21 December 2021

Government boosts Ginninderry land offering with NSW acquisitions

| Ian Bushnell
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Ginninderry stretches from the north-western suburbs of Holt and Macgregor and across the border into the Yass Valley. Photo: Ginninderry.

The ACT Government has acquired two extra parcels of land in NSW for its joint venture Ginninderry development, adding nearly 500 blocks to the master-planned cross-border residential project.

The NSW blocks, near the ACT border at West Belconnen, are adjacent to the existing development footprint of Ginninderry. The area is landlocked to NSW by the Murrumbidgee River and Ginninderra Creek.

They will add 480 much-needed and desirable single residential blocks to the future land release program, but that won’t happen until 2032 when development on the NSW side of the border is likely to commence.

The Suburban Land Agency paid $8.12 million for Lot 5, 495 Parkwood Road, while the second block (Lot 4, 495 Parkwood Road) has entered into a call option deed with settlement to occur sometime over the next two years.

Suburban Land Agency CEO John Dietz said the purchase was an excellent outcome for Ginninderry and future homebuyers.

READ ALSO Affordable housing model gives fresh hope to first-home buyers

“This will provide an opportunity for the growing Canberra region in terms of choice, affordability and location,” Mr Dietz said.

The SLA said the two blocks recently became available to the Suburban Land Agency by the previous landowners and followed a robust process for land acquisitions under the City Renewal Authority and Suburban Land Agency Act.

Ginninderry will be home to around 30,000 people in the community and extends across the ACT and NSW border. The four suburbs will total approximately 11,500 homes, all of which will contribute towards Ginninderry’s vision of being a sustainable community of international significance in the Capital Region.

Ginninderry land acquisitions

The green portion shows the latest Ginninderry land acquisitions. Image: SLA.

The first block (Lot 5, 495 Parkwood Road) has settled for $8.12 million. The second block (Lot 4, 495 Parkwood Road) has entered into a call option deed with settlement to occur sometime over the next two years.

The SLA said it could expand Ginninderry even further by acquiring two more blocks adjacent to these.

A total of 3200 dwellings in NSW are being developed on land currently owned through the joint venture between the ACT Government and the Corkhill family’s Riverview Developments that will be home to about 30,000 people.

Its four suburbs will total about 11,500 homes.

So far, 764 blocks have been released, more than 300 homes are occupied and 200 homes are under construction, with about 770 people living in the new suburb of Strathnairn.

About 250 blocks of land in the new suburb of Macnamara are proposed for release in 2022.

Ginninderry is being developed as an innovative, sustainable community of international significance, with high energy and water efficiency standards and an emphasis on green space and conservation areas.

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Capital Retro10:54 am 28 Jun 22

“Ginninderry is being developed as an innovative, sustainable community of international significance, with high energy and water efficiency standards and an emphasis on green space and conservation areas.”

Your words Ian or a quote from the blurb?

Capital Retro11:44 am 25 Dec 21

“Joint Venture” usually means 50/50 but whatever suits your narrative will do.

No it doesn’t. It could be any percentage. But what ever suits your narrative.

Capital Retro,
Usually “Joint Venture” means whatever the parties agree to. Not even remotely does it “usually equal 50-50”.

And in this case, with the ACT Government being the landholder of the development area in the ACT, there is zero chance of the agreement being 50-50.

Which is entirely the point. The ACT Government can leverage the partnership for efficiencies in development of the ACT land, with their partner making large profits once the development crosses the border into their own land, which incentivises them to get there on time and budget.

It’s not that hard to understand. But only if you had an open mind without a predetermined narrative.

Capital Retro7:15 am 29 Dec 21

The Harvard Law Scholl Forum on Corporate Governance (look it up) says :

“Our recent benchmarking of key demographic details of the world’s 600 largest joint ventures formed since 1990 shows that 50:50 ventures are the most prevalent ownership structure across industries.”

Tearing this thread up on Christmas Day is kind of sad.

Capital Retro,
Being sneaky with no link and now I know why.

Your own referenced data shows that 50:50 Joint Ventures of the 600 largest companies only accounted for 49%. Hence, not the majority.

And that’s even not considering that we aren’t talking about the 600 largest Joint Ventures, which automatically bias the sample you’ve clearly cherrypicked because you think it supports your contention.

Oh dear, confirmation bias Retro has done it again.

Gerald Lynch11:30 am 25 Dec 21

Now, can someone explain the law to apply in the NSW enclave of ACT, who will represent the residents electorally, how is public transport to be provided before development is locked in and why development is spreading despite the policy of densification?

Clever Interrobang10:11 am 28 Jun 22

NSW has sovereignty over the land because it’s in NSW. It not actually an ‘exclave of the ACT’, actually, the entirety of the ACT is an enclave of NSW.

