Amendments to the National Capital Plan

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's comments. Section 20A of the Act provides the means for the Minister to resolve a possible deadlock between the Authority and the Territory planning authority concerning Draft Amendments to the National Capital Plan. No such action has been required.

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

The following Amendments to the Plan have been made since its inception in 1990. Specific policies of Amendments that have not yet been incorporated into the web-version of the National Capital Plan can be viewed below.

Amendments are available for download in PDF, RTF, DOC or DOCX format.

Amendment Process

The National Capital Authority (NCA) is established under the Australian Capital Territory (Planning and Land Management) Act 1988 (the Act).

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. After approval by the Minister, amendments are subject to disallowance by either House of the Commonwealth of 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 ACTPLA 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 accordingly;
  • 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 ACTPLA 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 notice of the Minister’s approval is formally published in the Commonwealth Gazette.

Publication of responses to the draft amendment

Once the Minister approves the amendment the NCA will publish the Consultation Report and Public Submissions Table on our website.

The Consultation Report and Public Submissions Table may include written comments received from individuals or organisations including the name of the person or principal submitter.

It is our intention that the Public Submissions Table would include the name and address of each person or principal submitter who provided written comments to the NCA on the draft amendment.

If you do not want your name and/or address to be included in the Consultation Report or Public Submissions Table please state this clearly at the top of your submission, in a covering note or by ticking the relevant box on the consultation proforma.

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.

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