Go to top of page

Business Plan 2013-2014

Our vision

A National Capital which symbolises Australia's heritage, values and aspirations, is internationally recognised, and worthy of pride by Australians.

Our mission

To build the National Capital in the hearts of all Australians.

Our goals

  • to protect the national interest in the planning, development and heritage of the National Capital
  • to inform and educate Australians and visitors about the significance and role of Canberra as the National Capital
  • to develop and maintain the special character of the National Capital estate.

Our values, people and service

The National Capital Authority values:

  • creative, communicative and productive partnerships
  • leadership, achievement, professionalism and innovation
  • a work environment which supports diversity, learning and trust
  • a professional and outcome focused service to the public
  • service commitment and stakeholder rights and responsibilities
  • feedback on performance
  • governance that sustains a proactive risk management culture.


This Plan communicates our work in the National Capital for 2013-14. It outlines the priorities and key strategies we will pursue in developing, maintaining and enhancing the special parts of Canberra and raising awareness about the value and meaning of Australia's capital to a wide audience.

Canberra is Australia's National Capital and a city where locals live, work and learn. The coincidence of these two aspects is fundamental to its special status, and must inform its growth. It is our responsibility to provide leadership and good governance for the planning, maintenance and promotion of Australia's capital. We will continue work in partnership with other government departments and agencies, and with a range of industries and community organisations to help achieve our vision of a National Capital which symbolises and represents Australia's culture, heritage, values and aspirations, and a place that is internationally recognised - a place Australians can be proud of.

The NCA is working to capture the interest of, and to engage with people who may never have an opportunity to visit Canberra. Over the next five years we will continue to use a variety of means to inform, educate and deepen the understanding Australians and visitors have about Canberra as the National Capital.

Above all we will continue to perform our duties with rigour, integrity, openness and transparency. NCA staff are professional, highly skilled, determined and dedicated to working with all of our stakeholders to continue to enrich the National Capital.

The National Capital Authority

The National Capital Authority (NCA) is established under the Australian Capital Territory (Planning and Land Management) Act 1988 (the Act).

The Act prescribes the NCA's powers and functions and makes it subject to general Ministerial direction. The Minister for Major Projects, Local Government and Territories administers the Act.

The role and responsibility of the NCA, as prescribed in the Act, can be summarised in three broad areas:

  • planning and design of the nationally significant parts of Canberra. Areas for which the NCA has planning responsibility include Anzac Parade, the Parliamentary Zone, Defence and security areas, the foreshores of Lake Burley Griffin and the diplomatic precinct. The NCA's planning framework ensures that the bush capital character of the city is preserved.
  • information and education. The NCA manages programs to inform and educate all Australians of the unique characteristics and importance of Canberra as their National Capital. The NCA manages the National Capital Exhibition (which attracts 140 000 visitors per year), travels a touring exhibition program, prepares teacher education packs linked to the National Curriculum and is harnessing digital technologies to provide cost effective communication strategies.
  • managing the National Capital estate. The NCA manages Commonwealth assets with a combined value of $800 million on behalf of the Australian Government. Assets managed by the NCA include Anzac Parade and its memorials, the Parliamentary Zone, the diplomatic estate (including managing leases with foreign missions), roads, bridges, Scrivener Dam and Lake Burley Griffin. The NCA is responsible for 20 listed, five nominated and two indicative places on the Commonwealth Heritage List and one nominated and two listed places on the National Heritage List.

As required in the Act, the National Capital Plan sets out general planning policies and principles for overall development of the ACT. It also sets out detailed conditions of planning, design and development for Designated Areas, which are areas that have the special characteristics of the National Capital. Under section 12 of the Act, the NCA is responsible for approving works in a Designated Area. Map 1 shows the Designated Areas for which the NCA has responsibility for works approvals.


The Designated Areas map include all major approach routes to Canberra, the Parliamentary Zone, Lake Burley Griffin and Surrounding Parklands, the Mount Majura Nature Reserve and Stromlo forest.

Most of the National Land the NCA manages is in the public domain and located in the Central National Area of Canberra. Map 2 indicates National Land managed by the NCA and other Australian Government agencies throughout the ACT.


