I, Terry Weber, on behalf of the accountable authority of the National Capital Authority (NCA), present the 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018 NCA annual performance statements, as required under paragraph 39(1)(a) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act).

In my opinion, these annual performance statements are based on properly maintained records, accurately reflect the performance of the NCA, and comply with subsection 39(2) of the PGPA Act.

 

Terry Weber
Chair
August 2018

 

Purpose One – Plan and Design

NCA Corporate Plan 1:

Planning and designing the areas of special national importance in Canberra.

PBS Outcome 1

Manage the strategic planning, promotion and enhancement of Canberra as the National Capital for all Australians through the development and administration of the National Capital Plan, operation of the National Capital Exhibition, and delivery of education and awareness programs and works to enhance the character of the National Capital.

PBS Program 1.1: National Capital Functions

PBS Program 1.1: Objective: Shape the National Capital into the future

Performance Criteria

1.1 Develop and implement a comprehensive planning framework for the Australian Capital Territory

  • The national significance of Canberra is appropriately reflected in the National Capital Plan.

1.2 Keep the National Capital Plan and its subordinate instruments under constant review

  • The National Capital Plan reflects contemporary planning practices and meets the needs of the local and broader Australian community. The planning framework guides further development to ensure national capital values are strengthened.

1.3 Assess and manage applications to undertake works in Designated Areas in accordance with the National Capital Plan

  • All applications to undertake works (development) in Designated Areas are actioned in an efficient, timely and transparent manner and charges are commensurate with the Commonwealth’s charges model.

1.4 When requested, and with Ministerial approval, provide consultancy services within Australia or overseas

  • The NCA increases its contribution to the Australian Government’s delivery of its policies and programs through the provision of quality consultancy services when requested.

Criteria Sources

  • Subsections 6(a), 6(b), 6(f) and 6(g) of the Australian Capital Territory (Planning and Land Management) Act 1988 (the PALM Act)
  • NCA Corporate Plan 2017-21
  • PBS Outcome 1
  • PBS Program 1.1

Boundless Playground, Kings Park.

Results against Performance Criteria

Performance Criterion

Result

Achieved

Explanation

1.1 Develop and implement a comprehensive planning framework for the Australian Capital Territory

Detailed planning policy within the National Capital Plan (the Plan) has been reviewed and amendments prepared to incorporate necessary changes in the Plan.

Yes

Program of the potential amendments to the National Capital Plan prepared.

Stage Two of the Review of the Plan, which includes review of detailed planning and design policy for nationally significant areas of Canberra and the Australian Capital Territory.

Yes

Review of the planning provisions for the Deakin/Forrest Residential Precinct resulted in the release of Draft Amendment 89 – Deakin/Forrest Residential Precinct on 28 February 2018. In response to public feedback and further consideration of the matter, the NCA Board endorsed Landscape and Sustainability Guidelines for the Precinct.

Yes

Draft Amendment 90 – Mint Administration Building was released for public consultation on 4 June 2018.

1.2 Keep the National Capital Plan and its subordinate instruments under constant review

All required Development Control Plans were prepared and approved by the end of the 2017-18 financial year.

Yes

Development Control Plan 17/01 for the Manuka Circle Precinct came into effect on 30 November 2017.

Two master plans and/or urban design guidelines have been developed by the end of the 2017-18 financial year.

Yes

The City and Gateway Draft Urban Design Framework was released for public consultation between 1 March and 6 May 2018.

Yes

Acton Peninsula Structure Plan was endorsed by the NCA Board in November 2017.

A minimum of one amendment has been prepared for inclusion in the Plan in the 2017-18 financial year.

Yes

Amendment 88 – change in land use on Blocks 3 and 15 Section 22 – Barton was tabled on 12 February 2018. The disallowance period concluded on 22 May 2018 in the House of Representatives and 19 June 2018 in the Senate.

1.3 Assess and manage applications to undertake works in Designated Areas in accordance with the National Capital Plan

All approved applications are consistent with the principles and policies of the National Capital Plan.

