Section 19


I, ALEXANDER MICHAEL SOMLYAY, the Minister of State for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government, pursuant to Section 19 of the Australian Capital Territory (Planning and Land Management) Act 1988, APPROVE Amendment 20 of the National Capital Plan set out in the attached Schedule.

Dated this 4th day of December 1997

Minister of State for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government

Australian Capital Territory

Planning and Land Management Act 1988


Amendment of the National Capital Plan

Amendment No. 20


Gazetted in Commonwealth of Australia Gazette

No. S 506 Friday, 5 December 1997

National Capital Authority


Amendment of the National Capital Plan

Amendment 20 - Acton Peninsula

Amend the National Capital Plan as follows:

1. Amend Figure 17 in Part One of the National Capital Plan by:

1.1 deleting the words “National Use” from the legend and substituting “National Capital Use”

1.2 altering the land use category of that part of Acton Peninsula outlined in the schedule herein from “Open Space (Park)” and “Community Facility” to “National Capital Use”

1.3 removing the following two annotations from the face of the figure:

“Consideration may be given to the operation of a small punt across Yarramundi Reach to link Weston Park and the Museum site, provided that it does not interfere with other Lake users and subject to a full assessment of its environmental impact.”

“The northern foreshore at Yarramundi has been reserved for the National Museum of Australia. Public access to the Lake foreshores will be maintained here with provision for a wharf and associated structures at the Lake entrance to the Museum.”

and substituting the latter of these two notations with the following:

“Prior to a decision to use the northern foreshore at Yarramundi Reach for a National Capital Use in accordance with this Plan, the future needs of the National Museum of Australia must be taken into account.”

Figure 17, amended in accordance with 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3 herein, is as set out at Attachment B.

2. Amend the conditions on the double page following Figure 17 in Part One of the National Capital Plan by:

2.1 deleting the words “including Yarramundi Reach to give access to the proposed National Museum of Australia” from the last paragraph of Note B. The amended paragraph will then read:

“Ferry wharfs may be provided in various places.

Fishing and viewing platforms may also be provided in selected locations.”

2.2 inserting the following notation as a further dot-point in the extreme right hand column:

“Refer to the Master Plan for Acton Peninsula at Appendix T.5 for further Detailed Conditions of Planning, Design and Development.”

The double page following Figure 17, amended in accordance with 2.1 and 2.2 herein, is as set out at Attachment C.

3. Amend Appendix T - Master Plans by incorporating Appendix T.5 - Acton Peninsula as set out at Attachment A.


ATTACHMENT A to Amendment No.20


Detailed Conditions of Planning, Design and Development

1. Introduction

Acton Peninsula’s national significance is derived from its importance in Walter Burley Griffin’s plan and its demonstration of the unique relationship between the city and the landscape in the National Capital. The Peninsula visually connects Black Mountain to the Lake and provides a landscape edge and setting to West Basin.

This is further enhanced by-Acton Peninsula’s historical and cultural importance in the development of the Australian Capital Territory. The Peninsula was the first site settled by Europeans in the Canberra region and was the administrative centre for the development of the national capital until after World War II.

Its national significance is reinforced through its proximity to the Parliamentary Zone which enables direct views of the National Library, National Gallery, and the High Court of Australia.

The Goals, Objectives, Principles and Development Conditions are designed to provide the statutory framework to direct future development and to ensure the significant qualities, including the heritage landscape and open space, remain and are incorporated into any future development.

2. Acton Peninsula Site Development

2.1 Goals

As a place of national significance, Acton Peninsula has an important functional and symbolic role within the national capital. Activities and uses should contribute to vitality and viability of the city. They should build upon the magnificent setting, preserving and enhancing the existing landform, landscape, heritage and Lake frontage. Uses also should demonstrate the Peninsula’s relationship to the rest of the Central National Area.

