Lyneham Community Precinct

Lyneham Community Precinct

After discussions with various people, including our group, Sport & Recreation Services (SR&S) have proposed an area for the Lyneham Community Precinct (area indicated below) which includes the three schools around the oval which includes a small section south of the bike path between the shops and the LHS where the Lyneham Commons will begin to grow.

Lyneham Community Precinct


The proposed area shown in red is not, as yet, included in any  current precinct plans however we intend to lobby for the area to be included and be zoned for community recreational use and protected as open green space. This may be a long process but we have to start somewhere. (see below for an update)

Development on the ‘oval’

At this stage we have not seen any proposals by Brindabella Christian College (BCC), or anyone else, for development on the oval, however, we do know that BCC are working on something. (UpdateThe Acting Executive Principal has advised that plans for a completely revamped project are being worked on by their recently appointed architectural team.

S&RS have indicated that there will be a public forum to discuss with the community any proposal that BCC may pay put forward. It is important to note that SR&S can only respond to a proposal put forward by BCC, or anyone else, so they have to wait for BCC to put a concrete proposal forward before they can do anything else.

We have a firm commitment from S&RS that any proposal by BCC will be discussed at a community forum and that it will not proceed to a Development Application until community input is considered.

As part of the process we encourage you to comment and/or ask questions below or by email. Also see Record of key points from Brindabella College Public Forum 20 November 2014 for some background.


Update (Tuesday 12 May)

Territory & Municipal Services (TAMS) have commenced a community consultation on the Lyneham Commons on their Time To Talk website. It is pleasing to see a mention that S&RS ‘is currently preparing a draft Lyneham Community Precinct Strategy’ on the website.

The Acting Executive Principal of BCC has sent us a letter on where they are up to regarding their proposal for the Lyneham Oval which you can read here.

Please let us know how you would like to see the Lyneham Community Precinct grow, as our secretary has wisely said:

This is our community effort and if we don’t demonstrate any interest then we will get an outcome decided for us, which may not be to everyone’s wishes.

Be bold, think big, how would you like to see the Lyneham Community Precinct evolve?


  1. Robin Davidson

    I can’t find anything on that ACT Government Time to Talk web-site about this, though blog above says there is a community consultation on this. What’s the story?
    Cheers, Robin.

    1. Chair

      Hi Robin
      welcome to our blog and thanks for the feedback.

      It appears I have confused things for people. Time to Talk has consultation for the Lyneham Food Forest only. Consultations on the proposed Community Precinct will start with a community forum in the near future and in the meantime we are asking people to give us some feedback here by email and when we set up info sessions at the shops which we hope to do more of very soon.

      I am expecting to hear very soon the date for the community forum which we will get out to the community in as many ways as we can manage.

      Have a think about what you think the precinct might like look and be imaginative and follow your wildest dreams 🙂


  2. waterwoman

    Ok, so I really am a bit slow and have taken a while to catch up on reading. After reading BCC’s acting principal’s letter I feel there is some urgency in making sure we as a community state clearly what we want on this patch.
    Personally I think it is ridiculous to create another sports arena when there are green fields empty all week just across Mouat St. Lyneham does NOT need another sports field of this type.
    A local playground (adventure style perhaps) could service preschool and school age children and there is little available in the local vicinity.

    Tired, must stop now, more anon.

  3. waterwoman

    I suspect the original intention of the original post has been somewhat lost.
    I would like to propose the following:
    A competition run for the three schools – ways to collect water from the roofs of the schools to water the oval.
    We could involve kids and schools in ideas for the entire space. They may need some limiting parameters or it could be just free thinking…

    The sad thing with the food commons was they were told they were not allowed to do raised beds, which ruled out the involvement of elderly and disabled originally excited by the opportunity.

    Simple things to start:
    Seats regularly spaced next to bike paths and around park in shaded areas.
    Garbage bins???
    Ask Lyneham High School to regularly clean the rubbish around the outside of their fence.

    That’s a few ideas for now. And as I’ve said in other posts I intend to get the Sullivans Creek Restoration Project established soon.

