Rezoning paves way for 5000 border homes

Ian Bushnell 21 July 2020 25
Parkwood development

The proposed Parkwood development on the NSW side of the border, from the masterplan. Image: Supplied.

The first development applications for the proposed cross-border suburb of Parkwood are expected in the next few months after the NSW Government fast-tracked rezoning approval as part of its COVID-19 stimulus measures.

Parkwood is the NSW component of Riverview Developments’ proposed Ginninderry cross-border development being delivered in conjunction with the ACT Government. The project will eventually comprise 5000 dwellings and house 13,000 residents.

The $1.89 billion project, which will roll out over the next 25 to 30 years, will cover almost 600 hectares, more than 380 ha of which will be housing developments. A further 213 ha will be protected as conservation lands.

This will include a 1 ha Special Activities Zone to the Ginninderra Falls Precinct near Ginninderra Falls that allows for recreation areas, tourism, community buildings and emergency facilities.

Yass Valley Shire Council had sought the rezoning after backing the proposal last October.

The ACT Government would have preferred to move the border so the entire Ginniderry/Parkwood area was contained in the ACT, given that it would be servicing its residents. Instead, the NSW and ACT Governments and the Council have signed a ‘Parkwood Protocol’ agreement that will ensure the borderless community is supported by the necessary services and infrastructure into the future.

ACT Housing Minister Yvette Berry said the approval to rezone Parkwood was a great outcome for this development and future community.

“The cross-border nature of the Ginninderry project, and the detailed planning to date, is a strong reinforcement of the way in which local, Territory and State governments have collaborated in the interests of building positive outcomes for a strong regional economy,” she said.

“This milestone provides certainty for the long-term plans for Ginninderry. Importantly, this development will continue to boost jobs, construction activity and economic development.”

The next step would be to prepare an estate development plan and development applications, Ms Berry said.

Yass Valley Council Mayor Rowena Abbey said the rezoning was an enormous boost for not just the local government area, but the entire Southern Tablelands and Canberra region.

“I applaud the NSW and ACT Governments for their extensive collaboration with each other and us to get to this point,” Cr Abbey said.

“They have ensured people will enjoy great access to services and governance arrangements on both sides of the border while also enjoying our beautiful environment.”

The first development applications for the release are expected to be submitted in the next couple of months and preliminary works such as road upgrades and sealing are expected to commence in early 2021.

Deputy Premier and Member for Monaro John Barilaro said the decision would bring a huge employment boost to the region, creating more than 3800 local jobs during the construction phase alone.

“During the pandemic, people have realised the perks a regional lifestyle can provide, and projects like the Parkwood Urban Release make a tree-change possible,” Mr Barilaro said.

The Parkwood Urban Release development is one of 19 projects included in Tranche 3 of the NSW Government’s Planning System Acceleration Program that is fast-tracking planning assessments to keep people in jobs and the economy moving during the COVID-19 crisis.

Ginninderry in the ACT is being developed and the first suburb, Strathnairn, is set to have about 1500 dwellings with a mix of larger blocks for families and compact, easy to maintain blocks and dwellings for those wanting a smaller scale lifestyle.

All up, Ginninderry will have about 6500 homes. Ms Berry officially opened the 16-site Ginninderry Display Village last October.

The development boasts high environmental values and sustainable housing standards.

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25 Responses to Rezoning paves way for 5000 border homes
bj_ACT bj_ACT 11:27 am 23 Jul 20

I’m surprised some people think the Parkwood developers and ACT Government have incorporated the required infrastructure, costs, etc into the plans for Parkwood.

A freedom of information request in 2018 showed that Corkhill Brothers would make $139 million on the deal. The same year that Minister Gentleman granted the project an exemption from some of usual planning and environmental hurdles.

You only have to have a minor knowledge of Canberra connections to wonder whether there’s the ‘potential’ conflict between Corkhills, Riverview, property consulting advisors, property deal makers and ACT Labor representatives and party backroom boys.

