light Rail Network. A full engagement report is anticipated to be made publicly available in the next months.
Heritage Strategy A five year ACT Heritage Strategy is being developed in response to recommendations of the Heritage Review Report. The strategy will build upon and improve the ACT’s existing heritage framework, setting a clear direction for the Government to conserve and integrate heritage into Canberra’s future growth and development, enhancing a sense of pride, and engaging new audiences in the stories and celebration of our past.
A Discussion Paper was launched by Minister Gentleman, with consultation open from 12 February to 2016 to 29 March 2016. The discussion paper was publicised through the media, the directorate’s website and social media accounts and ACT Government newsletters. The consultation was hosted on the directorate’s haveyoursay.planning.act.gov.au community engagement website. Comments received during consultation are being considered in the preparation of the draft strategy, which will be released for public consultation in the new financial year.
During the six-week period of public consultation 22 formal submissions were received, 13 people attended one of two drop-in sessions and 11 people engaged with online forums and surveys.
Canberra and Region Heritage Festival The 2016 Canberra and Region Heritage Festival focused on the theme ‘Discovery and rediscoveries’.
During the planning stage, consultation with a range of local heritage organisations and Government stakeholders included:
  • the ACT Heritage Library
  • ACTSmart
  • Australian National Botanical Gardens
  • Canberra and District Historical Society
  • Canberra Railway Museum Endangered Heritage
  • Hall School Museum
  • Jane Austen Festival
  • Military re-enactment
  • National Archives of Australia
  • National Trust
  • National Capital Authority
  • Territory and Municipal Services Directorate
  • the Woodlands and Wetlands Trust.
This enabled the coordination and scheduling of events and activities, providing a well-balanced program with minimal conflicting activities.
The two-week festival attracted over 20,000 visitors. The Festival continues to reach new audiences with 63% of surveyed participants stating they had not previously attended a Heritage Festival event.
Following the Festival, a debrief was undertaken with event organisers to provide feedback on their experience and to discuss planning opportunities and constraints for the 2017 Festival.
ACT Heritage Council decisions to provisionally register:
  • Blue Range Internment Camp, Coree
  • Sherwood Homestead Complex, Coree
  • Northbourne Housing Precinct Representative Sample, Lyneham and Dickson
  • Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station, Tennent
  • Orroral Valley Tracking Station, Rendezvous Creek
  • Starlight Drive-in Theatre Sign, Watson
  • Orroral Geodetic Observatory, Tennent
  • Historic Timber Bus Shelters of the ACT
  • Greenhills Ruin, Stromlo
  • John Fowler Road Locomotive 16161
  • Jefferis and Whelen Historical Documentation of Canberra
Before being placed on the ACT Heritage Register, a place or object goes through a three step process of nomination, provisional registration and registration. These steps are determined by the Heritage Act 2004.
Provisional registration allows for a four-week period of public consultation before a decision on full registration is made.
Within five working days of making a decision about provisional registration, the ACT Heritage Council (the Council) publishes a notice on the ACT Legislation Register. It also advertises the notice in a local daily newspaper or on an ACT Government public consultation website (www.act.gov.au/publicnotices) as soon as practicable. The Council endeavours to give a copy of the notice to each interested person (such as the owner, nominator, Representative Aboriginal Organisations etc) within ten working days of the decision.
The notice invites public comment about the provisional registration within four weeks. The Council considers any comments received when deciding whether to register the place or object.
As soon as practicable after the public consultation period, the Council reports to the Minister about whether it considers the place or object should be registered. It also advises the Minister about any issues raised in public comments and any proposed changes to the provisional registration arising from these issues. The Minister may ask the Council to further consider the issues raised in its report.
Aboriginal Heritage Assessment and Management:
  • West Belconnen Riverview – Conservation and management of an Aboriginal scarred tree
  • Mt Majura Solar Farm – Aboriginal heritage investigation and salvage
  • Denman Prospect Stage 1B urban development – Aboriginal conservation outcomes
  • ACT Heritage Aboriginal collection – recording and analysis
  • Throsby residential development – Aboriginal scarred tree
  • Outward Bound - Aboriginal scarred tree conservation and interpretation project
  • Lyall Gillespie Collection – Hall Museum
  • Taylor scarred tree
  • Aboriginal Taskforce and RAO meeting
Traditional Custodians have been the caretakers of the region now known as the ACT for tens of thousands of years, with archaeological sites in the region dating back at least 25,000 years. The Aboriginal cultural heritage of the ACT takes many forms, from the continued spiritual connection to Country to tangible places and objects which reflect this long-term connection.
The Heritage Act 2004 provides protection for all Aboriginal places and objects within the ACT, and also requires that Representative Aboriginal Organisations (RAOs) are consulted on a range of Aboriginal heritage assessment and management matters. Four RAOs have been declared, being:
  • Buru Ngunawal Aboriginal Corporation
  • Little Gudgenby River Tribal Council
