What’s happening now and how can I get involved?

The ACT Government will continue to engage with the community on the renewal of Section 72 Dickson. When the next stage of planning and renewal activities commence, the ACT Government will notify the community and key stakeholders.

What has been done to date?

Through a series of community engagement phases and activities we have heard a wide range of views on the future of Section 72 Dickson. This feedback has already been used to shape the preliminary planning for the site, including the development of a draft landscape and urban design concept plan showing how the precinct could be renewed.

An independent community needs assessment has also been completed to guide future planning and uses.

We will continue to engage with the community on the Section 72 Dickson urban renewal once the future of Block 22 (the Salvation Army site) is resolved. A community reference group is proposed to build on what we’ve heard so far and provide further guidance on the planning and infrastructure for Section 72 Dickson.

Dickson pedestrian trail

In 2020, a new pedestrian trail was built between the Dickson Pool and Hawdon Place to improve pedestrian safety and growing conditions for the trees along the Dickson stormwater channel. See the document library for the plans of the trail.

Community engagement on Dickson Section 72 identified the opportunity to upgrade the dirt tracks, which are frequently used by residents walking to the Dickson Pool, shops and community facilities in the area. The project was brought forward as part of the ACT Government’s program to quickly deliver infrastructure and maintenance projects across Canberra as part of the Government’s economic survival package to keep our city going during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pedestrian trail has been built from a permeable gravel to allow the nearby trees to continue to access rain water and includes mulching along the trail edges and around the trees close to the trail.

Dickson swimming pool forecourt upgrade

Over the 2019-20 summer we asked the community about temporary improvements we were trialling at the Dickson Pool forecourt. to help the community enjoy this space more. More information can be found on the pool forecourt page.

Common Ground Dickson

Common Ground Dickson was officially opened on 7 October 2022. As Canberra’s second Common Ground project, it responds to new and emerging groups at risk of homelessness, including older women, single mothers, and families with children. See more information at Common Ground Canberra - Housing.

In order to build Common Ground and the additional community uses, a variation to the zoning under the Territory Plan was required. See more details on the EPSDD Planning website.

Demolition of the building on Block 22 Section 72 Dickson (block leased by the Salvation Army)

In 2021, the vacant building on Block 22 Section 72 Dickson was demolished under an agreement between the contractors for Common Ground Dickson (Richards Crookes Construction) and the Salvation Army (the lessee of Block 22). The building had not been used for several years and was consistently raised as a safety concern by members of the community and local businesses in the precinct. Demolition commenced in April 2021 and the site was then used by Richard Crookes Construction as a storage and parking area during the construction of Common Ground Dickson.

Parking in Dickson

Construction by Coles Group Property Developments in Dickson placed pressure on parking around the Dickson Centre. To relieve pressure, the government agreed that Block 6 Section 72 Dickson could be used for temporary parking for site workers. Once the site is no longer needed for the temporary parking, it will be considered as part of the renewal for the Section 72 Dickson precinct.

Tree management

More than 860 trees make up the much-loved landscape setting of Section 72 Dickson and surrounds. These trees make a vital contribution to the health of our community and urban environment.

To inform planning and guide tree management for the urban renewal of Section 72 Dickson, an independent tree assessment was prepared in October 2018. The assessment evaluated regulated and significant trees across Section 72. The report recommends some trees be considered for future removal due to tree age and limited life expectancy, invasive weed species, poor condition, health issues (disease, insect attack and dead wood) or general risk. This information will inform ongoing management of trees in Section 72.

There are no plans to remove regulated trees within Section 72 Dickson, prior to a landscape plan and tree management plan being developed for the precinct in consultation with the community. Tree removal for the urban renewal of Section 72 will subject to further design, community engagement, a coordinated landscape plan for replacement plantings, and a plan of management of the existing trees. The tree assessment has been used to inform design work for Common Ground on Block 25.

This assessment is available in the documents list, in four parts.

Previous engagement

2018 to 2019

Early 2018

In early 2018 we heard from inner north residents, the wider Canberra community and stakeholders about their aspirations for Dickson. See more information on what we heard from stage 1 of engagement in the Stage 1 Engagement Report and Stakeholder Workshop outcomes.

The first stage of engagement told us there is support for people to live in an area close to the services at the Dickson centre. There was also support for more community facilities in the inner north.

Mid 2018

Following feedback from the first stage of engagement, two design scenarios were developed that show how the future of Dickson Section 72 might take shape.

A second stage of engagement looked at feedback on these scenarios and how best to shape future land uses and public space. Read the outcomes of this engagement in the Listening Report.

Late 2018 to early 2019

Building on what we heard in Stage 2, a draft concept design was prepared and tested in community design workshops. The workshops focused on the desired urban design and landscape design outcomes for the precinct. The design team then started preparing the draft estate development plan using feedback received on the draft concept design and other engagement outcomes to date.

2014 to 2015

The 2018 planning and engagement for Dickson Section 72 acknowledged and built on key outcomes from previous community engagement undertaken in 2014 and 2015. Previous messages from the community included:

  • Provide integrated precinct planning for Dickson Section 72, including planning and design controls
  • Retain community facilities, trees and open spaces in the precinct
  • Deliver integrated public spaces and walking and cycling network
  • Investigate alternative funding models for public space upgrades
  • Understand the future demand for community facilities.

Frequently asked questions