Yes

481 applications were assessed as being in accordance with the NCP and approved. Eight applications were withdrawn/ not supported.

Stakeholders and the community are consulted in accordance with the commitment to community engagement.

Yes

Extensive community consultation as a part of DA89, DA90 and DA91.

75-85% of Works Approvals applications processed are assessed against the National Capital Plan within 15 working days with targets increasing to 85-90% of applications assessed within 15 working days in
future years.

Yes

364 (76.8%) applications were assessed within 15 business days.

The three highest fees for applications approved in 2017-18, totalling $194,475, were: ANU Student Accommodation, $100,400 RMC Duntroon Health Centre, $54,425; and ANU Health and Wellbeing Building, $39,650.

Number of applications received via the electronic lodgement system increases annually to
90% by 2019-20.

Yes

Achieved (100% lodgements).

1.4 When requested, and with Ministerial approval, provide consultancy services either within Australia or overseas

Providing relevant consultancy services that are within the scope of the NCA’s capability to do so; and maintaining the skills and capability of relevant staff who provide consultancy services.

N/A

Not required.

Analysis of Performance Against Purpose

Planning

The National Capital Plan (the Plan) is the overarching legal instrument giving effect to the Commonwealth’s interests and intentions for the planning, design and development of Canberra as the National Capital. The NCA has continued to review the Plan to ensure that it reflects contemporary planning practice and themes. This is reflected through the preparation of planning policy for the Deakin/Forrest Residential Precinct, and individual sites in Barton and Deakin.

The NCA shares planning responsibility for Canberra and the Territory with the ACT Government. The NCA has worked collaboratively with the ACT Government in regard to the City and Gateway Draft Urban Design Framework. Released for public consultation in March 2018, the Framework will set the overarching principles for urban renewal and growth in the city centre and along the corridor to achieve well designed and sustainable buildings, urban infrastructure, public places and streets that are appropriate for the gateway to the National Capital. The shared interests of the NCA and the ACT Government for the city and gateway corridor will be reflected in a single framework.

The NCA’s commitment to design excellence is evident in both planning policy prepared to guide development in areas of national significance, and the establishment of an interim Design Review Panel (DRP) in conjunction with the ACT Government’s planning authority. The NCA and ACT Government planning authority will continue to work together to formally establish the DRP with the aim of improving the quality of buildings, landscapes and public spaces across the National Capital.

Works Approval performance

The target of processing and assessing 75–85 percent of
Works Approvals applications within 15 working days
was achieved (76.8 percent).

Purpose Two – Inform and Educate

Did You Know?  National Capital Exhibition  The original National Capital Exhibition was built as a temporary display for the visit of Queen Elizabeth II  in 1963.

NCA Corporate Plan 2:

Informing and educating the community about the importance of Canberra as the National Capital.

PBS Outcome 1:

Manage the strategic planning, promotion and enhancement of Canberra as the National Capital for all Australians through the development and administration of the National Capital Plan, the operation of the National Capital Exhibition, and
the delivery of education and awareness programs and works to enhance the character of the
National Capital.

Program 1.3: Objective: Increased awareness of the special importance of Canberra as the nation’s capital.

NCA Corporate Plan:

2.1 Develop, improve and manage our visitor services, attractions, and public and schools programs to be engaging and informative for our visitors

2.2 Create and deliver national touring exhibitions that educate Australians about the National Capital

2.3 Continue to engage and foster a local awareness of the NCA’s roles and responsibilities

Criteria Sources

Results against Performance Criteria

Performance Criterion

Result

Achieved

Explanation

2.1 Develop, improve and manage our visitor services, attractions, and public and schools programs to be engaging and informative for our visitors

Achieved the target of 160,000 visitors to the NCA’s attractions in 2017–18, and increased the number of visitors by 4%.

