6 October 2022

Calls for roads plan as traffic buildup looms in growing Gungahlin

| Ian Bushnell
Join the conversation
Casey tower

A proposed new mixed-use development in Casey will add 500 residents to the area. Photo: Cox Architecture.

Concerns are growing in Gungahlin that its road system won’t be able to cope with another expected development spurt in the northern suburbs.

The single carriageway sections of Gungahlin and Horse Park Drives servicing Ngunnawal, Casey, Moncrieff, Taylor and Jacka are under increasing pressure due to several large developments planned and more housing.

Lendlease’s expansion of its retirement village, The Grove, and the coming construction of the adjacent Gold Creek Homestead development are already causing village residents disquiet, particularly how the Monty Place entrance off Gungahlin Drive will handle heavy machinery.

The proposal for a nine-storey residential tower in Casey that will add 500 people to the suburb also has residents and St John Paul II College worried about traffic increases.

There is also believed to be a second public secondary college planned in the area.

READ ALSO Longest-serving carer at Canberra’s longest-standing aged care provider lives by a code

Gungahlin Community Council President Peter Elford said there were ongoing concerns with traffic flow and new developments, but the government had been unresponsive.

“We know that if you don’t start planning these things, then they are not going to be there for three years,” Mr Elford said.

“Exactly what the plan is to invest in the infrastructure to match the intensification of the density of housing is the broader question.”

Mr Elford said there were many roads into and within Gungahlin where space had been left for duplication but were still waiting for government to decide that demand warranted it.

READ ALSO Public authorities have responsibility to assess climate risks

Transport Canberra and City Services Minister Chris Steel said the government was currently undertaking a feasibility study of potential road improvements in the Gungahlin region and updating traffic modelling for the area.

But he could not say when key roads would be duplicated.

“It really depends on what the traffic modelling says about when we need extra capacity on our roads,” he said.

“We’ll be looking closely at what the population projections say based on the updated census data and then we’ll be able to make informed decisions about where we make that investment.

“We’ll be certainly looking at how we can update our infrastructure plan to provide a full pipeline of work that will support the growth of this region.”

Gold Creek retirement village

An artist’s impression of the Gold Creek retirement village and entry. Construction will start next year. Photo: Demaine Partnership.

Mr Steel said the modelling would also consider possible new housing on the CSIRO site on the Barton Highway and look at Clarrie Hermes Drive, Mirrabei Drive, and the unduplicated parts of Gungahlin Drive and Horse Park Drive.

Construction of the Gold Creek development, which will add 45 retirement villas to The Grove and construct a 124-bed residential aged care facility, is expected to get underway in 2023 and last for two years.

Mr Elford said a second access point had been suggested on the northern edge of the Gold Creek site, but this was unlikely to happen given the impact of a new feeder road on the existing residential area.

He said the current solution to managing traffic at the Monty Place/Gungahlin Drive intersection is a left turn in, left turn out arrangement so no one could turn against the flow of traffic.

But Lendlease should be listening to the Grove Residents.

“The challenge is to be respectful of current residents and to do what is appropriate to meet their concerns. Just ignoring them and pressing is on is not the solution,” Mr Elford said.

READ ALSO Why the straight line? Explaining the ACT’s northern border ‘anomaly’

A Lendlease spokesperson said the company would implement a comprehensive construction management plan which considers traffic volumes throughout the construction phase and made every effort to minimise noise and other impacts on the community.

The development application, which is still being assessed, contains a traffic plan which outlines expected activity throughout the construction period both inside and outside the village.

The project will also retain, restore and activate elements of the original Gold Creek Homestead.

The community council will take up the roads issue when it meets with TCCS next month.

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments

There are only three things in the ACT and roads isn’t one of them.
– Taxes
– Voters
– Pork Barrels

Over 50% haven’t realized that 3 is paid for by 2 with 1.

Folks – I suggest you all stop blaming the Government for the indisputable mess that is Gungahlin and start considering your voting history. We have the Government that we voted for (and please, no one reply with “I didn’t vote for them”). Either install a new Government or shut up. As for me, I’m moving out.

Gungahlin is much like the rest of this state in the past 15 years. Buildings are going up so fast that there are structural problems. Gungahlin pool? The suburbs are growing so fast without the proper roads and infrastructure. Same old, same old. We need the government to pull their heads out of their bums and sort out the infrastructure before they build these huge buildings.

HiddenDragon7:14 pm 08 Oct 22

If similar issues were raised about other parts of the city, the inevitable response from the Labor/Green government and its cheer squad of progressive fantasists would be “that’s why we need to get on with extending the light rail network so that we can get people out of their cars”.

Gungahlin now serves as a perfect case study that light rail is not a magic bullet for the transport problems of a densifying city. This is particularly so when the costs of light rail, on top of the other commitments of a spendthrift government, mean that public funds are short for other forms of transport.

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.