The following newsletter was recently shared with our mailing list. If you’re keen to keep up to date with our work, you can join our mailing list here, or sign up to become a member here.
We’d like to firstly say a big thanks to all those who attended our recent in person catch-up! It was great to see so many people interested in supporting more and better housing in the ACT, and we’ll be in touch to organise another event soon.
We’ve had another busy month at Greater Canberra. At our catch-up we discussed the upcoming change to the Territory Plan, and we’ve also recently appeared before the Legislative Assembly’s inquiry into affordable housing. Below we’ve provided an update on everything that has been happening, and our plans for the month to come.
If you want to get more involved, join Greater Canberra now!
Planning for the new Territory Plan
The ACT Government’s Planning system review and reform project is now well underway - the ‘framework’ of the Planning Bill is due to be introduced to the Legislative Assembly very soon, with the more detailed Territory Plan (which decides what gets built where in the ACT) to follow soon.
We’re particularly concerned with the direction of the new ’District Strategies’, which will form the basis of the planning requirements for the various regions of Canberra. On the one hand, it’s a great opportunity for many of Canberra’s fastest growing districts to shape how they want their community to look into the future. On the other hand, there’s a real risk that these strategies could be used by residents of some of Canberra’s wealthiest areas to lock new affordable and sustainable housing out of our inner suburbs.
If you’re keen to bring a more pro-housing perspective to your local district strategy, keep an eye out for a follow-up call-out soon!
Our response to the housing affordability inquiry
As rents and house prices in the ACT continue to rise, housing affordability has become a major concern for many Canberrans. Thankfully, the ACT Legislative Assembly is listening, with the Standing Committee on Economy and Gender and Economic Equality conducting an inquiry on the issue of housing and rental affordability. Last Friday, the Committee was even kind enough to invite Greater Canberra along to give evidence at the inquiry’s hearing! You can watch the video of our appearance on the Assembly’s website.
In our submission to the inquiry and in our oral evidence at the hearing, we argued that while recent proposals to reduce vacant properties would go some way to increasing housing supply in the ACT, this alone wouldn’t be nearly enough. We need changes to our planning system to ensure we can build more affordable and denser housing across our city.
That’s why our submission made a number of recommendations for planning reforms to allow more and better housing to be built across the ACT, from allowing more duplexes and townhouses in RZ1-zoned areas, to upzoning more areas near to rapid transit routes. Our submission to the inquiry also includes other recommendations that go to increasing social housing investment, improving ACT Government monitoring of rents and rental supply, and improving enforcement of existing rent increase caps.
You can read our full submission on our website.
Hot topics in the ACT
As always, there’s been a lot of discussion and debate about planning in the ACT over the past months. The ACT Government has officially put an end to the dream of a stadium in the city, and we’re about to see construction finally get underway on the raising of London Circuit. With these debates going on, Greater Canberra members (and our friends!) have been pushing big infrastructure ideas that the ACT Government should be pursuing. We’ve been talking about:
Burying Parkes Way to open up huge amounts of quality public and residential space in our city - this would also make building a city stadium much easier.
Building a protected cycleway along Northbourne Ave to improve active transport links
Speeding up the delivery of light rail to Woden and beginning planning on the next links now
These are the kinds of projects that need to be built now to make our city more sustainable and affordable into the future. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to see more of this discussion in the future.
Getting in touch
We’re always looking to get members and supporters on-board to help us in a range of projects. If you’re keen to get involved, feel free to send us an email, contact us via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or join up as a member on our website.