Yes

Visitation across all NCA managed attractions reached 179,635, which includes the NCA’s travelling exhibition program Brick by Brick and guided walking tours. The main attraction, the National Capital Exhibition, reached 155,740. Works were commenced in 2017-18 to renovate and update the National Capital Exhibition.

The National Capital Exhibition is considered for inclusion on the PACER Program.

No

The NCA has contributed to the 2018 review of the PACER Program by the Department of Education.

The National Capital Exhibition has been renewed.

Underway

Work on the renewal commenced in April 2018.

Each year there is a high level of event and people event bookings utilising National Capital Land.

Yes

Reported in NCA event approval systems.

Exit surveys show a minimum client satisfaction rating of 80% with NCA attractions.

Yes

97% of visitors surveyed rated their overall experience as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’.

New programs and activities are created and taken up by new and emerging audiences.

Yes

Additional walking tours were introduced.

2.2 Create and deliver national touring exhibitions that educate Australians about the National Capital.

A minimum of four venues host an NCA touring exhibition during 2017–18.

Yes

Brick by Brick travelled to seven venues in 2017–18:

  • Townsville, QLD
  • Mt Isa, QLD
  • Port Hedland, WA
  • Broome, WA
  • Darwin, NT
  • Palmerston, NT
  • Alice Springs, NT.

Qualitative survey results show that the awareness of Canberra in the locations that host the exhibitions has increased by 10%.

Yes

88.9% of teachers and participants surveyed reported an increased awareness of the National Capital.

Positive evaluation responses are received from venues based on a qualitative survey provided by the NCA.

Yes

All host venues reported favourable experiences with Brick by Brick. They really enjoyed the exhibition and the assistance offered from the NCA and its staff.

The current exhibitions that are travelling nationally are evaluated annually.

Yes

Brick by Brick has been evaluated against visitation results, surveys and host venue reports.

Programs are annually reviewed against visitor evaluations and adjusted accordingly.

Yes

Feedback has indicated very high satisfaction with programs.

2.3 Continue to engage and foster a local awareness of the NCA’s roles and responsibilities

The awareness of the Commonwealth’s roles and responsibilities increased annually in parallel with the National Perception Survey.

Yes

Continued promotion and awareness about areas within Canberra that the NCA manages were delivered through targeted public relations, marketing and media opportunities.

The number of events held within the NCA’s National Capital Estate remains high.

Yes

Reported in NCA event approval systems.

Community feedback monitored and recorded to ensure target audiences are being reached and new audiences are being identified.

Yes

Satisfaction with the NCA’s programs and tours remains high.

Attendance to consultation and feedback sessions is consistent with the International Association for Public Participation spectrum.

Yes

Several consultations were held throughout the year and while attendance varied, the sessions were well received overall.

A Public Forum to communicate NCA’s corporate objectives is held annually.

No

No corporate public forum was held in 2017-18. However regular public forums/ information sessions were held throughout the year for key NCA projects.

80% of Public Forum attendees are satisfied with the forum’s agenda and content and participate actively.

N/A

As above.

Public Forum attendees are provided with opportunities to reshape future forum agendas.

N/A

As above.

 <a href=National Carillon concert, Aspen Island." width="544" height="560"/>

Analysis of Performance against Purpose

The NCA continues to foster an awareness of Canberra as the Nation’s Capital. The NCA achieved its key objectives and targets throughout the year.

The National Capital Exhibition continued to perform strongly in the education market with a 3.6 percent increase in the participation in school education programs. Free and independent visitors were comparable to 2016-17 until the National Capital Exhibition closed and relocated temporarily for the redevelopment of the Exhibition at Regatta Point. As a result non-school visitors have decreased by 13.9 percent.

We continued to increase the number of people taking NCA guided walking tours this financial year, with approximately 5,321 people joining a tour, a 42.3 percent increase. Eighty percent of walking tour participants were students. The guided walking tours include Anzac Parade, Reconciliation Place, The Old Parliament House Gardens and Lake Burley Griffin.