    We need constructive, forward thinking, creative ideas, that can be turned into plans that make our space even more wonderful, without it having to be over controlled or developed.

  4. @Lyneham_ACT asks – | – May 12
    Will Sullivan’s Creek flow through Lyneham’s #greenspace again? We can make it happen with support Give us feedback
    Is this a Buddhist challenge such as “What is the sound of one hand clapping ?”, or is it a blue-sky proposal to rip up the concrete channelling from Mouat Street bridge to about the @LynehamCommons forest site (or beyond, even) ?
    The idea is intriguing as not many would remember the daze when the Sullivans Creek ‘flowed free’. Moreover, the channelling, and now tunnelling of the Creek north of Mouat Street is even more extensive, behind the bund of the 100-year flood mitigation barriers built on the northern side around Mouat Street.
    I can remember fishing Yabbies out of a natural pond, somewhere near to the Creek’s arch-bridge near to current the Archery field buildings, in 1959. That bit wasn’t all concreted then; and we played cricket on the concrete pitch near to the current North Lynhema shops. (The pitch is still there.)
    I suspect the answer to the Twitter question, is now not in my lifetime – what;’s left of it. All the more reason for me to try to be civil, especially in trying to help NIMBYs see a broader perspective than self-interest, before I become a smut in their eye from the Mitchell chimney.
    OH ! Was that a faintly heard single hand clap .. ..

    1. waterwoman

      John Douglas, just for the sake of straightforwardness. I’d like to see the return of a waterway that is not a concrete channel. Would you? It can happen. It’s happened in a number of places all over the world, even in Australia, and it’s actually been supported by government bodies too! I will be posting links soon to some examples. Why not get involved and inspired? Sitting sardonically in the corner must be boring.

  5. P.S. I should have imagined that any reduction of the Dust Clouds coming from the present leased car park on the BCC southern boundary, might have been seen as some progress of benefit to everyone. El Niño is predicted to be high-risk of drought, so dust is more tedious than the children trudging through mud across the plains we have to share.
    Next there are those Leaves, from those pesky Brigalow Street trees – now, BCC didn’t plant those trees .. .. but their Leaf-Blowing might well be rescheduled for later in the after-school day, perhaps ? Has to be before or after Classes, or maybe during Lunch-break ? Cheerio ! John Douglas

    1. Chair

      Hi again John,
      you would know that regardless of whether a sports hall gets built on the current dustbowl car park or within the boundary of BCC the car park will be sealed.

      Fallen leaves are at one and the same time endearing and annoying my very personal view is let them be scattered by the four winds without mechanical intervention of any sort as I have some sort of allergy to blowing and/or raking 😉

  6. I DO Appreciate the Chair’s more conciliatory stance no being advocated towards the new DA from BCC.
    Let’s wait to see what is newly proposed, is prudent.
    I wonder whether these polite observation will be posted ?
    As the Chair is aware, I have not agreed with unthinking NIMBY sentiments, when those anti-development lobbyists advocate predominantly out of selfishness and jingoistic anti-Private school bias. BCC is an important contibutor to Education in the ACT. Christian ecucation at that. (I can only wonder at any application for a Mosque in Lyneham [complementing our long-standing three Buddhist, and Orthodox Catholic and Roman Catholic institutions] was ever to be proposed !)
    I remain of the view that LCA Inc. is not well-served by its currently defined narrowly-focussed Goal 1. It still needs redrafting in my view.
    Thank you
    John Douglas

    1. Chair

      Hi John
      welcome to our blog and thanks for your input.

      I will not take great issue with the pejorative view that has been expressed except to say, one day, we may get to meet face to face over a beverage and once we all began to talk with and listen to each other we all may well come to another view.

      I am not clear on what you mean about our goal 1 and would be more than happy to listen to and hear your thoughts.

    2. Secretary

      Dear John,
      I usually hesitate to respond to your oppositional and provocative comments, as they are your legitimately held views. We welcome all reasonable, well thought and articulated opinion.

      It is past due time for a small interjection.

