National Capital Plan - Exposure Draft 2015

Consultation on the National Capital Plan Exposure Draft has closed. Thank you to everyone who partipated.

The National Capital Plan

The National Capital Plan (the Plan) is the strategy and blueprint giving effect to the Commonwealth's interests and intentions for planning, designing and developing Canberra and the Territory. The National Capital Authority (NCA) is responsible for administering the National Capital Plan for the Australian Government.

National Capital Plan Review

The NCA is undertaking a reform process to update the Plan and to amend the planning arrangements between the Australian and ACT Governments. The Plan has not been reviewed since it came into effect in 1990. The Plan reform work is intended to achieve four key outcomes:

  • A revised and modernised National Capital Plan.
  • Changes to metropolitan planning arrangements to provide greater flexibility to the ACT Government to accommodate the growth of Canberra.
  • Reducing duplication and complexity in planning for a substantial portion of Territory Land by removing Special Requirements.
  • Minor adjustments to areas identified as having the special characteristics of the National Capital (Designated Areas).

National Capital Plan Exposure Draft

The NCA's focus has been on streamlining the shared responsibilities and interests of the Australian and ACT Governments. Key proposed changes to the Plan relate to:

The content of the Exposure Draft has been largely derived from existing Plan content and there are few other policy changes.

Who is affected by the proposed changes?

The planning reform work largely addresses strategic planning matters and administrative arrangements between the NCA and the ACT Government. The changes to the Plan will primarily result in a clearer definition of the role of the NCA in planning in the ACT and will help create efficiencies in strategic planning processes.

How have we got here?

The NCA has prepared an Exposure Draft of the revised Plan for public comment. In preparing the Exposure Draft, the following key principles were adopted:

  • As many areas of detailed planning duplication as practicable have been removed.
  • Detailed planning policy in areas over which the NCA has detailed planning responsibility is largely unchanged, and review of planning policies will form later stages of the Plan review
  • The reforms can be delivered without changes to the overarching legislation (the Australian Capital Territory (Planning and Land Management) Act 1988).
  • The Commonwealth retains planning control over its land.
  • The ACT Government is given greater flexibility in the planning of urban areas, while still maintaining an appropriate level of Commonwealth engagement.
  • The Commonwealth will retain powers necessary to uphold the national interest.

Find out more

If you would like to speak to someone regarding the project, please phone 02 6271 2888 or email

Our Promise to You

During consultation the NCA will:

  • disseminate information to the community through multiple channels, to reach as many stakeholders as possible
  • ensure there are a variety of ways for you to provide feedback on the revised Plan
  • report back to the public at regular intervals about how the project is progressing, key issues that have arisen, and how feedback has been or will be incorporated into the revised Plan.

Have Your Say

The NCA would like to hear your thoughts on the Exposure Draft of the Plan and will be accepting comments until 4.30pm on Wednesday 22 July 2015.

You can have your say in one or more of the following ways:

  • join in the discussion on one of our online forums
  • email your comments to
  • write to the Chief Planner, National Capital Authority, GPO Box 373, Canberra ACT 2601.

Register your interest