Project status: In progress

The ACT Government is improving our planning system to help shape Canberra’s future as our city continues to grow.

Canberra’s population is growing by approximately 8,000 per year as more people choose to live here. With this growth, 100,000 new homes will need to be built in the next 25 years and most of these will be in existing urban areas.

Our city needs a planning system that can facilitate this growth without compromising the characteristics of the city that its residents hold dear. Importantly, it needs a planning system that can deliver on the long-term vision for Canberra to be a city that is liveable, sustainable, resilient, and diverse.

Throughout 2019 and into 2020 we have reviewed the ACT planning system and benchmarked it against other national and international planning systems. This involved consultation with the community and internal work to understand what changes could create a better planning system for Canberra. The outcomes of that review are outlined in a series of policy direction papers:

  1. ACT Planning System Review and Reform Overview
  2. System Structure
  3. Strategic Planning
  4. Development Controls
  5. Development Assessment
  6. System Operation.

We will continue to work on the reforms proposed in these papers, and look to come back to the community for further conversations mid 2021



An important part of the ACT Planning Review project is asking the community to identify the unique characteristics of local areas. This will help us to develop more detailed planning at local levels.

See the outcomes of engagement so far.

The Review Project will not consider the following topics:

  • The structure and role of ACT Government planning bodies
  • Incorporating the National Capital Plan into the Territory Plan
  • A developer contribution scheme
  • Incentive schemes
  • Creating suburb-specific plans
  • Removal of the leasehold system
  • An additional/alternative development approval model, such as planning panels
  • Changes to the ACT Planning Strategy 2018.