The National Carillon attracted more than 10,000 spectators to the twice-weekly live performances by our carillonists, and to special events including the 2017 Christmas concert and the May The 4th Be With You - Star Wars community concert.

One hundred and four concerts in total were performed during the year and international guest carillonists included Hans Hielscher, Koen van Assche, Tiffany Ng, Anna Maria Reverte, Malgosia Fiebig, and Wesley Arai performed.

Blundells Cottage (the Cottage) was closed for part of 2017-18 for major conservation and landscape works. These new works will enable visitors to re-interpret the historical landscape and tell the Blundells family story. It is anticipated that the Cottage will be re-opened later in 2018.

The NCA’s travelling exhibition Brick by Brick has successfully travelled throughout Queensland, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory. The NCA continues its travelling West Coast exhibition. However, the East Coast exhibition was retired in early 2018. The travelling exhibition attracted 5,687 visitors to seven local libraries across Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

A variation of Brick by Brick for toddlers and preschoolers continues to be popular. Seven sessions were conducted during the year, with overall attendance of 78 people.

Throughout 2017-18 NCA continued its role and responsibility to increase the awareness of the National Capital through integrated and targeted marketing communications strategies including media, advertising and social media and tourism engagement activities.

Our engagement has continued to grow significantly on both Twitter (3,203 followers) and Facebook (over 2,400 followers). During 2017-18 our Facebook engagement grew by approximately 60 percent.

While no annual corporate public forum was held due to declining numbers over several years, the NCA delivered a number of community consultation sessions, several of which related to major projects such as Light Rail Stage One, Acton Peninsula Structure Plan, City and Gateway Urban Design Framework and a number of Draft Amendments including the Deakin/Forrest residential precinct.

The NCA will continue to assess the ways in which we engage with the community and listen to their views on how they would like us to communicate with them. We will aim to seek out and incorporate new ways of community engagement to ensure our communication is both adaptive and responsive to community needs.

Purpose Three – National Land

NCA Corporate Plan 3: Management and enhancement of Commonwealth Assets on National Land

PBS Outcome 1:

Manage the strategic planning, promotion and enhancement of Canberra as the National Capital for all Australians through the development and administration of the National Capital Plan, operation of the National Capital Exhibition, and delivery of education and awareness programs and works to enhance the character of the National Capital.

PBS Program 1.1: National Capital Function

PBS Program 1.1 Objective: Care for the nationally significant parts of Canberra

PBS Program 1.2: National Capital Estate

PBS Program 1.2: Objectives:

  • The management and enhancement of national land program by ensuring that national assets are managed and renewed to enhance the character
    of the National Capital.

Performance criteria

NCA Corporate Plan:

3.1 Maintenance and renewal of existing assets

  • The design and presentation of National Land and assets is commensurate with their national significance.

3.2 Creation of new assets

  • Improvement of National Land and assets enhances the significance and amenity of the National Capital.

3.3 Managing and promoting the use of National Land and property assets

  • The provision of attractive and functional public space and infrastructure that is accessible to all.
  • The facilitation of appropriate recreational and commercial activities on National Land and Lake Burley Griffin.

Criteria Sources

  • Subsections 6(a) and 6(b) of the PALM Act
  • NCA Corporate Plan 2017-21
  • PBS Program 1.1
  • PBS Program 1.2

People enjoying the shores of <a href=Lake Burley Griffin." width="932" height="441"/>

Results against Performance Criteria

Performance Criterion

Result

Achieved

Explanation

3.1 Maintenance and renewal of existing assets

A strategic Asset Management System (AMS) has been implemented to inform strategic financial planning and programming of works.

Yes

The NCA has undertaken a series of AMS development activities in 2017-18. The asset management system, comprises over 55,000+ assets of varying value, type, scale and size. The four principal Asset Classes contained within the software include Buildings, Transport, Open Spaces, Dam & Lake.

All assets rated as a safety risk are assessed and actioned according to their risk profile.

Yes

Maintenance and repair activities are prioritised based on risk.