I don’t have much faith that Canberra residents will be the winners from this huge development. I reckon some property developers will be short term winners.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 5:47 pm 23 Jul 20

    The Parkwood area has many former waste disposal sites of unknown location and content. Some fugitive emissions are already evident and at one stage landfill gas (methane) was being harvested to produce token amounts of electricity.
    It would have been risky to have an EIS done; easier to exempt it.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 11:32 am 25 Jul 20

    I meant to point out that is was a serious conflict of interest that a minister from the government who was a joint venture partner in the proposal made that decision.

    chewy14 chewy14 7:44 pm 23 Jul 20

    Say someone doesnt have the “minor” knowledge that you’re talking about, what exactly are you trying to say?

    Seems like you’re claiming some sort of corruption but don’t specify exactly where it’s coming from or how you think someone is doing a dodgy.

    Considering that the ACT land is all owned by the government and so they’ll (and us) will be the main beneficiaries of developing this area.

    Obviously the Corkhills will gain a lot from the development of the NSW land, which is basically why they’re so keen to see the ACT side developed as well.

    Perhaps you should spell out your point, with some actual details or evidence.

    bj_ACT bj_ACT 11:05 am 24 Jul 20

    I’m not claiming corruption you’re once again shifting the goalposts, I said “potential conflicts of interest”. I’m just saying that a number of Canberra property developers and real estate consultants that I deal with often promote their very strong connections with the ACT Government.

    As for providing some actual evidence and details, Ive quickly searched for a few articles that relate to some of the points I made.

    chewy14 chewy14 9:37 pm 24 Jul 20


    You are attempting to claim something untoward has happened.

    None of your links show anything of the sort.

    Once again, be specific. What exactly are the conflicts of interest? List them.

    If you can’t be specific, it seems like you’re just trying to insinuate something that isn’t backed up by evidence.

    How exactly does someone make money in an untoward fashion when they don’t own the land?


harcm harcm 6:26 pm 22 Jul 20

The ACT doesn’t even provide services for its own residents and rate payers. They are very happy to build new things, but completely ignore upkeep and repair. They just hive off the suburb to a developer, ignore whatever the developer puts in, but are very happy to take the rates that the residents pay. Don’t forget that we have an election this year.

Tracy Robinson Tracy Robinson 8:23 am 22 Jul 20

Developers just keep making their millions...

David Jackson David Jackson 12:02 am 22 Jul 20

Curious to see when these so called larger family friendly blocks are going to be released? 400 sqm is not a family sized block? Twenty years ago a cottage block was 600 sqm.

Can’t wait to live there!!!

    Michael Cameron Michael Cameron 5:59 am 22 Jul 20

    yep..the old 1/4 acre block

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 6:20 pm 22 Jul 20

    David Jackson, expectations have changed. Once people had much smaller houses, and these were thought of as family houses. My first house (that I bought as an adult) was on about a 450 sq metre block and I bought that house from a family of five. (It was build as a house for a family in the 1950s.) Three bedrooms, but the house was only 100 sq metres, so still plenty of room for a vegetable garden, several fruit trees, and off road parking for several cars. Three cars parked in my back garden, along with a good sized vegetable garden and fruit trees. It was only plumbed for cold water for most of the time I lived there. Today that block would be covered in a MacMansion and people would be complaining about small blocks and no garden. My first home (when I was a baby) was even smaller. A two bedroom flat over shops.We moved to a small cottage after that. Today people expect a large house for their first home. Expectations sure have changed.

Craig Elliott Craig Elliott 9:04 pm 21 Jul 20

Because cross border towns are all the hype presently aren’t they.... do we every learn?

Colin Mitchell Colin Mitchell 7:20 pm 21 Jul 20

20 businesses kicked out of Parkwood and new homes to be built on the old asbestos dump something to look forward to.