      I believe it would be helpful to discussions and, most likely your case, if you took time to reflect deeply on the use of pejorative terms such as ‘jingoistic’and ‘selfishness’ when you rally against LCA.

      Jingoistic, in some people’s eyes, would be an appropriate description of the way BCC operates as a ‘belligerent foreigner’ particularly in light of the experience we have of some of BCC board members’ formal and ‘informal’ actions in its dealings with neighbours and community members.

      Selfishness is an interesting trait especially when considered against the BCC proposal to claim legislated public open space as its own, enlisting the SR&S as its surreptitious proxy.

      John, your are obviously well connected at BCC and highly informed of their activities and ways of operating so can I suggest that you become even better acquainted with the thoughts (and deeds) of the Deputy Chair of the board, Acting Executive Principal, and some others there on their relationship with LCA and particularly how our chair has operated.

      I leave you with these words:

      Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves.
      Phillipians 2:3


  7. old fart

    Hi Chair,
    I understood that SRS has assured us that “there will be no Development Application lodged until after a full community consultation process”. My point was that a consultation process has to be open to revising or abandoning a plan based on community support or otherwise. Its an important distinction.

    The process is relatively easy its what is done with the result that matters.

    Enough of that – more interest is the precinct plan. Im looking forward to hearing the ideas of the community.

    I love the sort of vision that Tim expressed and would hope that SRS plan to use the consultation around the Lyneham Community Precinct Strategy as the “big community brainstorming session” to capture and build on these ideas. It would be great.

    However the sceptic in me thinks SRS will come along with a plan and there is a good chance that BCC will have already had input into that plan. There is even a chance that the plan will already show a proposed BCC development.

    Why the delay from SRS? If SRS want to hear from the community SRS don’t need to prepare much. We can all integrate our ideas together at that same time. No need for BCC to pre-empt the discussion by integrating their dreams with the draft precinct strategy (see the letter linked in the “Update (Tuesday 12 May)” above). BCC can put their dreams on the table as a community member next to Tim’s, Denis’,Paul’s,Marian’s and anyone else who wants to have a say.

    Hang on a minute, why has BCC been privy to the draft before anyone else?

    I’m always optimistic that i might be pleasantly surprised and I would love to “engage in good faith” with the process….. but good faith is easy to erode.

    1. Chair

      Hi again oldy,
      you once again raise some interesting and thought provoking which will need much deep thought by me.

      When the LCA, through me, undertook this process it was with the understanding that BCC would be placing a new proposal on the table and if they didn’t there would be no more consultation as ‘nothing’ would happen to the space in the near to medium term future. Whether that was a mistake on my part I will let history judge.

      One positive that has come out of this is that we now have a community precinct on the table. While the zone is not yet formalised we can move to have it cast in stone for want of a better term.

      At this moment I/we don’t have the time and/or resources to organise a community brainstorming or similar I will begin work on making it happen once Budjet Week is over.

      I shall consider each of your points carefully and come up with a plan after a bit of consultation (very poor dad joke intended)

  8. LynehamOval

    Oval here. I would love to see me treated with the respect I deserve. I’ve been used by many formal sports teams in years past, but since those days and the terrible drought of early 21C I’ve become a bit dried out, and now seem easy prey to others, like an old dog.
    I’ve already been bruised on one side by the dirty, dusty carpark given to a school and now I hear they want to weigh me down with a whopping great building. I’ve spent many years sharing my broad expanse with so many. I don’t want to be diminished even further. A small corner of my soul given away today might become what in the future? More buildings? Another carpark added to service a single minded need will further reduce my ability to be so generous to you all. I’m an open space, not a development opportunity.
    Just the thought of these wounds on my ability to share my expanse hurts me deeply.
    Can I be made good? I think so, but reducing my size by impinging my ability to share with you all by hurting me with (my nemesis) hard bitumen and buildings will forever damage my soft soul. Wounds inflicted upon my surface can’t ever be restored or returned. Ever. Gone.
    I can be your friend forever, for your children, your family and for those seeking space and solace in an increasingly harder, harsher built world. For those who aren’t yet even aware they will need me in years to come. Beautify me, don’t build on me! I’m not a spent, empty and aging dead zone.
    I have been your patient space, your walking space, your kite flying, cricket, soccer, bocce, dog walking, jogging, jumping, kid friendly, pram pushing, just sitting down and enjoying the space, place. I can put up with a lot of use, cause that’s what I’m here for. I’m yours.
    Be my friend now people of Lyneham, please, and I will be yours forever. I promise.