Asset maintenance and renewal is informed by a ‘whole-of-life’ costing regime.

Yes

Planned capital works projects have been progressed.

3.2 Creation of new assets

Capital projects are delivered in accordance with the Capital Works Plan (CWP).

Yes

Completed assets have met budget/ schedule expectations, enhance the significance and amenity of the National Capital.

A Capital Works Plan (CWP) for the next five years is developed, aligning with the strategic financial framework and existing master plan.

Yes

A 10 year CWP has been developed. It assists the NCA to manage risk and guides works prioritisation and funding.

3.3 Managing and promoting the use of National Land and property assets

Levels of recreational and commercial activities remain high and events regularly and safely conducted on National Land and Lake Burley Griffin.

Yes

Over 500 public and private events were held on National Land and Lake Burley Griffin.

The safe and functional environment for public use and events continues to be provided.

Yes

Risk management is considered in all event applications.

Visitors to national institutions have access to safe, convenient and accessible car parks.

Yes

Utilisation rates of carparks remain at 70-80 percent.

Analysis of Performance against Purpose

An Asset Management System to inform the Asset Management Plan and appropriate levels of service have been developed

The NCA is undertaking a three-year project to update its Asset Management System based on the review and recommendation outlined in the Asset Management Strategy. In 2017–18 the NCA focused on:

  • implementing the asset management framework
  • developing the Asset Management Policy
  • developing a risk-based decision-making process
  • improving management of asset-related information
  • improving integrated workflow and reporting
  • documenting data collection and management processes
  • building an Asset Management System database.

All assets rated as a safety risk were assessed and actioned according to their risk profile. All assets rated as a safety risk ‘critical’ were actioned within six months of the rating being applied. Maintenance and repair works of the National Capital Estate, Lake Burley Griffin (the Lake), and Built Assets and Infrastructure were guided by Condition Assessment Reports and service level priorities.

Management of the National Capital Estate, including trees, horticulture, memorials, irrigation, playgrounds and open space, was guided by an annual General Condition Report. Overall, 85 percent of capital works were aligned to the condition report. Of these, approximately 90 percent were completed within the stated contract rectification timeframes based on the priority- rating hierarchy. The balance were principally ‘reactive’ works in nature. The NCA continues to implement works through its tree removal and replacement program to maintain the treed landscape in accordance with relevant heritage management plans.

Program and reactive works relating to Built Assets on National Land are managed in accordance with the National Capital Authority Condition Assessment – All Infrastructure Assets Report and the approved NCA Capital Works Plan. The focus for 2017–18 was on roads, footpaths and street lighting assets.

The monthly reports provided by the project’s managing head contractor identified all safety risks and 100 percent of required works were actioned according to their risk profile. All safety risks identified as ‘critical’ were actioned within the prescribed six-month period of the ratings being applied.

The NCA is compliant with the Australian National Committee on Large Dams Incorporated Guidelines and the Dam Safety Management Plan (DSMP). The 2018 Annual Validation Audit of the DSMP was undertaken by the Scrivener Dam Independent Technical Advisor (GHD Pty Ltd) as a second party audit in accordance with the requirements of ISO 19011:2001 Guidelines for Auditing Management Systems. In summary, this audit has shown that the level and quality of documentation, both technical and non- technical, and the ongoing management of this documentation is of a very high standard. The definition of tasks in the DSMP is clear. The standard dam operations and maintenance, and dam safety activities, including surveillance and emergency preparedness, meets current Australian National Committee on Large Dams and the ACT Dam Safety Code guidelines and standards.

Recreational and commercial activities were regularly and safely conducted on National Land and the Lake.

