The draft bill for the new Planning Act is a positive step towards a planning system that supports a liveable and sustainable Canberra. Greater Canberra welcomes the efforts to streamline our current planning system, but we call for the government to make affordability a core principle of the Act.

Affordability should be front and centre

Canberra is in a housing crisis, and we are disappointed to see the principles of the Act make supply and affordability a secondary priority. 

“We believe that every Canberran deserves a home, and this principle needs to be at the core of our planning system.” - Howard Maclean, Convenor of Greater Canberra

We call on the government to emphasise housing supply as a key priority of the new Act and Territory Plan.

Fast-tracking critical infrastructure is excellent

We welcome the new Territory Priority Projects process, which will allow widely supported public transport and infrastructure projects to proceed without being subject to stalling tactics. 

We also welcome other streamlining in the new system, including the removal of pre-DA consultation, which adds little value to the consultation process.

District strategies must not allow a double standard

We look forward to engaging with the government to shape district strategies as part of the new district level planning process. However, we are concerned that district strategies may allow specific regions to deny much-needed new housing.

“It’s crucial that the new district strategies work with the Territory Plan to create more affordable housing. District plans should not be a way for high-income, low-housing neighbourhoods to lock out younger, lower-income, or more diverse residents.” - Howard Maclean

We will be engaging with the government’s consultation processes over the coming months, and will have more to say regarding the new Planning Act in due course.

About Greater Canberra

Greater Canberra is a community advocacy group committed to affordable and high-quality housing in Canberra. We believe in a future where housing is abundant, and where everyone can enjoy a more sustainable and liveable city. For more information, see