Belconnen

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Belconnen
Canberra,  Australian Capital Territory
Aranda playing fields tablet.jpg
Tablet at Aranda playing fields marks the beginning of the development of Belconnen in 1966.
Canberra Map Belconnen-MJC.png
Location of Belconnen, shaded.
Coordinates 35°14′19″S149°03′58″E / 35.2386°S 149.0661°E / -35.2386; 149.0661 Coordinates: 35°14′19″S149°03′58″E / 35.2386°S 149.0661°E / -35.2386; 149.0661
Population96,049 (2016 census) [1]
 • Density1,247/km2 (3,231/sq mi)
Gazetted 12 May 1966 [2]
Area77 km2 (29.7 sq mi) [3]
Location7 km (4 mi) NW of Canberra City
Territory electorate(s)
Federal Division(s)
Localities around Belconnen:
Wallaroo Hall Gungahlin
Coree / New South Wales Belconnen Canberra Central
Stromlo Molonglo Valley Canberra Central

The District of Belconnen is one of the original eighteen districts of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), used in land administration. The district is subdivided into 25 divisions (suburbs), sections and blocks. The district of Belconnen is largely composed of Canberra suburbs.

Australian Capital Territory Federal territory of Australia, containing the capital city, Canberra

The Australian Capital Territory, formerly known as the Federal Capital Territory until 1938 and commonly referred to as the ACT, is a federal territory of Australia containing the Australian capital city of Canberra and some surrounding townships. It is located in the south-east of the country and is an enclave within the state of New South Wales. Founded after federation as the seat of government for the new nation, all important institutions of the Australian federal government are centred in the Territory.

Canberra capital city of Australia

Canberra is the capital city of Australia. Founded following the federation of the colonies of Australia as the seat of government for the new nation, it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory; 280 km (170 mi) south-west of Sydney and 660 km (410 mi) north-east of Melbourne.

Contents

As at the 2016 census, the district had a population of 96,049 people; [1] and was the most populous district within the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).

Belconnen is situated approximately 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) to the north-west of the central business district of Canberra, and surrounds an artificially created, ornamental lake, Lake Ginninderra. Lake Ginninderra was made possible by building a dam at an elbow of Ginninderra Creek. Exiting the lake, via a simple overflow, Ginninderra Creek continues, and runs north-west to its confluence with the Murrumbidgee River just beyond the north-western ACT border.

Lake Ginninderra artificial lake in Canberra, Australia

Lake Ginninderra is an artificial lake located on the Ginninderra Creek in Canberra. It is adjacent to the Belconnen Town Centre. The lake was constructed in 1974 to collect stormwater discharge from a 98.8 square kilometres (38.1 sq mi) catchment that includes the surrounding suburbs of Aranda, Macquarie, Cook, Bruce, Belconnen, McKellar, Giralang, Kaleen in the eastern areas of Belconnen.

Ginninderra Creek river in Australia

Ginninderra Creek, a partly perennial stream of the Murrumbidgee catchment within the Murray-Darling basin, is located in the Capital Country region spanning both the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales, Australia.

Murrumbidgee River river in New South Wales, Australia

Murrumbidgee River, a major tributary of the Murray River within the Murray–Darling basin and the second longest river in Australia. It flows through the Australian state of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. It descends 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) as it flows 1,485 kilometres (923 mi) in a west-northwesterly direction from the foot of Peppercorn Hill in the Fiery Range of the Snowy Mountains towards its confluence with the Murray River near Boundary Bend.

Establishment and governance

The traditional custodians of the district are the indigenous people of the Ngunawal tribe. [4]

Indigenous Australians are the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia, descended from groups that existed in Australia and surrounding islands before British colonisation. The time of arrival of the first Indigenous peoples on the continent and nearby islands is a matter of debate among researchers. The earliest conclusively human remains found in Australia are those of Mungo Man LM3 and Mungo Lady, which have been dated to around 50,000 years BP. Recent archaeological evidence from the analysis of charcoal and artefacts revealing human use suggests a date as early as 65,000 BP. Luminescence dating has suggested habitation in Arnhem Land as far back as 60,000 years BP. Evidence of fires in South-West Australia suggest 'human presence in Australia 120,000 years ago', although more research is required. Genetic research has inferred a date of habitation as early as 80,000 years BP. Other estimates have ranged up to 100,000 years and 125,000 years BP.

