Molonglo Valley

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Molonglo Valley
CanberraAustralian Capital Territory
Molonglo Valley - South - Coppins Crossing Rd and John Gorton Drive.jpg
Coppin's Crossing Road, looking south along John Gorton Drive toward the suburbs of Coombs and Wright
Molonglo Valley is located in Australian Capital Territory
Molonglo Valley
Molonglo Valley
Coordinates35°19′9.07″S 149°2′29.61″E / 35.3191861°S 149.0415583°E / -35.3191861; 149.0415583Coordinates: 35°19′9.07″S 149°2′29.61″E / 35.3191861°S 149.0415583°E / -35.3191861; 149.0415583
Population4,578 (2016 census)[1]
 • Density168.3/km2 (435.9/sq mi)
Gazetted14 October 2010[2]
Area27.2 km2 (10.5 sq mi)
Location10 km (6 mi) W of Canberra City
Territory electorate(s)Murrumbidgee
Federal Division(s)Canberra
WebsiteMolonglo Valley
Localities around Molonglo Valley:
Belconnen Belconnen North Canberra
Stromlo Molonglo Valley Canberra Central
Stromlo Weston Creek Woden Valley

The District of Molonglo Valley is one of the nineteen districts of the Australian Capital Territory used in land administration, and the only district that was not created in 1966. The district is subdivided into divisions (suburbs), sections and blocks and is the newest district of Canberra, the capital city of Australia. The district is planned to consist of thirteen suburbs, planned to contain 33,000 dwellings, with an expected population of between 50,000[3] and 73,000.[4] To be developed in three stages over more than ten years, the district will contain a principal town centre and a secondary group centre, with residential suburbs located to the south and north of the Molonglo River; located to the west of Lake Burley Griffin.

The name Molonglo is derived from an Aboriginal expression meaning "the sound of thunder".[5]

At the 2016 census, the population of the district was 4,578.[1]

Establishment and governance[edit]

The traditional custodians of the district are the indigenous people of the Ngunnawal tribe.[6]

Following the transfer of land from the Government of New South Wales to the Commonwealth Government in 1911, the eighteen original districts were established in 1966 by the Commonwealth via the gazettal of the Districts Ordinance 1966 (Cth) which, after the enactment of the Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Act 1988,[7] became the Districts Act 1966.[8] This Act was subsequently repealed by the ACT Government and the district is now administered subject to the Districts Act 2002.[9]

The land was used for pine forests prior to the devastation caused by the 2003 Canberra bushfires; leaving the land empty and ready for potential development. To accommodate future expected population growth and housing demand, The Canberra Spatial Plan, already in development at that time and formally released during 2004, proposed increased urban density along established (road) transport corridors. Further land releases were proposed, including continuing development in the district of Gungahlin by maintaining the 1967 "Y-Plan"; and the development of new releases in the Molonglo Valley, previously set aside as green corridors.[10][11]

In June 2008 the Conservation Council ACT Region presented a report to the ACT Legislative Assembly Proposed Molonglo Urban Developments and their Significant Impact on Endangered Woodlands. Among other things it said: "For the Molonglo development to approach biological sustainability it should involve less clearance of Box - Gum woodland and creation of a large conservation area centered on Central Molonglo. This area could become one of the key areas of woodland conservation in Australia, and balance the loss of biodiversity that will eventuate from urban expansion in the rest of Molonglo."

In July 2008 the ABC reported NCA against central Molonglo development stating that the National Capital Authority (NCA) had ruled out urban development in the central Molonglo area. In speaking to the Standing Committee on Planning and Environment NCA spokesman Todd Rohl said the NCA board was against any future urban development in central Molonglo as well as an area east of the Orana School. Mr Rohl said the NCA had informed the ACT Planning and Land Agency of its decision which was based on environmental reports. "[There are] at least seven species of concern. A couple are listed in the Environment Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act and others are listed in the Nature Conservation Act of the ACT," he said. "Given that we know that there's ecological issues and it's highly constrained ecological area it seems nonsensical to include as urban at this time."

The district was formally gazetted on 14 October 2010.[2]

Political representation[edit]

For the purposes of Australian federal elections for the House of Representatives, the District of Molonglo Valley is contained within the Division of Canberra.[12]

For the purposes of Australian Capital Territory elections for the ACT Legislative Assembly, the District of Molonglo Valley is within the Murrumbidgee electorate.[13]

Location and urban structure[edit]

The Molonglo Valley district is located to the north of the district of Weston Creek and to the south of the district of Belconnen. It is within relatively close proximity of the city; approximately 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) west of the Canberra central business district. By releasing land closer to the city, it is expected to reduce urban sprawl in Canberra. However, the close proximity to the city will mean that the land will be in high demand and is therefore likely to be quite expensive.[citation needed].

Houses in Denman Prospect in 2020

The first two suburbs currently under construction in Molonglo Valley are Wright and Coombs; they are named for poet, environmentalist and Aboriginal land rights advocate Judith Wright and prominent public servant and economist H. C. "Nugget" Coombs, the first Reserve Bank Governor.[14] The next suburb planned will be named Denman Prospect, named after Lord and Lady Denman, followed by Molonglo, a local Aboriginal word for thunder.[5] Sulman, is named for architect and town planner Sir John Sulman, whose work can be seen in Civic.

Coombs is located on the southern bank of the Molonglo River, north-east of John Gorton Drive (the Molonglo Valley North-South Arterial road). Wright lies further west, north of Duffy, and south-west of John Gorton Drive. Land for these suburbs was released in late May 2010.

It is also expected that the development of the Molonglo Valley district will act as a link between the town centres of Weston Creek to the south and Belconnen to the north.[citation needed].

List of suburbs[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Molonglo (SA3)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 18 July 2017. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ a b "Search for street and suburb names: Molonglo Valley". Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate. ACT Government. 4 December 2013. Retrieved 22 December 2013.
  3. ^ "Molonglo Valley: Master plan". Land Development Agency. ACT Government. 2013. Archived from the original on 24 December 2013. Retrieved 22 December 2013.
  4. ^ "New suburbs honour Wright, Sulman, Coombs". ABC News. Canberra, Australia. 2 January 2008. Retrieved 22 December 2013.
  5. ^ a b Sharaz, David (15 June 2012). "Denman Prospect and Molonglo: our newest suburbs". The Canberra Times. Retrieved 22 December 2013.
  6. ^ "Aboriginal Heritage in the ACT". Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate. ACT Government. 17 March 2013. Archived from the original on 19 December 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
  7. ^ Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Act 1988 (Cth)
  8. ^ Districts Act 1966 (ACT).
  9. ^ Districts Act 2002 (ACT).
  10. ^ "Why the new structure for Canberra". The Canberra Spatial Plan. ACT Government. March 2004. Retrieved 22 December 2013.
  11. ^ Taylor, Ken (2009). "To know the reason for things: Re-engaging with Canberra's planners, designers and visions" (PDF). Australia: International Council on Monuments and Sites. Retrieved 22 December 2013.
  12. ^ "Profile of the electoral division of Canberra (ACT)". Current federal electoral divisions. Australian Electoral Commission. 8 February 2016. Retrieved 29 May 2016.
  13. ^ "Electorates 2012 election". Electorates. ACT Electoral Commission. 5 July 2012. Retrieved 22 December 2013.
  14. ^ Downie, Graham (3 January 2008). "Suburbs named in new district". The Canberra Times. Archived from the original on 1 February 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2009.

External links[edit]