There has been discussion regarding the ACT government providing services such as garbage collection where there is an agreement from all stakeholders to do so

In theory, as NSW residents they will pay taxes to the Yass valley council who would then pay the ACT government for such local services if it’s it’s easier for the ACT to provide it (that’s entirely up to the ACT government)

ACT/NSW can come to an agreement regarding things like drivers licenses and car registration if they want, but that’s entirely up to NSW and they can choose not to take part in such a discussion.

As NSW residents they will be represented by their nearest local council and state/federal MPs just like how everywhere in Australia works.

Don’t see what this has to do with the ‘policy of densification’, canberra is densifying and different areas have higher/lower density

Capital Retro10:46 am 25 Dec 21

This is what can happen when housing estates are developed near land fills:


It is of concern that little or nothing has been mentioned about the area near the Corkhill site where hazardous chemical and radioactive waste from universities and medical facilities were buried in the 1980s. What EPA monitoring is done of this area?

I should have said ‘Canberra Sand and Gravel’ site not Corkhill

Capital Retro8:28 am 24 Dec 21

That will blend well with the fugitive methane emissions from numerous old land fill sites in the vicinity that could not be located.

Capital Retro
Got a link for those claims?

Capital Retro11:21 am 24 Dec 21

In this report: https://ginninderry.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/GHD.-2012b-Belconnen-Landfill.pdf you will find many references to “unknowns” and “known unknowns” like this one:

 Landfill gas – As waste materials degrade at the WBLS, landfill gas is generated.
Landfill gas contains a number of gases, which are potentially harmful to a range of
receptors due to their toxicity, flammability or other properties. Landfill gas may be
emitted from the WBLS via a number of pathways including surface emissions,
sub-surface emissions, leachate / groundwater dissolution and via the
management system / treatment technology;

Well done Capital Retro,
That report outlines the opposite of what your claims were.

We’re you an Olympic archer in another life?

You truly are exceptional at stretching a long bow.

Capital Retro10:57 am 25 Dec 21

You obviously missed the section about methane collection not being extended to the boundaries of the landfill. This is where the latent problems with fugitive emissions
are. You will recall also that the government fast-tracked the DA for this project and the need for an EPA was waived.

And no, I was not an Olympic archer in another life. The hi-tech “bows” used by modern Olympians bear little resemblance to the traditional long bows used by middle-age archers, but you knew that didn’t you?

Capital Retro,
You claimed that there would be fugitive emissions from landfill sites that could not be located.

Nowhere in the report you linked is anything of the sort outlined.

You’re attempting to add 1+1 and expecting us to believe you when you claim the answer is 5 million.

A Canberra Times report had Corkhill Bros making tens of millions on the property development partnership with the SLA and ACT Government.

It’s a good wicket if they let you play on it.

Capital Retro11:49 am 22 Dec 21

Any chance the ABC Investigations Unit can delve into it?

The NSW land is freehold and has to pass multiple hurdles in the NSW planning system to get rezoned for housing. Why wouldn’t the land owners make a big profit?

And it’s not like there is anything new in this space, land developers in NSW play this game every day.

What were you expecting bj? Corkhill Bros were doing it out of the goodness of their hearts, all for free?

Its not a joint venture for the sake of it.

I doubt it – with the ABC being pro Labor/Green and all…

My point was that the ACT government usually buy the land from property owners and then sell it off to developers through a tender or controlled process.

They don’t partner with them ensuring massive profits for the developer, particularly for cross border developments. Just because Corkhills have a very favourable relationship with politicians, doesn’t mean they deserve to be treated differently and more financially beneficial when compared to the landowners of the area between Duffy and the Cotter for example.

I’d rather see the ACT government open up land they can tax and control in Canberra NOT create suburbs over the NSW border where we know the residents will consume ACT jobs, services, facilities etc etc. it sounds like this development will cost ACT taxpayers more money over the longer term than it generates.

NSW government will be enjoying a Stamp Duty and Rates bonanza on land that would be worth next to nothing if it didn’t border the ACT.

So you would have preferred that the government bought the land off the owners and then sold it back to Corkhills to develop?

Why do you think that would be better than the partnership arrangement that has been put together?

The ACT government still rake in enormous amounts of cash, with their partner having done most of the legwork. I can’t see it as anything but a win-win.

Joint Ventures are extremely common, so it’s not like this type of situation is rare in the development space.

“I’d rather see the ACT government open up land they can tax and control in Canberra”

They are. But why wouldn’t you take advantage of an obvious opportunity, particularly when easily developable greenfield land in the ACT is running out.

“it sounds like this development will cost ACT taxpayers more money over the longer term than it generates.”

You have absolutely zero evidence to back this up.

If you do, you’ve uncovered enormous government corruption that you should take straight to authorities.