2.2 Objectives

To meet these goals, developments on Acton Peninsula should achieve the following objectives:

 To express the importance of the location and the role of the Peninsula in the national capital;

 To reinforce the visual connection to Parliament House, the Parliamentary Zone, Civic and west along the Lake to the Brindabella Mountains;

 To ensure Acton Peninsula remains accessible to all Australians;

 To express the activities and operations of the various institutions as well as the importance of each location;

 To acknowledge the importance of, and maintain, the existing landscape setting;

 To create an urban form which responds to the landscape and topography;

 To protect the qualities and features of places of heritage significance; and

 To encourage the design of sustainable, energy-efficient, environmentally responsive, human scaled, timeless architecture and landscape.

2.3 Land Use

These detailed Conditions of Planning, Design and Development apply to the hatched area.

The primary Land Uses intended for upper Acton Peninsula (west of Lawson Crescent) are Open Space (Park) and Community Facility.

The primary Land Use for lower Acton Peninsula (east of Lawson Crescent) is National Capital Use. Facilities which provide for local ceremonial or other cultural activities which complement and are ancillary to National Capital Uses on the site may be permitted. Additionally, the ACT Hospice may temporarily continue in operation in accordance with the terms of an occupancy licence.

2.4 Principles

The goals are to be achieved through the application of the following planning, design and development principles. Development proposals must be not inconsistent with any of these principles.


 Acton Peninsula should contribute to the urban fabric by providing a location for National Capital Uses requiring a less formal setting than the National Triangle.

 Design and development should ensure that the built form and open space are properly integrated, that Canberra’s urban structure is recognised, and that the site’s natural features are encapsulated in the development.

 The character and quality of the built form and open space on Acton Peninsula should reflect the national importance of the site, demonstrate an environmental sensitivity, and epitomise best practice in Australian design and construction.

Distribution of Land Uses

 Land uses of special status and national interest should occupy the most eastern section of Acton Peninsula.

 Similar land uses should be collocated to create identifiable precincts.

Urban Structure (refer Figure T5.1)

 The siting of the buildings should respond to the historic Lennox Crossing, and to the King Edward Terrace and City Hill alignments.

 The built form and site development should respond both to the character of the contextual landscape (ie the eucalypt woodland of Black Mountain and the exotic vegetation of West Basin) and to the specific landscape qualities and elements of the Peninsula. These include, but are not restricted to, such elements as identified heritage sites and trees, and significant views to City Hill, the Parliamentary area and Parliament House.

Open Space (refer figure T5.2)

 The development of the Peninsula should establish a clear hierarchy of spaces which will support a variety of visitor activities and experiences and which will create a logical sequence in visitor circulation.

 The contribution of the existing landscape setting should be recognised.

 Landscape and open space design should provide a visual extension of the Black Mountain vegetation along the western side of the Peninsula.

 Landscape and open space design should extend the exotic landscape treatment around West Basin.

 Development on the foreshore should encourage a variety of recreational opportunities.

 Buildings should be separated by contiguous open space.

 Opportunities for interaction between Lake Burley Griffin and development proposals should be maximised.

Built Form (refer Figure T5.3)

 Any new development should be designed to take advantage of the views between the Peninsula and City Hill, Commonwealth Avenue, the Parliamentary Zone, and Parliament House. Opportunities for visitors to enjoy views toward the Brindabella Mountains and the western Lake should also be provided.

 Design should respond to the site topography, views, landmarks, vegetation, orientation, microclimate, drainage and services.

 The architecture and landscape design should contribute positively to the unique identity of the Peninsula.

 Buildings should be consolidated into precincts.

 The massing and bulk of large structures should be modulated to reduce their apparent scale and impact.

 The built form should emphasise the natural terrain.

 The siting of buildings should respond to the alignments of the former Lennox Crossing, King Edward Terrace and City Hill axes.

 The scale and proportion of all structures should integrate the built form harmoniously into the site and environs.

 Buildings should be energy efficient, utilising best practice passive energy strategies.

