Category Archives: Gungahlin News

Objections fail to stop the sale of ‘excess’ Ngunnawal land

The ACT government will sell a block of land in Ngunnawal opposite the local centre for a mixed-use development after it was declared excess open space.

The almost 3000 square metre block of land at the intersection of Yarrawonga Street and Jabanungga Avenue will be auctioned this financial year.

The government contacted local residents about the decision this week, which is more than two years after the first round of consultation took place.

The block was initially due to be sold in 2011-12.

Land Development Agency chief executive David Dawes said the release of the block was delayed to allow further consultation with the community and other stakeholders on the future use of the site.

He said as a result of further community consultation changes had been made to the original block to retain a number of trees.

“Additionally further investigations by the LDA determined that the most appropriate use for the block would be mixed use including residential and commercial, but excluding retail,” Mr Dawes said.

“This included consideration expressed by many residents throughout the community consultation that they would like to see more activity at the local shops.

“This can be achieved by this sort of development.”

The government removed the block of land from the land release program last year following the first round of consultation.

The Economic Development Directorate’s community engagement report released in September said this was as a result of the Ngunnawal community’s view that the land should be included in the open space network.

However Territory and Municipal Services declined to add the land to the official open space next to the site, advising there was already sufficient space and children’s play facilities in the immediate area.

A second round of consultation was held with residents in December and January about redeveloping the site and Ngunnawal residents have just been informed of the outcome.

The letter said “due to ongoing negative activities occurring around the existing local centre” the community and government had concluded a mixed-use site was of more value, and would provide additional commercial activity and passive surveillance of existing facilities.

Resident Anthony Burr, who signed a petition to save the land during the initial round of consultation, said he was surprised by the government’s decision.

“It doesn’t really wash with me, or other people I’ve spoken to in the area,” he said.

Mr Burr said there was still strong community support for the land to be retained and it didn’t make sense to provide more commercial space when several shop fronts at the centre remained vacant.


Man charged with sexual assault

An 18-year-old Palmerston man will face ACT Magistrates Court this morning (Tuesday, August 27) in relation to the alleged sexual assault of two children under the age of 16.

Police will allege the offences occurred in April and August this year.

About 4.30pm yesterday the man was arrested by detectives from ACT Policing Criminal Investigations Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Team (SACAT). He was transported to the ACT Watch House where he was charged with multiple offences.

Police will oppose bail.

[Courtesy ACT Policing]

Fire completely destroys Nicholls house

Fire fighters are still on the scene of a housefire at Nicholls, putting out hot spots and assisting a fire investigator.

While the cause of the fire is still unknown, Commander Mike Cochrane of the ACT Fire Brigade said the house has been completely destroyed.

Four people in the home at Numbat Place evacuated safely, but a man was taken to Calvary Hospital for smoke inhalation.

Neighbour Lilly Bogojevic woke about 5.30am this morning to the sound of people screaming and could see flames billowing from the house behind hers.
She called the fire brigade but was told they were already on their way.
“It was so scary, I thought do I use my hose? But it’s nothing (compared to the fire)”

The scene of a house fire at Numbat Place in Nicholls. Photo: Fleta Page
Ms Bogojevic knew the Korean family who lived in the home, but was too shaken to go around and see what was happening.

One man was taken to hospital with smoke inhalation, but four occupants of the house had got out by the time the fire brigade arrived.

“Luckily they’re all right … it could have been much worse,” Ms Bogojevic said.
The blaze was reported shortly before 5am and was extinguished before 6.20am.

The cause will be investigated later today.

[Courtesy Canberra Times]

House fire at Nicholls

6:40am: Fire fighters have put out a blaze at a single storey home in Nicholls this morning, that has caused an estimated $450,000 in damages after the roof collapsed.

Four people in the home at Numbat Place evacuated safely but a fifth was taken to Calvary Hospital for smoke inhalation.

The blaze was reported shortly before 5am and was extinguished before 6.20am.