The 2017-18 Lake recreational season (mid-October to mid-April) began with a few instances of adverse water quality issues. From mid-February dramatic growth in blue green algae was observed and all nine recreational sites were closed to primary contact activities due to the unsafe levels. Primary contact includes recreation where there is a high probability that water is swallowed or inhaled. The Lake experienced the highest number of closures due to blue green algae since the 2011-12 recreational season. The peak of the elevated blue green algae had passed by early April and all areas re-opened by the end of the recreational season. Environmental conditions, including below average rainfall in the Lake’s catchment over the preceding months were a contributing factor. All alerts and closures were in accordance with the ACT Guidelines for Recreational Water Quality (ACT Health, 2014). There were no contamination events from external sources. All sites around the Lake were open for recreation 80 percent of the season.

The NCA began using the Swim Guide for the reporting of recreational water quality for the Lake. The Swim Guide (www.theswimguide.org) provides up to date water quality information in a user friendly format, either online or via the free smartphone app. Recreational users can find their closest swimmable beach or search for their favorite location.

The number of Boat Permits increased again this year: 199 C1 permits (rescue, coaching or judging boats supporting aquatic sports); 413 C2 permits (electric, solar or wind-powered boats with auxiliary motors); 39 C3 permits (boats used for lake management and special interest boats); and six C4 permits (commercial tourist use).

The events on the Lake have increased by over 30 percent this year with several rowing or sailing regattas, an increase in lake swim events and the introduction of the Surf Nippers Program (Broulee Surf Life Saving Club). Over 100,000 people came to the shores of Lake Burley Griffin to watch Skyfire.

Convenient visitor access to the national institutions continues to improve following the commencement of pay parking on National Land in October 2014. The trend in overall ticket sales over the entire period has remained consistent, however overall revenue has increased indicating a user demand for longer parking. Regular and consistent enforcement has improved user behaviour, consequently improving accessibility of parking spaces and protecting NCA infrastructure. Divestment of four carparks by Department of Finance saw the loss of approximately 617 pay parking spaces.

Venues on National Land continue to be popular for major events including Floriade, Skyfire, Enlighten, Australia Day celebrations, Anzac Day Commemorations, Queen’s Birthday celebrations, sporting and music festivals. Usage of National Land for events remains high, with 539 events held on National Land in 2017-18. This included 416 Private and Exclusive Events, 22 Lake events, 27 ceremonial events, 13 commercial events and 61 charity and community events. The NCA also introduced an online payment portal, allowing users to pay through a dedicated website.

The NCA completed a review of its events fees and charges, including a consultation process with community and event organisers. The updated Events Fees and Charges were implemented on 1 July 2018.

A Capital Works Plan based on endorsed Master Plans and the Asset Management Plan is developed

The NCA’s Capital Works Program includes the improvement or renewal of existing assets on National Land and the creation of new assets, within the Central National Area. The NCA’s Capital Works Plan
is a combination of rolling works programs and stand-alone project initiatives.

The NCA is in the process of developing a new Asset Management System, which is helping to inform future capital works. As this system is developed, it will further inform capital works planning and delivery.

Existing master plans inform some but not all works in the Capital Works Plan for the National Capital Estate. Master plans, such as those for Kings and Commonwealth Avenues, and Heritage Management Plans are continuing to be developed by the NCA to inform its future Capital Works Plans. Works in the 2017–18 Year Capital Works Plan informed by endorsed master plans included:

  • carpark upgrade works
  • International Flag Display Works
  • Blundells Cottage works
  • Canberra Central Parklands works.

Capital projects are delivered in accordance with the Capital Works Plan

A range of NCA projects were progressed through the year to achieve compliance with current Australian standards, improve public amenity and establish sites of national significance.

Construction was completed for the following projects:

  • International Flag Display Extension and Lighting Works
  • East Block, West Block and Dorothy Tangney Place carpark lighting replacement
  • Scrivener Dam electrical control system replacement.

Construction was substantively advanced for the following projects:

  • National Capital Exhibition replacement
  • Blundells Cottage landscaping and slab shed works
  • National Police memorial replacement works
  • Sailability Jetty preparatory works on the Lake.

The following projects underwent preliminary development:

  • National Library of Australia forecourt poplars replacement
  • National Carillon instrument replacement works
  • Commonwealth Park street furniture replacement.