  9. Tim

    It’s great to see a proper discussion starting around this issue, and thanks to you for kicking it off!

    While I personally strongly support urban infill as Canberra grows as far preferable to more sprawl, open space and green space is only going to be more important as more apartments are built and more people come into our community. In that context, protecting and enhancing Lyneham oval is going to be one of the most important things we can do.

    The Lyneham Commons is a fantastic start and I applaud Shane Rattenbury for giving it the push along it deserves. But there’s so much more we could do with that amazing space with a bit of vision and community engagement. I’d love to see the whole space taken care of properly so it can become a vibrant community hub, not just a great place to walk your dog or kick a ball or ride through on your commute.

    My end game would be to actually rehabilitate Sullivan’s Creek. How amazing would that be? No more concrete drain where a creek once flowed. With trees along it, natural play areas, barbecues and picnic tables. Wander up to John Knight Park on a spring weekend and you can see what we could have here.

    Why don’t we have a big community brainstorming session? Start involving the community from the get go. Find out what people want. Work out how we can make it a reality. I’d be hugely surprised if, around here, there weren’t heaps of people who’d give their time and energy to actually build this, if they were inspired and involved, just as they did with the Boronia St wetlands, for example.

    Good on you for starting this conversation, but please let it be the beginning!

    1. Chair

      Hi Tim,
      welcome to our blog and thank you for your input. It is ‘a breath of fresh air’.

      Indeed, the Lyneham Commons Food Forest is a good start and I encourage all residents of our community and surrounding areas to put their two cents worth in at the Time To Talk website. Also thanks do go to Shane Rattenbury for living up to the commitment he made at our AGM in February to make this happen. It is encouraging when our elected representatives live up to their word.

      You wrote:
      My end game would be to actually rehabilitate Sullivan’s Creek.
      You, me and at least eleventy others I have spoken with over recent times. We can make it happen if we engage positively and with conviction in the process that was started sometime back in October last year by a lone voice in the wilderness who said I want to start the conversation that they forgot to have

      Why don’t we have a big community brainstorming session? Start involving the community from the get go
      Ummm, errr, you set us a tall task but, with reservation, we may be up to that task. Meanwhile, this humble blog, is a start. Please encourage anyone you know to tell us of their big dream for the Lyneham Community Precinct.

      Thanks again Tim for your input. It is music to my ears and, please, keep inspiring us all to create some beautiful music around this process.

      I am now off to have some sweet dreams that you have inspired.

    2. waterwoman

      I have started investigating the restoration possibilities for Sullivans Creek and have always spoken of my intention to set up a group. My idea is that we aim to restore the creek between Mouat St and Goodwin St using various methods. I am not quite ready to announce the formation of a group, but watch this space.

      1. Chair

        Hi waterwoman,
        welcome to our blog and thanks for your comment.

        Discussions I have had with many, many people suggest you are not alone in wishing to see the creek flow again.

        The current form is an excellent example of an engineering solution to a ‘problem’ (possible flooding) and a worse than poor example of a landscaping and/or environmental solution. The next iteration of the creek may well be a ‘brilliant’ mixture of the three. Good luck with your investigations and keep in touch as some of our community do have information (yet to be exposed) that could help in your endeavours.

  10. Marian

    Theft is a crime. People who try to steal public goods and invade public land should be punished not supported.

    Brindabella Christian College are trying to appropriate public land. They are thieves, liars and hypocrites and the ACT government is either corrupt or incredibly short sighted to be colluding with them in their crime.

    They have already stolen public land, colluding with territory government to put in their large car park – the worst maintained car park in Canberra. That car park is a mess of mud puddles when it rains and when the wind blows it blows great clouds of dust all over the oval, the road and all the way to the creek.

