Sustainable growth of the region

It is the responsibility of the Territory, Commonwealth and NSW Governments, with input from affected local government areas, to determine what is the most appropriate and sustainable urban settlement pattern to accommodate growth in Canberra and surrounding NSW.

The Spatial Plan of necessity cannot treat Canberra as an island but must also consider the surrounding NSW region. The Strategic Direction is that the metropolitan structure of Canberra should be contained, and centred around the principal business and cultural district, Civic, with a degree of local self containment based on a series of town centres, including Queanbeyan. To achieve this more compact city structure, a greater proportion of population growth is planned to be accommodated within the ACT rather than assuming it will be taken up by surrounding NSW. This city structure will provide, over time, the urban concentrations necessary for a more sustainable transport system and for the efficient provision of infrastructure. The more compact city form will also ensure a lesser impact in terms of resource consumption and environmental protection.

The Territory acknowledges that planning for the areas outside the ACT is the responsibility of NSW State and Local Governments. However, the cross-border issues relating to water, transport and other service delivery, as well as the opportunities for improved economic development that the synergistic growth of Canberra and its region offers, makes it imperative that a regional approach to managing growth and change is attained. Accordingly, the Territory Government will work cooperatively to address cross-border issues, including through the establishment of a Regional Management Framework and participation in the preparation of the Sydney-Canberra Corridor Strategy, with a view to reaching agreements to achieve sustainable management of growth in the region.