The NCA collaborated on, facilitated or managed the following third party–initiated or funded projects:

  • Australian Peacekeeping Memorial
  • Boundless Playground additional works (Stages 2 and 3)
  • National Emergency Services Memorial Enhancement Works
  • Ian Potter National Conservatory (on behalf of the Australian National Botanic Gardens).

In addition to the above projects, the NCA managed a number of minor capital works across the National Capital Estate to upgrade or replace:

  • lighting
  • roadways and associated infrastructure
  • irrigation services
  • memorial works
  • jetties
  • Scrivener Dam components
  • trees
  • landscaping.

Key Project Outcome Clarification Summary

NCA projects that have been completed or substantively completed have typically made significant improvements to public safety and/or amenity and/or operational effectiveness.

As part of conducting ongoing improvement works on its estate the NCA has replaced lighting in a number of key carparks. Replacement lighting works were completed in the Parliamentary Zone at the West Block carpark in August 2017, the Dorothy Tangney Place carpark in September 2017 and the East Block carpark in November 2017.

As the electrical system that controls the flood and sluice gates at Scrivener Dam (the Dam) did not meet current standards it was fully replaced to improve efficiency, safety and reliability for the next 50 years. The new system introduces computerised control of the Dam including the latest hardware and customised software for effective operations. On site works were completed in February 2018, with operating procedures, associated electrical drawings and other necessary operational documentation finalised by June 2018.

Other dam related projects completed by June 2018 included the Dam’s:

  • slipway winch replacement
  • Sluice Gate 2 spindle replacement
  • gangway trolleys replacement
  • lighting replacement.

Additionally, the Dam’s flood early warning system was upgraded to better predict inflows into the Lake. This included:

  • works to the two existing hydrometric stations in the Dam’s upper catchment
  • installation of a new hydrometric station at Lower Woolshed Creek.

Construction commenced on an upgrade of the National Capital Exhibition (the Exhibition) in April 2018. The works involve a major revitalisation of the entire exhibition including a new array of digital, interactive, tactile and graphic displays to help improve the visitor experience. The works will facilitate growing visitor numbers to the Exhibition. The Exhibition was officially reopened on 24 September 2018.

The first major upgrade of the surrounding landscape at Blundells Cottage (the Cottage) commenced construction in April 2018. A key part of the works involves the conservation and restoration of the slab shed located immediately adjacent the Cottage.

The Cottage is scheduled to be officially reopened later in 2018.

Commemorative plaza replacement works commenced on site at the National Police Memorial in April 2018. The works were completed prior to key annual commemorative events at the Memorial on 15 September 2018.

Blundells Cottage Is the last remaining original house close to the Lake, having been built in 1859 as part of the Duntroon Estate.

The NCA is partnering with the Canberra Yacht Club and Sailability ACT to design and install a purposebuilt recreational sailing facility for members of the Canberra community who have a disability. The site for the new facility is in Lotus Bay on the southern foreshore of the Lake. This location will enable Sailability ACT operations to relocate from Lake Tuggeranong to a more central area within the broader Canberra community, allowing a greater number and range of people with accessibility issues to participate in sailing activities.

Site stabilisation enabling works were constructed in late 2017 and a custom shelter and associated hardstand installed in early 2018. The final phase of the works, involving a ‘finger-jetty’ pontoon system tailored to meet accessibility requirements, is scheduled to be installed in September-November 2018.

The Australian Peacekeeping Memorial was dedicated by the Governor-General and Lady Cosgrove on 14 September 2017. This new national memorial, located on Australia’s premier commemorative way, has made a significant contribution to the symbolic and ceremonial role of the National Capital.

The NCA commenced planning for the removal and replacement of the stand of poplar trees located in the forecourt of the National Library of Australia. The works are scheduled to commence in March-May 2019 to enable advanced planting stock to be sourced and planting to occur at the optimum time.