  • King Brown Tribal Group and
  • Ngarigu Currawong Clan.
ACT Heritage regularly consults with RAOs on proposals that may affect Aboriginal cultural heritage, ranging from new urban developments to the management of Aboriginal collections. The aim of this consultation is to ensure that Aboriginal perspectives on cultural significance and culturally appropriate outcomes are understood, and are reflected in proposed heritage outcomes. An Aboriginal Liaison Officer forms part of the ACT Heritage team, reflecting the importance placed on consultation and engagement with the RAOs and the broader Aboriginal community.
ACT Heritage also reviews all Heritage Act 2004 applications and development application referrals to ensure proponents and heritage practitioners have consulted with RAOs on proposals that may affect Aboriginal cultural heritage. ACT Heritage is also currently developing a RAO Consultation Policy to provide clear guidance on Aboriginal consultation and engagement requirements in the ACT.
Improving the ACT Building Regulatory System Review The ACT Government is taking action to strengthen the regulation and integrity of the ACT building industry with reforms to the ACT building regulatory system. The review was to ensure the regulatory system remains effective and keeps pace with changes in industry and community expectations for the built environment.
Consultation was based on a discussion paper that looked at six areas of reform:
  • design and documentation
  • stage inspections and on-site supervision
  • builders licensing
  • contracts for residential buildings and building work
  • project funding, payment claims and retentions
  • alternative dispute resolution for residential building disputes.
Consultation on the proposals ran from 23 November to 12 February 2016.
The consultation was hosted on haveyoursay.planning.act.gov.au and was publicised through: the media; Government channels including Our Canberra, TimetoTalk.act.gov.au; directorate social media; and stakeholder networks. Four public workshops and two community forums were held, including a forum co-hosted with the Owners Corporation Network ACT.
Feedback was submitted via email, paper submissions, an online survey and forum, and the face to face workshops. The Directorate received 32 written submissions and 67 responses to the online survey.
Draft Variations to the Territory Plan Consultation on draft variations to the Territory Plan is required under the Planning and Development Act 2007. The proponent for the variation is required to provide a consultation report when seeking a draft variation. The draft variation is then notified for six weeks. A range of media is used to publicise the draft variation consultation, including: media releases; local media; posting on the Government’s Time to Talk website and the Directorate’s website, Facebook page and Twitter feed. Where relevant, presentations are made to the local community council.
Following consultation, EPD prepares a report for the Minister for Planning and Land Management and a recommendation made as to whether to proceed. The Minister may choose to reject the draft variation, table it in the Legislative Assembly or refer it to the Standing Committee on Planning, Environment and Territory and Municipal Services.
The following draft variations were notified in 2015–16:
  • DV351 - West Belconnen Urban Development Belconnen District. Notified from 22 May to 6 July 2015.
  • DV341 - Gungahlin Bus Station - change to Public Land ‘Pe’ urban open space overlay for part of Boulevard Park, Gungahlin Town Centre. Notified from 10 November to 23 December 2015.
  • DV340 - Holt, Structure Plan, Concept Plan, Holt Precinct Code and Zone Changes. Notified from 6 November to 21 December 2015.
  • DV337 - Greenway, ACT Government Land Release Programme. Notified from 7 November to 19 December 2015.
  • DV335 - Charnwood, ACT Government Land Release Programme. Notified from 7 November to 19 December 2015.
  • DV334 - Red Hill - ACT Public Housing Redevelopments. Notified from 2 July to 31 August 2015. DV334 was one of seven draft variations included in the omnibus variations on behalf of the Economic Development and Community Services directorates to assist in the redevelopment of public housing.
  • DV333 – Griffith - ACT Public Housing Redevelopments. Notified from 2 July to 17 August 2015. DV333 was one of seven draft variations included in the omnibus variations on behalf of the Economic Development and Community Services directorates to assist in the redevelopment of public housing.
  • DV332 - Narrabundah - ACT Public Housing Redevelopments. Notified from 3 July to 17 August 2015. DV332 was one of seven draft variations included in the omnibus variations on behalf of the Economic Development and Community Services directorates to assist in the redevelopment of public housing.
  • DV339 – Kaleen - ACT Public Housing Redevelopments. Notified from 2 July 2015 to 17 August 2015.
  • DV346 - Residential Solar Access Provisions. Notified from 18 February to 7 April 2016.
  • DV353 – A miscellaneous variation to the Territory Plan to change various zone development tables, development codes and definitions. Notified from 18 May to 4 July 2016.
  • DV349 - Public Land Overlay and Zone Changes for Pinnacle Extension and Justice Robert Hope Park. Notified from 11 May to 24 June 2016.
  • DV329 - Weston Group Centre. Notified from 16 January to 16 March 2016. Incorporates the recommendations of the recently endorsed Weston Group Centre master plan.
  • DV328 – Oaks Estate. Notified from 16 January to 16 March 2015. Implements changes to the Territory Plan to implement the Oaks Estate Master Plan.
  • DV347 – University of Canberra master plan. Notified from 14 May to 29 June 2015. Implements changes to the Territory Plan to implement the University of Canberra Master Plan.