    John McDonald John McDonald 9:19 pm 21 Jul 20

    Colin Mitchell won’t happen when your premier 🧐

Nathan Lofthouse Nathan Lofthouse 7:16 pm 21 Jul 20

Yeah I'm sure Drake Brockman and Southern Cross drive will easily handle the increased throughput.


    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 6:28 pm 22 Jul 20

    Nathan Lofthouse they were designed to accomodate suburbs out that way. With upgrades of course.

    Under the NCDC Y plan a whole new satellite township was planned for over the border. So roads and infrastructure were designed to accomodate it.

    Even roads like Gininderra and Kuringa Drives were planned to keep going out that general direction.

    John Moulis John Moulis 8:24 am 23 Jul 20

    Ashley Wright In the early 1970s when Ginninderra Drive was designed, a proposal went in to extend the ACT border out into NSW. It was envisaged that a new satellite city similar to Belco would be established. The proposal lapsed when the Whitlam government was sacked in 1975. Proposals to extend the ACT electricity and gas grid into the new satellite city were draughted by the Department of the Capital Territory were drawn up and the old NCDC drew up interim street and suburb plans. It even went as far as a shortlist of Indigenous names for the new satellite city being compiled.

    Nathan Lofthouse Nathan Lofthouse 12:28 pm 23 Jul 20

    Ashley / John I don't doubt they have plans for extending the road infrastructure to cope

    but considering the prison was on the plans from the 50's and they took 1/2 a century to build it

    Gungahlin had the better part of 100,000 people in it before the GDE was built or became a dual carriageway.

    William Slim Drive is still a single lane each way despite having had the room for dual carrigeway since the 70's

    More recently, Southern Cross Drives 3 lane between Florey/Scullin/Page are now effectively 2 and

    Drake Brockman Drive is now a 60 zone for it's entirety I doubt their ability to preemptively strike and build infrastructure long before it's well overdue and needed (ie the exodus out of West Belconnen take 45 minutes, not 10-15)

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 4:23 pm 24 Jul 20

    Nathan Lofthouse Gungahlin doesn’t have 100,000 people now so not sure what you are on about re GDE.

    As for the other roads you mention sure they are busy at times but busy doesn’t mean they are at or are exceeding capacity. Refer to comment about GDE.

Shane L.J. Ryan Shane L.J. Ryan 4:19 pm 21 Jul 20

So Parkwood, NSW will have a bigger population than Yass, and so will be the biggest town in Yass Valley Shire.

Vanessa Jones Vanessa Jones 3:51 pm 21 Jul 20

West Belconnen area is already under resourced by the ACT Labor govt- more people= more pressure on the area.

Gay Robertson Gay Robertson 2:04 pm 21 Jul 20

Hopefully the road and services infrastructure will be developed before the area is populated. To date there has been minimal improvement in access and roads to Ginninderry. Planning seems to be around profit not liveability.

    Toshak Akita Toshak Akita 3:13 pm 21 Jul 20

    Gay Robertson standard A.C.T government, regardless of who's in at the time..☹

    Vanessa Jones Vanessa Jones 3:51 pm 21 Jul 20

    West Belconnen area is already under resourced by ACT Labor govt- more people= more pressure on the area.

    Vicky Diamond Vicky Diamond 2:39 am 05 Aug 20

    It is a pity that NSW will not hand over the land to the ACT government. There is no way that I would live on the NSW side, because if there are any legal issues at all, like someone breaking into your home, then you will still have to travel to Queanbeyan courts to have the matter dealt with. Also, I doubt if the ACT police would put much effort into resolving matters as they would have to travel to Queanbeyan as well to deal with it in the courts. I already don't get much support from ACT police, even though I live in the ACT. Legal issues will probably also apply to any road accidents. I also would not want to pay extra to support YASS councillors. In fact, I don't like councils at all, they are simply too inefficient and costly. GOOD LUCK trying to sell NSW land near an asbestos dump and high powered electric transmission wires.

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