The National Capital Authority (NCA) is undertaking a planning reform process to update the National Capital Plan (the Plan). The Plan has not been holistically reviewed since it came into effect in 1990.

The Plan is the overarching legal instrument giving effect to the Commonwealth's interests and intentions for planning, designing and developing Canberra and the Territory as the National Capital.

The NCA prepares and administers the Plan on behalf of the Commonwealth.

Exposure Draft

In June 2015, the NCA released an Exposure Draft of the Plan for community consultation. The Exposure Draft enabled discussions with stakeholders outside statutory processes. The NCA sought to understand the public’s views before starting the statutory process to amend the Plan.

The Exposure Draft of the Plan proposed key changes relating to:

  • the structure and format of the document
  • metropolitan planning (matters such as urban form, land use, transport and infrastructure)
  • areas identified as having special characteristics of the National Capital (Designated Areas)
  • areas where there is a high level of Commonwealth interest but where the detailed planning role is shared between the National Capital Authority and ACT Government (Special Requirements).

Key issues raised during community consultation on the Exposure Draft related to:

  • broad policy matters such as the expression of national interest and national significance, changes to the urban areas of Canberra and the identification of potential future urban areas, and heritage
  • the format and structure of the document
  • changes to the planning arrangements between the NCA and ACT Government, including the extent of Special Requirements and Designated Areas
  • specific policy matters such as those relating to diplomatic missions, Lake Burley Griffin, and building heights.

Public feedback on the Exposure Draft of the Plan informed a number of changes to the revised Plan as proposed by Draft Amendment 86. Key changes in response to public comment related to land use, the General Policy Plan – Metropolitan Canberra, additional governance arrangements for certifying land use proposals, and reinstatement of Special Requirements for Haig and Telopea Parks.

A full description of the issues and NCA response to these is available in the Exposure Draft consultation report  

Amendment 86

On 1 October 2015, the NCA release Draft Amendment 86 for community consultation. In accordance with the NCA’s ‘Commitment to Community Engagement (February 2015)’ the period for public comment ran for 30 business days, concluding on 13 November 2015.

On 5 May 2016, the Minister for Major Projects, Territories and Local Government, the Hon. Paul Fletcher MP approved Amendment 86 to the National Capital Plan.

Information related to Amendment 86 as approved by the Minister is available here

What's next?

The NCA will shortly commence the next stage of the Plan review, focussing on detailed provisions of the Plan. This page will be updated as work progresses.

To register your interest in keeping up to date with the National Capital Plan review project, please email or by calling (02) 6271 2888.