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Greens MLA supports Red Hill community over ad hoc developments

Greens MLA Carline LeCouteur reported on 23 November 2017 her support for the community over ad hoc residential developments located close to the Red Hill Nature Reserve. She stated:

Standing with the community in Red Hill

I was pleased to work across party lines to stop the Government from rezoning two sites next to the Red Hill Nature Reserve – the Federal Golf Course and a Telstra Exchange on Kent Street Deakin – until an integrated plan is developed in consultation with the community.  I strengthened Nicole Lawder’s motion, so that ACTPLA will now have to consider the joint impacts of the developments on traffic flow and residents’ amenity before approving any rezoning for either site.

I have been working with local community groups on the Federal Golf Course development proposal for many months, and have long-standing concerns about this issue as a former Garran resident of 17 years. The call for an integrated plan for developments in Red Hill originally came from the community, and I did my very best to represent your voices and the need to protect our environment in the Assembly.

Community groups submit independent report to FGC Community Panel

The ACT Government Community Panel, which was established in July 2017 to consider the proposed residential development on the Federal Golf Club concessional lease, concluded three meetings without an agreed outcome.  As a result, the community groups which were represented on the Community Panel have today submitted their own report to the ACT Government, together with a covering letter.

Federal Golf Club development public consultation starts December 6 2017

The attached letter dated 17 November 2017, from Bob Correll, Vice President of the Federal Golf Club has been sent to all ACT Legislative Assembly MLAs providing a project update in the context of the recent Assembly motion on the Red Hill Nature Reserve precinct and informing them of broader community consultation to be undertaken in early December.

 Attached also is a postcard invitation to attend 3 drop-in sessions on 6 and 7 December at the Hughes Community Centre that will commence distribution today to 8,000 residential and commercial premises within a 1.5km radius of the golf club.  There will also be print and social media notices.

 More information is available at the project website www.activeandconnected.com.au

A clarification  to the FGC letter was emailed from the Regenerators to Chief Minister Andrew Barr on 25 November. More…

Assembly debates Red Hill development processes

From Canberra Times 26 October 2017

The territory government has lost a vote over calls for an overarching “environmental plan” for the Red Hill nature reserve and surrounds, after an at times fiery debate on development in the area on Wednesday.

The debate in the Legislative Assembly centred on what Opposition planning spokeswoman Nicole Lawder dubbed a “sham consultation” on the Federal Golf Club’s plan to build a 125 units and redevelop the club. (more…)

Concerned community groups petition the ACT Assembly

A number of community groups in Deakin, Hughes and Garran have expressed concern that the ACT Government may proceed with piecemeal development on green spaces adjacent to the Red Hill Nature Reserve. A petition will be presented to the Assembly on 22 November 2017. The petition can be downloaded here.

Concerned members of the community are invited to circulate this petition and return it to the address shown, before the closing date.

Request by MLA to refer proposed Red Hill developments to Planning Committee

Nicole Lawder MLA today gave notice (Private Member’s Business, Notice No 1 (Ms Lawder) on 23 October 2017 to the ACT Legislative Assembly that the ACT Government should refer overall planning of the Red Hill Open Space area and environs to the Planning and Urban Renewal Committee, and to report back by June 2018. More…

The Notice amendment was moved by Caroline Le Couteur MLA on 24 October 2017. More…

The Assembly Minutes of Proceedings of 25 October 2017 can be found here.


Federal Golf Club proposed development. Community input requested by 27 October 2017

Following three meetings of the Community Panel on the proposed housing development on part of the Federal Golf Club lease, the ACT Government has produced a draft report which is designed to summarise the views of the community. Input from members of the community who were not present at the Community Panel meetings is invited. This input should be provided to one of the community groups before Friday 27 October 2017.

All papers regarding the Community Panel can be found here

Greens MLA request integrated planning for Red Hill developments

On 20 Sep 2017, at 5:11 pm, LE COUTEUR <LECOUTEUR@parliament.act.gov.au> wrote:

Dear concerned residents

I asked a question today in the Assembly re the combined impact of the Federal Gold Club proposal and the Telstra site proposal.  I didn’t get a very useful response from the minister: (more…)

Regenerators join Community Panel on Golf Club development

The Red Hill Regenerators were invited on 21 July 2017 by the ACT Government to join a Community Panel to consider the proposed MBark housing development on the Federal Golf Course.