 Building materials should be of high quality, long life, durable, and requiring low maintenance.

Conservation (refer Figure T5.4 )

 The historic Lennox Crossing landscape corridor should be maintained.

 The cultural and historic importance of the area should be acknowledged.

 Where appropriate, future developments should incorporate key heritage elements on the Peninsula.

Movement and Access (refer Figure T5.5)

 A clear hierarchy of roads and paths which creates a logical, legible and safe visitor circulation and site servicing pattern should be provided.

 Acton Peninsula should be accessible and relevant to all Australians.

 Public access to the entire foreshore should be maintained.

 Facilities suitable for future ferry or water taxi service to Acton Peninsula should be provided.

 The local road and path system should provide a legible and safe network for cyclists and pedestrians.

 Impacts of surface parking should be minimised by use of parking structures, landscaping and basement parking.

 Provision for public transport terminals, stations, alignments and parking should be made.

 Servicing access should meet emergency and functional needs.

3. Development Conditions

Proponents of developments on Acton Peninsula shall obtain from the Authority Detailed Site Development Guidelines which will form the basis on which Works Approval will be issued.

These Detailed Site Development Guidelines will expand on the following Development Conditions.

Land Use

 Significant National Institutions shall be located at the eastern end of Acton Peninsula, closest to the National Triangle.

Urban Structure

 The overall configuration and disposition of the built form, circulation systems and the open space shall respond to the key natural and cultural features of the site, incorporating these elements where appropriate.

 The siting and design of the principle circulation systems and the buildings on the Peninsula shall respond principally to the axis of King Edward Terrace and secondarily to the City Hill alignment.

 A significant landmark element is to be developed near or at the end of the Peninsula.

Built Form

Building Height

 Buildings in the areas identified as Community Facility are not to exceed two stories in height except where noted on figure T5.3.

 Generally, buildings east of Lawson Crescent are not to protrude above the tree canopy and will be limited in height to a maximum of 16 metres above natural ground level.

 A landmark structure or building element in excess of 16 metres high may be considered at the end of the lower Peninsula in the locality indicated on Figure T5.3.

 No building or structure exceeding RL 617 in height will be permitted.

Building Design

 Finished floor levels of each building shall comply with requirements of Appendix J: Lake Burley Griffin Technical and Management Guidelines of the National Capital Plan.

 Buildings shall respond to the climate through use of devices such as sun shades which add depth and modelling to the building faces and maximise energy efficiency.

 Roof forms (including mechanical plant, service systems and the like) are to be integrated with the design of the buildings.

 Lift overruns and roof mounted plant and other structures are permitted only if contained within an enclosure appropriate to the roof form.

Material and Finishes

 High quality building materials, finishes and details are required for developments on Acton Peninsula in order to reflect the national significance of the site and its uses.

 Highly reflective wall or roof materials are not permitted.

 Materials shall be low maintenance and durable, with a design life in excess of 50 years.

 The lower portions of buildings from ground to first floor level shall be well articulated and modulated to provide scale and shelter for people circulating around the buildings.

 The size and detailing of the material in the lower portions of the buildings shall similarly be of an appropriate human scale to provide richness and interest.

Open Space

Overall Character

 Development on the Peninsula shall contribute positively to the contiguous system of parks and open space around Lake Burly Griffin.

 The predominant character of the landscape development shall complement the landscape character of Black Mountain and West Basin.

 The principle circulation system, the siting of buildings and the development of key public spaces shall be designed to incorporate key natural and cultural features on the site as well as to take full advantage of the main vistas to City Hill, the Parliamentary Zone and Parliament House.

 The siting of buildings and the detailed design of the open space shall respond to the microclimate of the site to provide wind protection, winter sun and summer shade.

 Structures in the vicinity of Balmain Crescent must be integrated with the slope of the land, enhance the existing landscape character of the Crescent and respect the dominance of the predominantly indigenous vegetative cover.