    BCC dont care about the community in which they have built. They have no intention of providing resources for the Lyneham community. They want the land for their own purposes and are willing to use any illicit method to get it – as they showed when they got the ACT government to sneakily ‘lease’ them the car park.

    The Territory government should accept the responsibility for caring for this oval and not try to palm it off on to a private business which will remove the land from public use. All they have to do is water it. There are public parks all over Australia cared for by local councils with fewer resources than the ACT government. Many of them are not sporting venues and are beautifully cared for with pride.

    1. Chair

      Hi Marian,
      welcome to our blog and thanks for your comment.

      Can I humbly suggest you rethink some of the statements and allegations you have made and, should you reconsider your comment, we can withdraw this comment and replace it.

      Meanwhile refer to my reply to old fart @ 10:57 pm regarding conspiracy theories and I say to you also that ‘Sport & Rec, in good faith, have chosen to expand the conversation, let’s at the least apply some positive thinking and engage in good faith.’

      We, as a community, have been offered an opportunity to shape what happens in our community and we do current and future residents a disservice if we squander that opportunity.

      1. Marian

        Since I commented that the BCC carpark is the worst maintained carpark in Canberra they have fixed it. It perhaps shows the power of an online comment but its a pity they cant fix their attitudes.
        Sport & Rec sold out the Lyneham community by allowing that carpark in the first place. Then they were going to allow BCC to build their private infrastructure on public land. It was only by vocal protest that those plans were withdrawn.
        We should speak out in the loudest voice possible. There is nothing to negotiate here.

  11. Paul

    I’ve just read this: – expand the board chair’s bit.

    It contains rather disturbing reading. For example:

    “In Term 3 we will finally see the commencement of the new College sealed car park including a significant ‘kiss and drop’ facility for parents and students.

    Also in Term 3 we intend to commence the construction of a significant Sporting Facility. This facility will include indoor basketball courts, a gymnasium and provide additional capacity for our performing arts. Outdoor basketball courts and tennis courts will supplement this. This project once completed will come in at between $3 and $4million with Federal Capital Grant Funding of $800,000.00.

    We have been working for over two years now with both the ACT Sport and Recreation Services and the ACT Department of Education to jointly deliver this Sporting Facility and Car-Park not just for the use of our students and for the entire Lyneham community. This project has singularly been the largest undertaking the College has undertaken to date.”

    What is going on here??!! I though there was meant to be more consultation before anything was agreed upon. What is going on with ACT Sport and Recreation and ACT Education?? How is this going ahead now?? Please someone from Government explain!

    1. Chair

      Hi Paul,
      welcome to our site and thanks for your comment.

      We were aware of the newsletter and what the BCC Board Chair had written. Soon after it was brought to our attention we spoke with Sport & Rec to express our concerns which they took on board. The quote is definitely open to worst case interpretation and we asked for clarification. The Director of SR&S has assured us that there will be no Development Application lodged until after a full community consultation process which will begin with a public forum now scheduled for early June. (This post is a precursor to that process)

      I have also spoken with the BCC Acting Executive Principal about the newsletter. They have sent us a letter which is linked to in the update at the end of the post.

      As chair, I am committed to seeing an open, honest and transparent process being engaged in with all stakeholders as S&RS formulates their Lyneham Community Precinct Strategy. Like it or Lump it, BCC are part of our community and a stakeholder in the precinct so we must listen to what they have to say and equally, nay, more importantly, we must listen to the broader community and offer our community the opportunity to have a say.

      Thank you Paul, for being part of the conversation and I hope to hear more from you and any of your friends, neighbours and colleagues that you can encourage to have their say.

      1. old fart

        “BCC are part of our community”
        Well they aren’t acting like it. The community is open to talk, ready to talk, even keen to talk. but BCC is silently working away on a scheme to get what they want.
        They have architects and engineers busily drawing up plans and counting cars for the grand plan to grow their school, and funding base, on public land. If they want a chance of the community being on board why not talk?
        Wouldn’t it be smart for BCC talk to about their plans before spending big designing them? It might save having plans rejected again.