I’m no fan of the ACT Government but what you’re claiming is not only that they are incompetent and corrupt but also that they can’t perform the most basic of economic assessments.

BJ usually the ACT government is buying back (resuming) the lease on leasehold land that the ACT government technically already owns.

In this case it is NSW freehold land that is being developed in conjunction with the owner.

In the ACT the owner of a leasehold property (except the federal government and dual occupancies) cannot develop that land.

I’m not claiming corruption, just identifying that this is a different approach to normal.

I’d rather them release land in Canberra for development, but for this scenario I’d rather them buy the land and sell it to whichever developer provides the most effective solution for the land through an open process.

Can you not see the efficiencies in partnering with the business that owns and wants to develop the freehold land in NSW?

Imagine the absolute disaster that would occur if you had 2 different developers building on either side of the border at the same time?

How would you maintain consistency in planning, services, styles etc?

I only expect it to be open and transparent, not back door agreements that were not made through an open tender process like other major property developments. As I said in my original comment.

“ It’s a good wicket if they let you play on it.”

Capital Retro3:25 pm 24 Dec 21

It’s hardly a “joint venture” when one party pays all the advertising costs, chewy.


Other interesting stuff in that link, too.

Capital Retro3:26 pm 24 Dec 21


Capital Retro,
Perhaps you should have a think about who own the land and hence is going to benefit the most from high land sales?

$800k advertising on land that is worth many hundreds of millions of dollars. LOL, you’re too funny.

I cannot believe the huge powerlines and towers are allowed so close to houses in that new development.

Reminds me of a line from the movie “The Castle” – “Dad, he reckons powerlines are a reminder of man’s ability to generate electricity…”

Maybe the green electricity running through those powerlines causes less tumours than the coal equivalent?

Julian Sortland12:18 pm 22 Dec 21

It is dry low frequency non-ionising radiation, so can’t alter DNA. Radio signals are also non-ionising, even 5G. What is ionising is UV in sunlight, and nuclear radiation from anti-5G necklaces.

Capital Retro3:31 pm 24 Dec 21

One hundred years ago the dodgy sprukiers sold snake oil.

Today they sell green electricity.

What a waste act developing NSW for what purpose none of the rates collected gonto ACT. There are areas of ACT that can be infilled.
We need an Australian anti corruption board. Cross border transactions aren’t in scope of either state

Capital Retro8:46 am 22 Dec 21

It would be fair for ACT ratepayers to know who the blocks were purchased from and how much stamp duty was paid to the NSW government.

Capital Retro,
The SLA produce regular reports outlining their activities and land acquisitions in detail.

Although I don’t know why you think you should know who the sellers are, that would clearly have privacy implications for some sites.

Take a look on their website, there’s heaps of information there.

Come on now chewy, much easier to just throw random stuff out there then do any actual searching for information.

You must trust your people more than I do chewy.

It’s taken the efforts of the ACT Auditor and/or Legislative Assembly committees to extract financial information about many of this government’s land purchases and property dealings.

I wouldn’t put too much faith in the data and financials being provided to the public. Plenty of ways to obfuscate the information and hide much of the accountability around land purchases and property development in and around the ACT.


Have you read that audit you just linked?
Whilst the Auditor didn’t find any major problems, they identified disconnects in planning and potential probity issues in the land purchases by the former LDA.

All of which led to the disbanding of the LDA and the formation of the SLA with stronger governance processes to address the issues raised.

Which as I said, now all the land purchases are regularly reported on and publically available now on their website.

You’re jumping at shadows.

Yep have read and can interpret the auditors report because it was open and available.

Unfortunately the real information I’d like to know about the Corkhill’s development partnership is protected by commercial in confidence.

If you read it, why did you link it as if it supports your contention then?

The Auditor didn’t find anything remotely like what you’re insinuating.

And now you’re claiming you want inside information into commercial deals that have oversight of numerous people, managers, boards, government etc.

What do you think you’d find? (Other than the government making a lot of money that is).

If you’re really interested in what the SLA does, all of the relevant information you need is here:


This is exactly the same kind of pushback and responses I got when I raised ‘issues’ on here with the old Land Development Agency around poor property valuations, close connections with property companies and key business people, inconsistent sub division agreements, loose governance, lack of consistent land release especially low priced land, hiding behind commercial agreements etc etc.

But I’m sure I’m wrong again and Canberra housing will be affordable and high quality.

Except the pertinent information is all publically available.

Can problems still occur? Yes.

Are there multiple avenues of controls and reviews to stop corrupt behaviour or even the appearance of corruption. Yes.

You’re verging in to conspiracy theory territory now.

Capital Retro11:31 am 29 Dec 21

Mmmm, one of the blocks sold was where a large red granite quarry was operated. Who sells quarry material in Canberra?

Just saying.

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