Canberra Camps, Settlements & Early Housing

ACT Land & Reports

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Canberra Camps, Settlements & Early Housing by Ann Gugler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at


Australian Capital Territory [ACT] land is leasehold. For the majority of leaseholders within the city area the period of the lease is 99 years. Commonwealth land within the Parliamentary Triangle is the responsibility of the National Capital Authority [NCA] - the remainder of the territory land is the responsibility of the local ACT government.

The centre of the city is Capital Hill.  In the post WW2 period a number of satellite cities were built and to date they are Belconnen, Woden, Tuggeranong, Ginninderra and Gungahleen and more to come.

Prior to development of land reports are sought.  These reports are constained by criteria set, time allowed and money. 

In February 1995 The National Capital Planning Authority put out a book with a number of proposals that included the demise of Stirling Park Yarralumla to be used for residential and embassy development.  Park of this report has come true with the loss of Bl 1, Section 128 and the possibility of the same happening to Block 3, Section 128 which has been further subdivided and Block 4, Section 128 which is an undeveloped road.  This report has been included in the Stirling Park Section - Looking to the Future, Australia's National Capital, central national area design study 1995.

Melrose Valley Report - Karen Williams

1999 NCA Map showing area of Bl 3, Section 128 with sites of importance marked

Rural Graves Report 1996 - Ann Claoue-Long.  This report reproduced by permission of the author is found in the Hidden Canberra web.  Click on the link to be transferred to the report.


Melrose Valley Report 2004

This report which is a lengthy one - is separated into four sections for ease of reading.  This report by Karen Williams is a thorough one that is an unpaid report that called upon the expertise of people who contributed their time, knowledge and skills without payment.  It includes numerous photographs and diagrams of Aboriginal stone tools etc.

Introduction: Scroll down until heading appears - it is not a blank page

Part Two - pages 9-26

Part Three - pages 27 - 65


Stirling Park, Yarralumla

Following is a detail of a late 1990s NCA map of a section of Block 3, Section 128 Stirling Park, Yarralumla. The road that cuts across the top section of the map is Alexandrina Drive and the road that leaves it is part of Marina Place.

The sites marked with the * are the sites of concrete posts put in situ by the NCA following a number of field trips in the park with an archeaologist employed by the NCA and myself.  Fortunately I was given copies of the maps. Although I loaned copies of maps of the entire park with the European sites marked [the NCA had misplaced or lost their copies] to the last firm that carried out the this area was not referred to as having been the sites of construction settlements and camps.  Instead this area has been further subdivided which suggests that the area of Howie's Settlement and the Tradesmen's Camp will be developed.  Not marked on the map are Aboriginal stone arrangements and scarred trees.

The NCA seems to have had some problems of record keeping of what work has already been carried out in Stirling Park to identify the heritage - both natural and man made - of the park. I recall a conversation with Dr Robert Boden who provided the NCA with a report on the natural heritage of the park in which he commented that he had a phone call requesting another copy of his report as 'they' could not find the original.  Indeed, a recent conversation with the person in charge of looking after the park I discovered that he did not know that there are two Memorial Plaques erected by former Westlake people.  One in the area of Block 3, Section 128 can no longer be seen because the surrounding grass has swallowed from sight.  And indeed the plaque that is opposite the corner of Empire Circuit and Forster Crescent Yarralumla in Section 22 Stirling Park in 'The Gap' along with the gum tree planted by our then oldest men is also in danger because of an undeveloped road planned to cut through the park to join Empire Circuit to Marina Place.

In the late 1990s at the time of the work in the park with the archeaologist a citation for the park was made on behalf of the ACT Branch of the National Trust.  This citation has languished in the ACT Heritage Dept long forgotten and gathering dust.

In the Section 'STIRLING PARK' in this web there is further information on this subject.

Draft Citation Stirling Park Yarralumla

Comments on Report Bl1, Sec 128 Stirling Park - now developed.