In early 2018, the NCA began preliminary scoping discussions with John Taylor and Co, the United Kingdom contractor responsible for fabricating the original musical instrument located in the National Carillon on Aspen Island. The NCA intends to upgrade the instrument to address wear and tear and improve the ability for carillonists to play the instrument in time for the 50th anniversary of the National Carillon being opened, which occurs on 26 April 2020. The proposed works will include the full replacement of the original clavier used to play the instrument and parts of the transmission system connecting the clavier to the bells located overhead in the building’s bell chamber.

Construction of street furniture replacement works including new seating, benches and picnic tables throughout Commonwealth Park East was commenced in June 2018 and completed in late 2018. The new street furniture replaces deteriorated street furniture in the precinct including localised replacement pavement finishes.

The clover leaf roadways which form on and off ramps to Commonwealth and Kings Avenue are lit at night from 30 metre high light towers, otherwise known as High Mast Lights. The NCA owns and manages 15 of these structures. In 2017-18 the NCA undertook design works for replacement light towers.

The NCA is managing the design development through to construction of the Ian Potter National Conservatory (the Conservatory) on behalf of the Australian National Botanic Gardens (ANBG). The Conservatory is intended to showcase Australian tropical flora, including threatened species from Kakadu, Cape York Peninsula and Christmas Island National Parks. The concept design was selected following a national design competition run by the ANBG in 2016.

A new memorial wall was dedicated on 1 May 2018 at the National Emergency Services Memorial at a commemorative service conducted by the Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Council (AFAC). The NCA managed the design and construction of the memorial wall on behalf of AFAC. The memorial wall recognises over 400 people who have died protecting Australian communities. There is capacity for further names to be commemorated, when this is required.

 

Kathleen Berg, Volunteer Guide, National Capital Exhibition, Regatta Point, Commonwealth Park.

CASE STUDY
Kathleen Berg, Volunteer Guide


Born in Sydney, raised in Brisbane and coming from a long line of successful, hard working women, Kathleen Berg grew up knowing ‘girls can do whatever they put their minds to’. Daring to challenge the status quo, she chose to follow in her father’s footsteps and became a Civil Engineer, one of very few females in the field at that time.

Kathleen lived for six years in Papua New Guinea eventually working as the City Engineer for Port Moresby, with a break in London for her Post Graduate studies. In the 1980s and 90s Kathleen had two stints in Malaysia. On the first, her husband was on a Colombo Plan Aid posting, while on the second, they both were working as engineers. Kathleen has travelled all over Australia, living as far North as Cairns and as far South as Moruya. Since marrying her husband Harry in 1967, they have moved house over 20 times. They returned to Canberra in 1998, settling for good, and have travelled the world in their retirement.

Throughout her life, Kathleen has volunteered in many ways, including for Scouts, Girl Guides, School Committees, the 2000 Olympics and also for the Heart Foundation, and leading walks at Floriade. Kathleen’s many hobbies include stamp and coin collecting, embroidery and knitting but her biggest love, other than her husband, three children and seven grandchildren, is walking.

Harry and Kathleen started the Canberra Walking Festival (Running is not permitted!) in 1992, an annual event later to become an internationally accredited festival; 50 international visitors attended in 2018. The group also run fortnightly walks. Their motto is “Fun, fitness and friendship through walking.” Harry and Kathleen were awarded OAMs in 2013 for their services to recreational walking.

Kathleen first heard about volunteering for the National Capital Authority when the program was in its infancy and she joined in 2000 in the very first Interpretive Volunteer intake. Being a Guide ticked all of her boxes: walking; meeting new people; and sharing stories. Soon Kathleen realised the power she had to positively influence people’s view of Canberra.

“ We share the stories of Canberra with others and they share their stories with us.”

Kathleen has really enjoyed her experience guiding over the past 18 years, leading tours of Anzac Parade, Reconciliation Place and Blundells Cottage. As the daughter of a returned World War II Rats of
Tobruk soldier, Kathleen particularly sees the importance in sharing the messages from
Anzac Parade with young people.