Record of Community Meeting

Following is the record of the community meeting held on 25 July.  A copy of the ‘residents only’ discussion (after the ACT Government officials left the meeting) is available by emailing
Presentation by Bruce Fitzgerald (Public Housing Renewal Taskforce) and Simon Tennant (Suburban Land Authority) with overview of latest proposal for Section 29 Wright.
Key points:
• 32 public housing dwellings with basement carparking
• 8m set back from Diesendorf St
• 2-storey, with 3-storey units near multi-use block
• Block is zoned for up to 4 storey buildings
• All parking will be on the block (under public housing and beside doctor’s surgery/child care building)
• Entry & exit only from north side of the block (Gornall St)
• Community use on map only illustrative
• Survey had informed possible uses – medical centre/childcare plus community hall
• Community use part of the block is in the 2018-19 land release program
• Blocks 37 and 38 zoned for multi-use – likelihood of use of one of these as a hotel (but dependent on EOI process – could be residential if no interest in hotel)
• Ground floor of multi-use blocks could have commercial use such as hairdresser or coffee shop, this would be up to a developer to decide
(Numbered and presented in topic groups for ease of reference)
1. Where can people see the map showing plans for the site?
A= See plans at
2. Why was there no disclosure of the use of Community facilities land for public housing? Why is the use of a block for public housing not declared when the land is released? The people of Wright have not been engaged, involved or represented prior to this decision being made. Why are the plans not on the website? What other areas were considered?
A= There has been a transparency issue. In future use of land for public housing is to be indicated, along with targets for affordable housing, and the targets will be set for the suburb, section and individua blocks. There has been consultation with Wright Residents Group and Molonglo residents. Future consultation would be much earlier.
3. The Government changed the meaning of community facility zoned (CFZ) land. What guarantee do residents have that you won’t put more public housing on the remaining part of the CFZ block?
A= The Chief Minister has committed to having public housing on the Wright CFZ block. It is public that the government’s intention is 32 dwellings. The government officials stated that they must work within the parameters set by our elected officials.
Comments: Residents, plus MLAs Jeremy Hanson, Guila Jones & Mark Parton (Liberals) and Caroline LeCouteur (Greens) voiced their views about the use of CFZ land for public housing and the way that the government had introduced the change through a ‘technical amendment’ that was not subject to scrutiny by the public or the Legislative Assembly.
Wright Residents Group Community Meeting 25 July 2017
Weston Creek Community Council commented that they thought the technical amendment to use Community Facility Zoned (CFZ) land for public housing was wrong. The community has voiced strongly its concerns about this matter. It is a widespread regional concern in Weston Creek, and other areas. But it’s happened. And this is the scenario we are in.
4. Could you please show us the other options for sites that were up for consideration alongside Block 29 at Wright”
A= This is government in confidence.
Comment: The government has refused to show this data; the land is being stolen from the community by the government; 32 units on this block will lead to problems; don’t accept that this is a done deal, the community should keep fighting this decision.
Comment: Public housing tenants are like the rest of the community, they need somewhere to live and have a right to access to decent housing.
5. Why can’t the government have ‘come clean’ about where public housing will be, rather than it being a surprise to existing residents and communities?
A = The criticism was accepted by presenter, and noted that in the future this would be prevented by the establishment of a ‘notified act’
Comment: Five years ago we bought and had been told by real estate agent that there was going to be no public housing in Wright.
6. Is public housing on 29 a foregone concussion?
A= There is strong commitment from government to proceed with this plan.
Comment: Residents encouraged to ask elected representatives to reconsider.
7. How did you decide the block was suitable for up development up to 4 storeys?
A= Hierarchy of planning documents was established as part of the Territory Plan and the Molonglo Plan which set heights for this block at up to 4 stories. The public housing units will be 3 and 2 storeys, with an intention to blend in with surrounding area through final design.
8. Three storeys is ‘out of whack’ with the whole area, and not in keeping with nearby residential living that is 1 storey houses and a few 2 storey houses. Why aren’t you building 1 and 2 storey units?