 Landscape development of all public areas shall be in accordance with a comprehensive Landscape Plan approved by the Authority.

Detailed Site Development

 There shall be a positive relationship between buildings and the landscape with the all main building entries and exits to be from a “natural” ground level. Elevated entries are to be minimised.

 A minimum 3 per cent gradient away from the base of all buildings is to be established.

 Surface drainage shall be collected and dissipated on site. Appropriate measures to reduce runoff to the Lake are to be provided in accordance with Appendix J: Lake Burley Griffin Technical and Management Guidelines.

 Overall the developed landscape shall be one that has an efficient energy budget and one that can be effectively and easily maintained and managed.

Plant Materials

 Development shall not damage remnant native vegetation.

 Existing plant species are to form a significant component of the landscape design for the Peninsula.

 Predominantly exotic species are to be used on the eastern side of the Peninsula within a defined theme.

Heritage and Environment

 Developments on Acton Peninsula must respond to and incorporate recommendations and management practices prepared as part of a Conservation Management Plan for the protection and/or conservation of elements considered of significant natural and cultural heritage.



 Lawson Crescent is to be maintained as the main access road to the site.

 Separate service and public access roads are to be provided.

Pedestrian and Cyclists

 Continuous pedestrian access is required around the Lake edge of the Peninsula.

 New jetty facilities shall have direct pedestrian links to the main building entry(s).

 Paths shall capable of accommodating guided groups visiting the Peninsula.

 Cycle access between West Lake and West Basin shall be maintained.

 External pathways are to comply with the requirements of the Building Code of Australia, AS 1428.1 and the Anti - Discrimination Act.

Car Parking

 Proponents of new developments on the lower Peninsula are required to provide on-site car parking to meet 95 percentile demand as agreed by the Authority.

 Parking in relation to developments in the upper Peninsula is to be consistent with the parking policies of the National Capital Planning Authority.

 The impact of car parking on the Peninsula is to be minimised by use of structured and/or underground parking and through effective use of landscaping.

















Figure 17

The Central National Area

(Lake Burley Griffin and Foreshores)


to Amendmenet No.20

A Park land Recreation

There are many areas around the Lake where public recreation and free public access have complete priority. These are:

 Commonwealth Park

 Kings Park

 Grevillea Park

 Bowen Park

 Lennox Gardens

 Weston Park

 Black Mountain Peninsula

 Yarralumla Beach

Some commercial concessions such as refreshments and other facilities for visitors will be allowed in these areas but only when they are compatible with the recreation use.

The policies are to provide parkland with particular landscape character or themes for particular areas so as to achieve a diversity of recreation settings, some of which will be less developed than others.

 Commonwealth Park will continue to be developed as an intensely used horticultural park (which will include a Bicentennial Floriade) for informal recreation and for major group and festive activities, Stage 88 Music Bowl has been developed in Commonwealth Gardens near Nerang Pool and Commonwealth Park will be linked to Kings Park by a pedestrian promenade along the Lake foreshore. The north western part of Commonwealth Park will be developed for detailed horticultural display, including a conservatory and walled and scented gardens. Another kiosk refreshment room/restaurant may also be built in Commonwealth Park.


 The development of Kings Park will be reviewed in the context of pressures on Commonwealth Park.

 Grevillea Park, Bowen Park and Lennox Gardens are to be major lakeside vantage points and special landscape parks with emphasis on seasonal landscape effects. In Grevillia Park and Lennox Gardens, sites may be provided for small scale developments which relate directly to the recreational use and enjoyment of the Lake.

 Weston Park, Yarralumla Beach, Black Mountain Peninsula and Acton Park will continue to be predominantly urban recreation parks with beachside swimming, special playgrounds, and barbecue areas. Beachside recreation areas are to be extended in suitable places.

 Development is to be limited to small scale items that help recreation and tourism. They may include commercial concessions for kiosks, refreshment rooms, restaurants, other entertainment, and hire facilities as appropriate to the area.

