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Volunteer Group


The Canberra Planning Action Group 

arose out of a public meeting at the Albert Hall in 2018.

At this meeting Canberrans voiced their disquiet about the direction in which the city was developing under the current ACT government and its planning authorities. Concerns expressed included: a lack of trust towards the government, a lack of vision by the government, degradation of the environment, heat-island new suburbs and an increase of social inequity.

CPAG has identified areas of major concern:

  • the government's inadequate vision for Canberra;

  • the lack of transparency by which development decisions are made;

  • the government's outmoded economic model that is driving the planning and development policy;

  • the significant negative environmental and social consequences arising from current urban planning at a time of climate change and other environmental crises; and

  • the growing disparity in housing and social and geographic inequalities all linked to the nature of ACT planning.

An initial meeting was held early 2019 and was attended by representatives of many citizen groups across Canberra. 
CPAG holds regular meetings both in-person and online, and organises round table forums and focus groups. 
CPAG also publishes irregular newsletters that usually focus on a particular planning topic and link to new well-researched articles on those topics, also published on the CPAG website. Please get in touch if you would like to receive our newsletters.

We welcome new members. If you or your group are interested in planning issues in the ACT and you wish to tell us about your issues, or you would like to attend one of our on-line meetings please email us on:

CPAG wishes to create a Canberra-wide voice for all those who want to see a more considered environmentally friendly approach to Canberra's growth into the future.





Our first public forum was to be held in March 2020 at the Albert Hall, Yarralumla.

The forum was co-organised by CPAG and the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis (IGPA), University of Canberra.

Key note speakers were to present on topics such as planning, the impact of fires on Canberra planning, green infrastructure and Canberra's growth strategy into the future.

The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted CPAG's plans for this forum and other planned public events. Once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, CPAG will conduct these public forums. In the meantime, CPAG is producing regular Newsletters, with articles that address CPAG's planning concerns. CPAG extends an invite to all to contribute articles on planning concerns.


A long-term CPAG project to map the abundance of disgruntled community groups and their experiences with Canberra planning. We also seek to understand what the community's desired outcome might look like. The focus is on outcomes and dealings with government. 


We map key concerns, successes and failures, the strategies undertaken to date, and seek to identify the obstacles to achieving the desired outcomes. In doing this we aim to draw out commonalities across the groups and increase the collective knowledge of what is currently a fragmented picture of the extent and breadth of Canberra's planning malaise.


If you or your group have concerns or issues with planning and would like to contribute to our Map of Discontent please contact us. 


CPAG plans to conduct small focus group meetings with invited participants to discuss specific topics and issues in the planning space of Canberra. Participants bring expertise and experience on planning issues including: urban planning, social housing and social equity, public transport, environment and sustainability, wildlife and green spaces, urban health etc.

The focus group sessions are confidential but the outcomes will be made public and will contribute to CPAG activites. 

If you have concerns or issues with planning and can contribute or wish to propose a topic, please get in touch.


CPAG wants to address the underlying drivers for current and recent government planning systems and consultations with in-depth articles that are informed and researched. Our newsletters will keep our readers interested and informed on the latest topics.

The newsletters will have a wide-ranging list of topics that are all affected by the planning outcomes across our city. The inaugural newsletter is about community consultation on planning and the role of Community Councils and how their ability to influence government has been declining over recent years.

Other areas of investigation include public transport and the controversial light rail plans. Topics of importance to be explored are social equity and housing issues, public health system, infrastructure, ACT heritage and consumer choice in housing options. CPAG invites suggestions for future topics or interest from people who would like to contribute an article.

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Walter Burley Griffin, 2 June 1912

“I have planned a city not like any other city in the world. I have planned it not in a way that I expected any governmental authorities in the world would accept. I have planned an ideal city, a city that meets my ideal of the city of the future.”


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