A= Zoning allows for different types of built form. On this block it allows for up to 4 storeys, and we have proposed 2 and 3 storeys.
9. What is the height of the public housing?
A= This will be shown in the final design.
10. What were the options considered for how many public housing dwellings would be considered on the Wright CFZ block?
A= This is government in confidence.
11. What services did you take into account when determining that 32 units were appropriate?
A= we take into account many aspects, including shopping centre, public transport, and other services in Molonglo now, and into the future.
Wright Residents Group Community Meeting 25 July 2017
12. We were promised by the Minister and have had repeated assurances from the Taskforce that the number of public housing dwellings was negotiable. Why is the plan still showing 32 units as that has been the same number since day 1?
A= We believe that it is an appropriate size, but that may not be reflective of community views.
13. What does the meeting think about the 32 number for public housing dwellings for the Wright CFZ block?
Comment: Those present were strongly of the view that 32 was too many and that there should be significantly less, not more that 14- 15 units. Some wanted zero.
Comment: It is a CFZ block and residents were led to believe community facilities did not include public housing.
14. How many people will be moved into the public housing (60, 80, 100)?
A= Master Plan gives numbers etc. Links to relevant docs will be provided when this is available.
15. Can we have access to the Masterplan?
A= Yes, they are publicly available and we will provide them to the group so that they don’t need to be searched.
16. How big can the proposed doctors surgery be?
A= We look at the size of the block to make this decision
17. Will the proposed Community Facilities land left after the public housing is developed be enough to cater for the Wright community?
A= Community needs assessments are done, and these can be provided
18. If you have underground parking do you consider flood risk?
A= Yes, would be engineered with appropriate drainage
19. Have you considered drainage across the whole block?
A= Yes, this will be addressed in the design.
20. How many parking spaces are allocated for the 32 units?
A= The plan includes a number of car spaces for the site that will be above the code’s minimum requirements. Presenter did not have the number for the current plan but will provide this information later. The exact plan is not finalised yet, but will provide this information as soon as it is available.
21. Concerns over parking as there is already a problem
A= All parking will be on site, will allow for visitors using the relevant codes, existing street parking will not be counted as part of the provision.
22. Pressed on what did according to code mean?
A= question could not be answered, would need to be addressed by Roads ACT. They are the authority on this issue, and need to meet with the community also.
Wright Residents Group Community Meeting 25 July 2017
Comment: Considerable scepticism in audience, relating experience with inadequate parking for existing blocks.
23. Will there be sufficient parking for the medical practice and/or childcare facility?
A= Parking will be addressed through the D.A. process. Ratios of the building floor area to carparking apply for certain land uses.
24. How will the government respond to the problem of 1-bedroom apartments only allocating one car space when dwellings are often occupied by couples who have two cars, which significantly contributes to the current parking problems in Wright and Coombs?
A= Point noted.
25. After seeing what pubic housing in Coombs, and the state of them – can we do it in a way that doesn’t look like a ghetto, and why can’t budget include basics like curtains?
A= This is an issue for the housing authority
Comment: Have they visited the public housing apartments in Coombs? They are easily identifiable, they are very ugly and not at all attractive. The design needs to be improved considerably in Wright if they are to fit in with the surrounding housing in and not look like a ghetto.
Comment: I have concerns about the impact of this development on the value of property.
26. What are the potential uses of Section 39 and 38 (adjacent to Section 29) in Wright?
A= These are zoned for ‘mixed use’ and can include commercial and residential. We will strongly put forward that this site is used for tourist accommodation.
27. How do we know that blocks 38 and 39 will be released for commercial accommodation (a hotel/tourist accommodation) and won’t just end up being for general housing?
A= The Land Release Strategy has identified the site for commercial use. Planners will strongly voice support for a hotel, but can’t guarantee it will be a hotel as this is ultimately a matter for Cabinet’s consideration.
Residents who want to raise issues or express concerns should email the Wright Residents Group or contact the Taskforce You may also write to members of the government or our local MLA’s see addresses