 This will not include the development of private licensed clubs or the extension of facilities other than those that already exist at the Canberra Yacht Club.

 New clubhouses or boatsheds for rowing or canoe clubs may be located on the western side of Black Mountain Peninsula if they cannot be accommodated in Yarralumla Bay, The buildings will be subject to design controls to ensure that they fit in with the landscape of the Lake. (Refer to Appendix J for Design Controls).


B The Lake

The policy is to allow all users of the Lake access to all its waters and its foreshore (except as may have been agreed under provisions of the Lakes Ordinance) white minimising the problem of conflicting demands. It may therefore be necessary to:

 limit the facilities and number of access points for some activities, and restrict launching areas to specific sections of the Lake where there will be no danger to swimmers;

 restrict parking so that it does not prevent the enjoyment of any area or downgrade the appearance of the lakeshore.

These steps will be considered in the light of any potential conflict of uses and with due consideration for questions of hydraulics and water quality.

In Yarramundi and Tarcoola reaches and in Westlake, the diverse natural shoreline and good water quality are to be maintained. The shoreline macrophyte areas which are important fish and waterbird habitats in Yarramundi Inlet and Nursery Bay are to be protected.

Yarramundi Reach is to accommodate a rowing course as well as other boating. Westlake and West Basin are to remain the main areas for sailing, sailboarding and beachside swimming. Moorings for yachts are to be provided in selected locations and consideration may be given to constructing a marina in Lotus Bay. The formal national capital character of the Lake as the key element of the Griffin Plan is to be fully expressed in the Central

Basin, while Ease and West Basins are to respond to the architectural character of the central area.

Existing facilities for Lake maintenance and boat servicing in Kingston Boat Harbour, and the floating gate in Yarramundi Inlet (used to operate Scrivener Dam) are to be retained.

Molonglo River is to provide a quiet backwater for boating, fishing and birdwatching. The tree-lined banks and marginal habitats for waterbirds, fish and aquatic mammals are to be protected. Upstream of Dairy Road Bridge, the Molonglo River may be used for power boats and water skiing.

The masses of submerged aquatic plants between Springbank Island and Acton Peninsula are to be controlled and the Lake may be deepened here if necessary, Macrophyte beds in East Basin may be retained as a means of controlling algae.

Ferry wharfs may be provided in various places. Fishing and viewing platforms may also be provided in selected locations.


C Development Nodes

Development is to be limited to uses related to recreation and tourism and may include commercial concessions for kiosks, refreshment rooms or restaurants, other tourist purposes, and hire facilities, subject to agreements made under the provisions of the Lakes Ordinance. Tourist accommodation will not be permitted at Acton Park or Yarralumla Bay.

The types of use and development are to conform to the Technical and Management Guidelines at Appendix J and will be subject to stringent conditions to ensure that development harmonises with the surrounding areas. In all cases public access to the lakeshore will be preserved.


D Conservation

Yarramundi Reach’s natural shoreline and key wetland waterbird and aquatic mammal breeding habitat in Warrina, Yarramundi and Acacia Inlets will be conserved and protected.

The following sites of significance around the Lake will be given special consideration to protect them in the most appropriate way, and conservation plans will be prepared for key sites:

 Jerrabomberra Wetlands

 Blundells Cottage

 Acton Geological Site

 Black Mountain Peninsula

 Stirling Park

 Government House

 Westbourne Woods

 Canberra Incinerator

 Acacia, Yarramundi and Warrina Inlet Wetlands

 Commonwealth Park Geological Site

 Refer to Appendix I for Jerrabomberra Wetlands Conditions which apply in Area D.

 Refer to Appendix H for Design and Siting Conditions which apply to all blocks.

 Refer to the Master Plan for Acton Peninsula at Appendix T.5 for further Detailed Conditions of Planning, Design and Development.