7 June 2018

Campaign forces Government to withdraw Gold Creek Homestead property from sale

| Ian Bushnell
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Gold Creek Homestead. Gungahlin Community Council and the National Trust want it retained. Photo: Gungahlin Community Council.

The Gungahlin Community Council has welcomed a reprieve for Gold Creek Homestead in Ngunnawal after the Suburban Land Agency removed the property from sale.

The SLA was marketing the community-zoned Block 109 Section 23 as suited to a retirement home or other community uses, with the 4.775 hectare site able to support 160 residential care beds and up to 30 supportive dwellings.

There were no conditions attached to the sale in relation to the Homestead, which is not heritage listed but has been the subject of a campaign by the GCC and the National Trust.

In a statement issued last week (2 June) the SLA said it had removed the property from the market, providing more time to work towards a better balance of social and financial benefits for the ACT community.

It said the future use of the block would be reconsidered by Government over coming months.

The GCC said it had campaigned strongly for better protection of the homestead and surrounds, along with the National Trust and several other groups and individuals.

“We believe this is a very good decision, and commend the Suburban Land Agency for making it,” it said. “Gold Creek has given its name to much of what we know is Gungahlin, is a strong physical link with our past, and is a fantastic green space that needs to be preserved and used (like the Gungaderra homestead site).”

Suburban Land Agency Chief Executive John Dietz said the SLA was committed to finding the right balance between social and financial benefit when developing land in the ACT.

“It is important that the future of this site is able to strike a balance which considers both social and economic benefit for the community,” he said.

“That is the direction the Agency is taking forward and one we will apply to this block before its use is ascertained.”

The SLA had been contacted by numerous parties who would like to see the homestead maintained.

“We believe those parties deserve to have their positions heard,” Mr Dietz said.

“While the Suburban Land Agency won’t be making any submissions to the ACT Heritage Council on the Homestead’s behalf, we encourage other parties who see value in keeping the homestead to state their claims,” he said.

“Above all, a solution which provides Canberrans with an optimal outcome is the priority of the Suburban Land Agency. The Suburban Land Agency is committed to engaging our stakeholders, industry and the community to establish the best outcome for the Ngunnawal site.”

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In what was proposed for the development, the house would have fitted in well, as a community house for the residents, with community lounge, kitchen, library, etc. Even the verandah could have been utilised with chairs to sit on. But whether this was even considered is a question, so that house needs protection.

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