Fire fighters remain at the scene mopping up.

The cause will be investigated later today.

[Courtesy: Canberra Times]

Planning starts for Throsby

Following the recent approval by the Commonwealth Government of the Gungahlin Strategic Assessment Biodiversity Plan, the Land Development Agency is taking the first steps towards the development of the new suburb of Throsby with the calling of tenders for the planning and engineering component of the project.

Located two and a half Kilometres from Gungahlin Town Centre and to the north of Horse Park Drive, the 116 hectare site is currently used for sheep and cattle grazing and preliminary analysis indicates it will accommodate up to 1100 dwellings.

It is intended that the suburb will be low to medium density with a mix of residential block sizes as well as multi unit sites which will be located within the mixed use commercial centre.

Preliminary planning suggests that options will include blocks ranging in size from 250 square metres to more than 750 square metres with the provision for the development of up to four stories in the commercial centre.

As with all greenfield developments, twenty per cent of the homes will be within the Government’s affordable housing price range.

In addition to the commercial centre, it is also anticipated Throsby will have a range of recreational facilities including playing fields and both will be within 800 metres of ninety per cent of all those living in the suburb encouraging both social interaction and physical activity.

The suburb will also feature pedestrian and cycle paths again enhancing the opportunity for residents to interact with their community and the cycle paths will connect to the greater ACT trunk cycle network.

The north western boundary of Throsby abuts the Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve and Gooroyaroo Nature Reserve is also adjacent. The design of the suburb will take account of the native fauna and flora in both.

It is planned that a Visitors Centre will be constructed within Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve and the LDA is working with the Mulligans Flat Board and relevant ACT Government Directorates, to determine the most appropriate location.

The LDA is currently calling for tenders for a planning and engineering consultancy team to assist with formulating an Estate Development Plan. It is anticipated that the consultants will commence by the end of September with the EDP to be lodged in January.

It is planned that the Development Application for the estate will be lodged early in the second quarter of 2014.

ACT taxi driver ordered to stand trial

A taxi driver accused of running down a passenger before speeding off and collecting another fare has been committed to stand trial in the ACT Supreme Court.

Hamza Bilal, 26, maintained pleas of not guilty in the ACT Magistrates Court on Thursday.

Bilal, of Gungahlin, was committed to the Supreme Court on charges of intentionally inflicting grievous bodily harm and failing to stop and give assistance.

The Pakistani national is accused of running down the passenger after a dispute over money during a cab ride from a Dickson nightclub to Evatt.

The man was dropped off near the intersection of William Webb Drive and Callaghan Street.

Bilal is alleged to have done a U-turn, crossed onto the wrong side of the road and run down the passenger.

The 26-year-old was dragged about 50 metres after becoming lodged under the vehicle’s front wheel well, a court previously heard.

Bilal then allegedly sped off before accepting another fare and continuing his shift.

The passenger was left with four fractures to his pelvis, a broken leg, cuts to his legs and stomach, and abrasions to his lower back.

The case will appear in the higher court for directions early next month.

[courtesy Canberra Times]

Another Gungahlin shooting

ACT Policing is investigating the discovery of bullet holes in a window of a house in Ngnunnawal yesterday (August 23).

Around 11.30pm last night a witness contacted police and said they had heard what sounded like gun shots at about 1.10am Friday morning.

The witness said they had also seen a vehicle drive away from the area after the shots were fired.

Police conducted a search of the immediate area and located two spent casings in Leita Court.

Police performed two separate door knocks in the area and spoke to the occupants of a house in Leita Court who had discovered two bullet holes in the front lounge room window.

The residents did not wake up at the time the shots were fired and were alerted to the damage by police.

At this time police do not believe this incident is connected to the shots fired at the tattoo parlour or at the residence in Anthony Rolfe Avenue.

Investigations are ongoing.

Anyone who has information in relation to incident and is yet to speak with police is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or via

Information can be provided anonymously.

[Courtesy ACT Policing]