Creation of a New Diplomatic Estate
In February 2020 the ACT Government and the Australian Government reached agreement to facilitate the projected growth of diplomatic missions and foreign representation in the National Capital through the transfer of Block 4 Section 106 Curtin, and approximately 70% of Block 5 Section 121 Curtin to the Commonwealth. (The portion of Block 5 Section 121 Curtin transferred to the Commonwealth is now known as Block 12 Section 121 Curtin.) The Australian Government will establish a new diplomatic estate on the site.
Below are details of the land transfers registered on Monday 23 March 2020.
Australia’s obligations with respect to diplomatic missions are defined under the Vienna Convention of Diplomatic Relations. This includes a commitment to facilitate the acquisition of premises for the establishment of foreign missions. The NCA is responsible for the creation and management of diplomatic sites on National Land in Canberra and is therefore now responsible for the management of the land that has been transferred to the Commonwealth.
The creation of this new diplomatic estate will strengthen Australia’s cooperative international trade relationships and open pathways to liaise with a number of countries wishing to have a diplomatic presence in Canberra. The NCA look forward to welcoming additional countries to the diplomatic community and acknowledge the important contribution they make to the life of the city and the region.
Block 12 Section 121 currently forms part of the North Curtin horse agistment paddocks and is managed by Territory Agistment. The NCA has entered into a licence with Territory Agistment to continue to operate Block 12 as a horse agistment paddock.
While the development of further diplomatic land is a priority, the NCA does not foresee any changes to the current day-to-day agistment arrangements in the immediate future as there are many steps involved in planning the diplomatic precinct.
In October 2020, Amendment 95 to the National Capital Plan was approved. Amendment 95 changed the land use policy of Block 4 Section 106 Curtin and Block 12 Section 121 Curtin to one that facilitates diplomatic use. The amendment process included public consultation, Ministerial consideration, and Parliamentary scrutiny.
The NCA is working on the planning and development of this site. The projected steps include:
- Estate development planning to determine block and road layouts, open space networks, location of car parking areas, connections to existing infrastructure, etc
- Physical construction works, including the necessary approvals to enable these works to occur.
The NCA has engaged Cardno (NSW/ACT) Pty Ltd to undertake site investigations and prepare a preliminary concept plan for the North Curtin Diplomatic Estate.
The preliminary design will be used by the NCA to form the basis of a business case to the Australian Government to inform future capital works proposals for estate development and (subdivision) construction works.
The NCA will continue to liaise with interested diplomatic missions wishing to establish a diplomatic presence in Canberra or seeking new premises.