The Central National Area includes the Parliamentary Zone, Lake Burley Griffin and its foreshores, parts of Barton, ADFA, Duntroon and areas around Yarralumla (Diplomatic Estate).

The Authority

The Act provides that the Authority may consist of a Chair, a Chief Executive and three other members, all whom are appointed by the Governor-General.

The Chief Executive is a full-time member and the other members serve on a part-time basis.

The Chief Executive manages the affairs of the NCA under the general directions of the Authority and has the responsibility of a Chief Executive under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 and an Agency Head under the Public Service Act 1999.

The current members of the Authority are:

The Authority: Terry Weber (Chair), Malcolm Snow (Chief Executive), Glenn Keys and Christine Faulks

  • Chief Executive: Malcolm Snow
    • Chief Planner: Andrew Smith
      • Director Development Assessment and Heritage: Natalie Broughton
      • Director Strategic Planning: Rebecca Sorensen (Acting)
    • Executive Director - National Capital Estate: Helen Badger
      • Director - Estate Development and Renewal: Rob Tindal
      • Director - Estate Management: Ruth Morschel
    • Director - National Engagement: Melanie Skinner
    • Director - Finance & CFO: Scott Brown
    • Director - Corporate:Alan Harrison

Priorities for 2013-2014

During 2013-14 the NCA's key priorities include:

  • the National Capital Plan - continuing the review to simplify and clarify planning in the Australian Capital Territory
  • informing and educating Australians and visitors about the significance of the National Capital - implementing the first part of a five year program of activities
  • managing the Central National Area - maintaining safe and accessible public areas
  • fostering the NCA heritage strategy - ongoing implementation of policies and actions under formal Heritage Management Plans
  • remediating Scrivener Dam - complete works by March 2014
  • constructing Bowen Place crossing - commence in early 2014
  • implementing Pay Parking - on National Land by 1 October 2014.

In addition to the above priorities, the NCA has identified the following other major projects for 2013-14:

  • Capital Works Program - deliver ongoing improvements to roads, footpaths, intersections and general infrastructure
  • Sustainability Projects - upgrade irrigation and lighting infrastructure
  • Heritage Register - development, to include accessible places managed by the NCA
  • Lake Burley Griffin - continue the research for ways to improve lake water quality
  • National Land - continue implementation of a tree removal and replacement program
  • NCA Events Policy - revise.


2013-14 Financial Year and Three Year Outlook

Subject to emerging and operational priorities, the NCA has identified the following projects for delivery over the next four financial years.

The Plan is divided into sections based on the outcomes, programs and deliverables in the NCA's Portfolio Budget Statements 2013-14.

Program 1.1 - National Capital Functions

Budget Information: Program 1.1: National Capital Functions

2013-14 Budget: $19,186,000

Program 1.1 - National Capital Functions
Project Name/Focus Area Key Performance Indicators 13-14 14-15 15-16 16-17

Plan - Heritage

EPBC assessment of NCA's works proposals

Determine whether proposed works require referral under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act)


Heritage Assessment of NCA managed placed

Identify any commonwealth heritage values


Heritage Management Plans

Create, maintain and update written plans to protect and manage the Commonwealth heritage values of each Commonwealth heritage place


Heritage Register

Maintain the register consistent with the NCA Heritage Strategy


Plan - Statutory Planning

Assessing Works Approval Applications

Approving works in Designated Areas, as set out in the National Capital Plan

Target: 300 per financial year


Maintain the National Capital Plan

Constantly review and propose amendments to the National Capital Plan, when necessary

Target: Two per financial year


Works Approval: Electronic Lodgement

Implement an electronic works approval assessment process prior to June 2014


Plan - Strategic Planning and Urban Design

Development Control Plans: prepare and implement

Creation of Development Control Plans or Masterplans for consideration by the Authority

Target: Six per financial year


Development Nodes Review

Examination of development nodes around Lake Burley Griffin, and the potential need for expanding these or identifying new development node locations


