The below statement is attributable to Greater Canberra.

In February 2023, Greater Canberra joined with over a dozen other community organisations in the Missing Middle Canberra coalition to call upon the ACT Government to change our planning laws to legalise medium density housing - townhouses, terraces, low rise apartment blocks - throughout our city. We also called upon the ACT Government to allow for more housing in and around each suburb’s local shops. 

Today’s statement of planning priorities is a large and important step to delivering this abundant housing future for all Canberrans. The development of a missing middle design guide is a commitment to real reform to Canberra’s suburbs that will deliver homes where people want to live. This reform could deliver tens of thousands of medium density homes over the coming decades - homes for downsizers and new families, homes that reduce urban sprawl, emissions and will drive down housing costs and rents. 

The housing crisis and climate crises are urgent. There is around 9 years left of housing supply left that is legal to build under the current Territory Plan, and only 20 years to reduce Canberra’s stubbornly high transport emissions to near zero. Greater Canberra looks forward to engaging with our partners and the government to make sure that the reforms are completed in a reasonable timeframe as well as being done right. The Missing Middle Design Guide cannot afford to meet the same fate as the Kingston Arts Precinct (in limbo since 1997), or the ill-fated Demonstration Housing Project. 

The other elements of this statement are also welcome. The redevelopment of the Northbourne corridor has delivered huge benefits for our city including thousands of new homes, and the development of the Southern Gateway Planning and Design Framework has the potential to deliver these benefits to Canberra’s South along the route of Stage 2B. Further housing density around public transport hubs and corridors is appropriate and needed, as is planning for a full Town Centre for Molonglo. 

With this statement of planning intent, the government has set the right course for the city. Now they need to follow through and execute on its vision. 

Media enquiries: Please contact us at [email protected].

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.