The Australian Capital Territory (Planning and Land Management) Act 1988 requires the National Capital Authority to keep the Plan under review and to propose amendments when necessary. Draft Amendments are prepared and circulated for public and the Territory planning authority for comments.  A consultation report is also required to be provided to the Minister following circulation of any Draft Amendment.

The main provisions of the Legislation Act 2003 commenced on 1 January 2005 and as a result registration on the Federal Register of Legislation (FRL) web site is now the official form of notification for all Commonwealth legislative instruments which includes the following Amendments to the National Capital Plan. This web site is located at

Click here for a comprehensive list of the Amendments to the National Capital Plan.

Amendment Process

The current National Capital Plan (the Plan) came into effect on 21 January 1990. In accordance with the Act, the NCA is required to review and amend the Plan.

The Amendment process includes public consultation, preparation of a Consultation Report and submission to the Minister. If approved by the Minister, amendments are subject to disallowance by either House of the Federal Parliament. The process of review and amendment responds to the contemporary environment while ensuring that development accords with Canberra and the Territory’s national significance.

The process for amendments to the Plan includes:

  • preparation of a Draft Amendment;
  • consultation and review;
  • submission and action by the Minister; and
  • parliamentary scrutiny.

Preparation of a Draft Amendment

When the NCA has identified a need to amend the Plan to ensure it continues to fulfil its objective, it prepares a draft amendment.

Consultation and review

Once a Draft Amendment has been prepared, the NCA releases it for public consultation. In accordance with the Act, this means that the NCA must:

  • consult with the Territory Planning Authority on the Draft Amendment;
  • publish a notice in the Commonwealth Gazette and a principal daily newspaper circulating in the Territory advertising the draft amendment;
  • make the draft amendment available for public inspection;
  • have regard to any submissions which have been made on the draft amendment and make changes if considered necessary; and
  • prepare a written report on its consultations to be submitted to the Minister.

Submission and action by the Minister

After taking into account the views expressed during the consultation process, the NCA recommends to the Minister that the draft amendment to the Plan be approved.

If the NCA reports to the Minister that the Territory Planning Authority objects to any aspect of the Draft Amendment, the Minister must consult with the ACT Executive before making a decision.

The Minister, before approving a Draft Amendment, may refer it to a Parliamentary Committee for its independent inquiry or advice.

An amendment to the Plan takes effect when the amendment is registered on the Federal Register of Legislation.

Publication of responses to the draft amendment

Once the Minister approves the amendment the NCA will publish the Consultation Report and responses to public submissions on our website.

The NCA seeks an open and transparent Draft Amendment process. The Consultation Report will include a summary of each submission. The NCA intends to publish the name and suburb of each person making the submission, but will not publish contact details (such as physical address, email or phone number).

If you have a concern about having your name published on the internet or if you wish to make a confidential submission, you must make this clear when submitting your comments and state why you want your submission to be kept confidential.

The NCA will consider requests for confidentiality, but cannot make promises in advance. If you have concerns about confidentiality, please contact the NCA to discuss before making a submission.

Parliamentary scrutiny

Once the Minister approves the amendment, it is tabled for 15 sitting days in both houses of the Federal Parliament. The Parliament may raise a motion to disallow (all or part of) the amendment to the Plan.

Certified amendments

A draft amendment to the Plan may be ‘certified’ by the Minister to give it interim effect while it is considered further.

A draft amendment may not be brought into effect through certification until it has been made available for public consultation. Certification has effect for six months and can be extended for one or more periods of up to six months.