Strategic investigation: Barton Land Use Policy review

Identify the appropriate mix of land uses and built form for the Barton area


Strategic investigation Building Heights Review

Review building heights and prepare a Discussion Paper for public consultation


Strategic investigation: Diplomatic sites

Create a report investigating planning and land supply options suitable for the expansion of the diplomatic estate


Strategic investigation: National Capital Open Space System Review (NCOSS)

Finalise report and release to the public


Strategic investigation: National Capital Plan Review to implement the Government's response to the Hawke Review

Review of the National Capital Plan


Strategic investigation: Review of statutory controls impacting on design quality

Review of the design quality provisions of the National Capital Plan


Urban Design: Acton Peninsula Northern Foreshore Pedestrian Access

Create a design that will improve pedestrian / cycle access along the northern shore of Acton Peninsula


Urban Design: Blamey Crescent Extension to Parkes Way


Create a preliminary design that will improve traffic access to Russell


Urban Design: Commemorative Works in the National Capital - Guidelines (Second Edition)

Present Guidelines for Commemorative Works in theNational Capital (Second Edition) to the Canberra National Memorials Committee for consideration


Urban Design: Constitution Avenue Project Control Group Representation

Deliver the project in accordance with the Constitution Avenue Masterplan


Urban Design: Kings and Commonwealth Avenue Landscape Renewal

Create a detailed design for the area to the satisfaction of stakeholders


Urban Design: National Rose Gardens Masterplan

Prepare a Masterplan to guide the renewal of the National Rose Gardens


Urban Design: O'Malley Diplomatic Estate - Alternative development models

Design alternate development options for vacant land in the O'Malley diplomatic estate that have thus far been deemed unsuitable for diplomatic development


Urban Design: Parliamentary Zone Movement Network

Create a Masterplan for the Parliamentary Zone to improve pedestrian / cycle access


Urban Design: Wendouree Drive/ Albert Street Pedestrian access improvements

Design road narrowing to improve pedestrian amenity

Program 1.1.2 - Promotion and Awareness of the Significance of Canberra as the National Capital
Project Name/Focus Area Key Performance Indicators 13-14 14-15 15-16 16-17

Inform and Educate

NCA visitor attractions management

Manage the operations, services and promotion of the National Capital Exhibition, National Carillon, Blundells Cottage, Anzac Parade and Parliamentary Zone as visitor attractions


Visitation to the National Capital Exhibition

Target: 160 000 people visit the National Capital Exhibition


Visitation to Blundells Cottage

Target: 1 800 people visit Blundells Cottage


National Carillon recital and event program

Recitals performed regularly, with additional recitals on special days with an event program delivered in April


National Capital Exhibition ongoing renewal

Install the Brick by Brick permanent exhibition


Brick By Brick: Build Your Capital touring exhibition

Tour the exhibition to two venues in South Australia


A Capital Collection touring exhibition

Tour the exhibition to a venue in Victoria


Volunteer services

Manage interpretive, horticulture and research volunteer programs


Education programs

Develop education programs to link with the NCA’s touring, temporary and permanent exhibits


Visitation to online educational materials

Target: 3 500 visits to the NCA Education Portal


Visitor facilities website

Develop a new website promoting the NCA’s visitor facilities and education programs


The Canberra Guide

Implement phase two of The Canberra Guide to include dining options

Program 1.1.3 - Advocacy, Enhancement and Management of the National Capital Estate
Project Name/Focus Area Key Performance Indicators 13-14 14-15 15-16 16-17

Estate - Management

Anzac Parade lamp replacement

Replace aging infrastructure with energy efficient materials


Maintenance of NCA assets

Contracts are managed to ensure appropriate maintenance standards and contractor compliance. 90% of maintenance issues are resolved within timeframes. Conduct five contract management peer reviews


Bridge infrastructure upgrade

Audit bridge components each year to inform maintenance and replacement of assets


Buildings and Infrastructure: Capital Works

Manage maintenance, refurbishment and replacement of assets


Captain Cook Memorial Jet: programmed works

Replace pumps and other aging infrastructure


Diplomatic Crown Leasing

Ensure Diplomatic sales and lease agreements comply with Commonwealth policy and meet the needs of the diplomatic community. Crown leases are managed in accordance with legislation and policy. Complete 5 diplomatic rent reviews


Events on National Land (organised by external parties)

Facilitation of events on National Land.