        I suspect the answer is they don’t really want the community to have a say. Yes they will ‘consult’ as directed but they won’t really listen. The consultation box will be ticked and we will end up with another DA. Worse still they will find a loophole for DA exemption and side step sport and recs consultation commitment.

        This is land reserved as open space for the community. Any development (particularly by a private entity) needs community support not just consultation.

        ACT Sport and Recreation need to be clear that NO development will occur without community support.

        1. Chair

          Hi old fart
          welcome to our blog and thanks for your comment.

          You wrote:
          ‘ACT Sport and Recreation need to be clear that NO development will occur without community support.’
          as I wrote in my reply to Paul @ 1:32 pm The Director of SR&S has assured us that there will be no Development Application lodged until after a full community consultation process This has been stated to three committee members of the Lyneham Community Association on a number of occasions and, I take her at her word. If you need further assurance you are free to write to her and ask for confirmation.

          I love a ‘conspiracy theory’ at the best of times but when it comes down to it, if I have to choose between conspiracy and stuff up, I tend to err on the side of stuff up about 99.94% of the time.

          Can I ask that rather than railing against BCC you spend some time thinking about what you and (presumably) your family would like to see the the Lyneham Community Precinct grow into?

          Sport & Rec, in good faith, have chosen to expand the conversation, let’s at the least apply some positive thinking and engage in good faith.

          If you really have a sense that there is a conspiracy in this process please present the evidence and I will consider it and, if needed, pass it on to the appropriate authorities.

  12. Ramjet

    Hi, I live right next to this area and I think this is a great idea. We need to protect our open spaces as they will become increasingly scarce as ‘inner city’ development comes down Northbourne Ave. Everyone will benefit from these areas.
    Some better (more) tree plantings and social spaces like bbq areas and a playground might be a good idea.
    A Mens’/Womens shed? There’s not many options for people to hang out other than cafes and Tilleys which not everyone likes.
    I hear the Lyneham Commons might get a garden finally? I think that should go ahead for sure.

    1. Chair

      Hi Ramjet,
      welcome to our site and thanks for your thoughts.

      Yes indeed we all need to be guardians of our open space as once someone builds on it it will be lost forever. However, sometimes you also have to give an inch to gain a mile (I can’t think of how to say that in metric)
      You wrote: A Mens’/Womens shed?
      Not sure I can see where that might fit in this precinct but certainly something worth pursuing for somewhere in our patch. Bbq’s and playgrounds could fit one day so support us in making it happen
      There may be some good news for the Lyneham Commons in the next few days so we are keeping our ears to the ground and eyes to the skies so we hear the word or see the smoke signals. We’ll keep you posted


    2. Lyneham lover

      I thoroughly agree with the sentiment and suggestions made by Ramjet. I would also suggest an adventure playground, as found in other areas of the ACT. At present the only playground that exists in Lyneham is a set of swings and a slide located beside the odoriferous drain on DeBurgh Street, adjacent to the poorly maintained Lyneham wetland pond.

      The community space use would optimised by enhancing the green space, not by an unwanted building for a private entity and parking for the commuters.

      This green space represents the ONLY such space for the Lyneham community to use in OUR neighbourhood. The surrounding green areas are special use, i.e. Yowani Golf Course and Southwell Park, and not available to the community for picnics, tossing a ball for your dog, model plane flying, frisby, coites or friendly football games, family gatherings/bbq’s etc, as are available in all other areas of Canberra

      As highlighted in a recent LDA review of ACT planning, very little attention is being paid to the well researched town centre plans developed by the government which are being summarily ignored by developers AND the ACT government. This is strongly evident in recent Lyneham developments.

      The area is named the Lyneham Neighbourhood Oval and is greatly valued by the neighbourhood community.

      1. Chair

        Hi Lyneham lover,
        welcome and thanks for the feedback.

        Please come along to the community forum which will be held on Wednesday 17th June. It will our community’s opportunity to shape the future for open space in Liveable, Loveable, Lyneham

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