21 July 2020

Rezoning paves way for 5000 border homes

| Ian Bushnell
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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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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 Retro5:47 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.

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.

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.





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?


Capital Retro11:32 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.

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.

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