Target: 1000 events


Event Policy: Review Event, Lake and Land Use Policies to ensure alignment with Heritage Management Plans

The NCA’s Events Policy provides for the growing demand and diversity of events on National Land, complies with Heritage Management Plans, aligns with ACT event guidelines and minimises the impact on national assets


Flag displays

Secure flag sets for rotation on flagpoles


Heritage and memorial assets: Capital Works

Implement capital works programs on assets governed by Heritage Management Plans


Hydrometric equipment – purchase

Secure ownership of existing flood early warning canisters and equipment


Irrigation Upgrade – Staged project

Assess water supply infrastructure. Establish program of infrastructure upgrades. Complete infrastructure upgrades


Jetty, platform and lake edge replacement program

Maintain amenity and public safety


Lake Burley Griffin: Manage water quality in accordance with National Health and Medical Research Council standards

Implement Water Quality Management Plan


Lake Water Quality Initiatives

Monitor and analyse water quality in conjunction with specialists and research bodies


Lake water infrastructure study and works

Extend lake water usage within the Parliamentary Zone


Lighting upgrades: National Estate

Improved energy efficiency


Memorials, artworks and fountains on National Land : maintenance

Manage maintenance and replacement of assets ensuring compliance with Heritage Management Plans


National Land – Licences

Manage licence agreements are managed in accordance with legislation and policy


National Land: Tree Removal and Replacement (incl. Lindsay Pryor National Arboretum)

Implement tree removal and replacement strategy including tree avenue plantings


Open Space Management

Mange the National Capital Estate appropriately including meeting maintenance standards and ensuring contactor compliance


Pay Parking: Introduction on National Land

Introduce Pay Parking on National Land in the Central National Area by 1 July 2014


Power assets: Audit and develop replacement program

Identify sustainability options for lighting in the National Estate


RG Menzies Walk: Complete eastern chainage

Install new paving, lights, landscaping


Roadway replacement : Major

Improve safety and replace aging infrastructure


Scrivener Dam: Operations and maintenance; safety & surveillance.

Mange Scrivener Dam to ensure appropriate safety, operational and maintenance standards are met including compliance with ANCOLD Guidelines

Implement Dam Safety Management Plan


Stage 88, Commonwealth Park: Building Audit

Undertake engineering audit of the asset


Water Resource Management

Implement water abstraction and other water management policies


Works and assets management system

Implement and maintain the asset management system


Program 1.2 - National Capital Estate

Budget Information: Program 1.2: National Capital Estate

2013-14 Budget: $18,227,000

Program 1.2 - National Capital Estate
Project Name/Focus Area Key Performance Indicators 13-14 14-15 15-16 16-17

Estate - Development and Renewal

Bowen Place Crossing

Complete project to a quality appropriate to the Parliamentary Zone which improves public amenity and safety


Changi Chapel Upgrade: Stage 1

Design enhances and/or consolidates heritage significance. Key stakeholder concerns addressed


Commonwealth Bridge: pedestrian/cyclist safety scoping

Public safety and amenity improvements embedded in design. Heritage significance of bridges preserved and/or enhanced. Design to a quality appropriate to the National Triangle. Integration with Commonwealth Avenue and Kings Avenue Masterplan


Commonwealth Place Renewal Strategy

Assessment of asset condition to address design, heritage and maintenance requirements


Lily Pond Re-engineering, design and clean up works: Stage 1

Re-engineer the lily pond to meet current safety standards and improve public amenity and lake water


Old Parliament House Gardens Replacement Patron Signage

Create signage of appropriate quality to the Parliamentary Zone which preserves and enhances the heritage significance of the Old Parliament House Gardens


Scrivener Dam Anchor Bolt Remediation

Restore anchor bolts to full structural capacity to all flaps gates with a 100 year design life whilst maintaining the dam in a safe and serviceable condition throughout the project