  • Draft Community Panel Terms of Reference
  • The first of three planned meetings of the Panel was held on 3 August 2017. Minutes can be seen here.
  • The second meeting was held on 24 August 2017. The following documents were tabled:

Meeting No 2 notes

Appendix 1: Statement by GAHRAG (Garran and Hughes Resident’s Action Group)

Appendix 2: Additional questions from Regenerators

Appendix 3: Additional comments from FOG (Friends of Grasslands)

Appendix 4: MBark presentation

Appendix 5.1: FGC fact Sheet – Club grants

Appendix 5.2: FGC fact Sheet – Water

Appendix 5.3: FGC Fact Sheet – Membership

Appendix 5.4: Letter to residents June 2017

Appendix 5.5: FGC Strategic Plan 2015-18

Appendix 5.6: FGC Presentation to Meeting No 2

Appendix 6: ACT Gov report to Meeting No 2

  • The third meeting was held on 12 October 2017. The following documents are relevant:

Meeting No 3 Draft Notes of meeting

Attachment 1 : Statement (revised 13/10/17) prepared by GAHRAG and endorsed by RHRG, Hughes Residents Group, Friends of Grasslands, Deakin Residents Assoc and Conservation Council of the ACT.

Attachment 2: MBark statement of commitments and proposed Masterplan

Attachment 3: EPSDD presentation and feedback on issues raised in Meetings 1 and 2

Attachment 3A: EPSDD request for quotation for economic evaluation of Federal Golf Club

Attachment 4: Draft report of the Community Panel (for comments before 27 October 2017)

ACT government sets up community panel to progress housing development at Red Hill golf course

Canberra Times 3 August 2017

The ACT government has set up a panel to progress the Federal Golf Club’s plans for 125 homes and a new clubhouse with gym on part of its golf course at Red Hill.

The panel, including government, community, environmental and business groups, as well as the club and developer, meets on Thursday, August 3.
The location of the federal golf club housing proposal in Canberra from a 2016 brochure. The club wants to build 125 ...The location of the federal golf club housing proposal in Canberra from a 2016 brochure. The club wants to build 125 homes and a new clubhouse with gym. No updated plans have been released.

The club is yet to submit a development application but acting deputy director-general of the planning directorate Brett Phillips said the panel would “investigate options for development” and pointed to previous concerns about the vegetation and the appropriateness of residential development.

The golf club will be asking the government to waive or discount the lease variation tax the multi-million proposal will attract.It wants to build 125 homes aimed at over 55s, with a new club house, swimming pool, gym and places to socialise.

Previous reports said the Red Hill site would be accessed via Gowrie Drive, which leads to the Red Hill lookout, and could involve a second access road from Garran, but the club could not be reached for details of its proposal this week.

Mr Phillips, who chairs the panel, said it was designed to ensure both the government and the developer understood and considered community concerns.

Federal Golf Club manager Scott Elias at the club at Red Hill, where there are plans to build 125 homes.Federal Golf Club manager Scott Elias at the club at Red Hill, where there are plans to build 125 homes. Photo: Jamila Toderas

The news comes after the golf club defected in recent weeks from Clubs ACT to a new clubs industry group favoured by Chief Minister Andrew Barr, saying the new group had the ear of the government and could help push the development through. A spokesman for Mr Barr said on July 12 the club was wrong to think it would get  better treatment in planning or lease variation tax by joining the new clubs group.

In 2015, the club discussed plans to build about 70 three-bedroom villas on a disused fairway east of the 14th fairway overlooking the golf course, and another 70 two-bedroom apartments near the club house.

In October 2015 the club signed an agreement with developer MBark, which would be given a 99 year peppercorn lease. In mid 2016 club members voted on the plan. The club cited the major benefit as the ability to upgrade water supply and build underground water storage, saying the issue was critical, with the future of the golf course at risk.

It said the development would bring in $18 million for the club, and the homes would also increase activity and membership, and enable the club to increase playability and presentation of the golf course.

The plan has been strongly opposed by the Red Hill Regenerators, whose conservation officer Michael Mulvaney said in 2015 that there had been seven attempts at developing the fringe of Red Hill Nature Reserve, a development that would mean the removal of 300 native trees and endanger wildlife. More recently, parliamentarian Caroline Le Couteur said the Greens had significant concerns.

The new panel is made up of the club, developer MBark, the National Capital Authority, the ACT Government architect, heritage representatives, the Conservation Council of the ACT, the Friends of Grasslands, the Red Hill Regenerators, three local residents groups, the Inner South Canberra Community Council, the Council on the Ageing and the Canberra Business Chamber.