The Commissioner for sustainability and the environment

The Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment (CSE) takes a two-pronged approach to community engagement; direct engagement with directorates and community and increased web and social media presence. A comprehensive communications, publicity and promotions strategy has been developed for the Commissioner’s office which supports our work with a range of stakeholders including academics, government and local environmental groups as well as reaching out to the general community. Special effort will continue to be made towards connecting with young people through schools, universities and youth oriented environmental groups.

Increasingly, the CSE website and social media platforms are providing a vehicle for engagement, particularly with those less likely to access conventional environment and sustainability messages and information.

A focus of our communication and engagement over the last year has been to update the website and to more actively use social media to engage with the community on environmental and sustainability issues, with the State of the Environment report as a key vehicle for messages.

Both our Facebook Page, Living Sustainably ACT, and Twitter feed are demonstrating increased traffic. The Office is holding a seminar for Facebook user information.

Youth advocacy and community engagement

The project sits within the broader community engagement work of the office and focuses particularly on young people within the context of intergenerational equity.

Project Summary
ANU, Fenner School  students Senior manager presentation to Fenner School of Environment and Society students regarding a potential project with the office.
Supervising a group of students to undertake a communications related project for the ACT in October 2015 with the students presenting project outcomes to Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment (CSE) staff.
Parliament of Youth for Sustainability The focus of this year’s project was on reducing Canberra’s ecological footprint.  The parliament was held at ANU on 30 May 2016.
CSE has supported the project since its inception in 2012 by:
  • preparing and making available to teachers and students, materials on the ACT ecological footprint report
  • presenting to teachers and students on aspects of the ACT ecological footprint
  • the Commissioner spoke at the session and presented prizes on the day.

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