Following the transfer of land from the Government of New South Wales to the Commonwealth Government in 1911, the district was 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, [5] became the Districts Act 1966. [6] This Act was subsequently repealed by the ACT Government and the district is now administered subject to the Districts Act 2002. [7]

Government of New South Wales state government of New South Wales, Australia

The Government of New South Wales, also referred to as the New South Wales Government, NSW Government or Her Majesty’s Government, is the Australian state democratic administrative authority of New South Wales. It is currently held by a coalition of the Liberal Party and the National Party. The Government of New South Wales, a parliamentary constitutional monarchy, was formed in 1856 as prescribed in its Constitution, as amended from time to time. Since the Federation of Australia in 1901, New South Wales has been a state of the Commonwealth of Australia, and the Constitution of Australia regulates its relationship with the Commonwealth. Under the Australian Constitution, New South Wales ceded legislative and judicial supremacy to the Commonwealth, but retained powers in all matters not in conflict with the Commonwealth.

Government of Australia federal democratic administrative authority of Australia

The Government of Australia is the government of the Commonwealth of Australia, a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy. It is also commonly referred to as the Australian Government, the Commonwealth Government, Her Majesty's Government, or the Federal Government.

The Gazetteer of Australia is an index or dictionary of the location and spelling of geographical names across Australia. Geographic names include towns, suburbs and roads, plus geographical features such as hills, rivers, and lakes.

History

Belconnen was previously occupied by Ginninderra, the former agricultural lands that corresponds with the watershed of Ginninderra Creek. The Belconnen district is named after one of the earliest land grants made in the district during colonial times. Belconnen a land grant totalling 800 hectares (2,000 acres) was made to explorer Charles Sturt who eventually sold the property to Robert Campbell who owned the nearby Duntroon Estate. [8]

Charles Sturt Australian explorer

Captain Charles Napier Sturt was a British explorer of Australia, and part of the European exploration of Australia. He led several expeditions into the interior of the continent, starting from both Sydney and later from Adelaide. His expeditions traced several of the westward-flowing rivers, establishing that they all merged into the Murray River. He was searching to prove his own passionately held belief that there was an "inland sea" at the centre of the continent.

Robert Campbell (1769–1846) Merchant and politician in Sydney, born 1769

Robert Campbell (1769–1846) was a merchant and politician in Sydney. He was a member of the first New South Wales Legislative Council. Campbell, a suburb of Canberra was named in his honour.

A stone plaque located at the sport fields in Aranda , Belconnen's first suburb, commemorates the commencement of urban development of the Belconnen district, inscribed:

This tablet marks the inauguration of development of the district of Belconnen by the Minister of State for the Interior The Honourable J. D. Anthony, M.P. 23rd June 1966

The nearby Jamison Centre, the first commercial centre in the district, opened in 1969. The Belconnen Town Centre located on the shore of Lake Ginninderra opened in the late 1970s.

Political representation

For the purposes of Australian federal elections for the House of Representatives, the District of Belconnen is contained within the electoral divisions of Fenner and Canberra. [9] [10]

For the purposes of Australian Capital Territory elections for the ACT Legislative Assembly, most of Belconnen is within the Ginninderra electorate, but the suburbs of Evatt, Giralang, Kaleen, Lawson and McKellar are in Yerrabi. [11]

Location and urban structure

The Belconnen district is a set of 25 contiguous residential suburbs that surround the Belconnen Town Centre, set on the western shore of the artificially established Lake Ginninderra. In addition to the residential development, the district contains some pastoral leasees on its western and south-western boundaries with the districts of Molonglo Valley and Stromlo, its north-western boundary with the state of New South Wales, and its northern and north-eastern boundaries with the districts of Hall and Gungahlin. The natural features of the district are constrained to the east and to the south-east by the Bruce Ridge and the northern slopes of Black Mountain, much of which has been preserved as nature reserves.

Residential and industrial development

The majority of the residential suburbs are predominantly characterised by detached single family homes on suburban blocks, with pockets of medium density housing units or town houses. This is most pronounced in the suburbs of Belconnen , Bruce , Cook , Hawker , Holt , Kaleen , Macquarie , Melba , Page and Scullin . Within the suburb of Belconnen, a medium density estate, often mistaken as a suburb, called Emu Ridge consists entirely of town house and unit developments, such as UniGardens, Belconnen accommodation for University of Canberra students (run by UniGardens Pty [12] ). The most recent suburb to be gazetted is Lawson in 1986, [13] where infrastructure works have commenced and residential development is in progress.

Within the district of Belconnen, there is almost no 'heavy' industry; however there is some light industry and manufacturing, including automotive repair, plumbing, electrical, building, and similar services as well as small arts and crafts manufacturing and sales outlets. A variety of medical practitioners and veterinarians also service the region. There is an established artistic community which includes aspiring performing musicians, theatre groups and visual artists. A recycling industry, involving organic as well as plastic and metals collection takes place at the Parkwood Road Recycling Estate, on the outermost western boundary of the district, within the suburb of Holt. [14] A poultry farm is situated nearby and is a significant primary industry producer providing eggs to Canberra and the surrounding region.

Retail and commercial development

The predominant shopping centre of the district is Westfield Belconnen, located within the Belconnen Town Centre. Additional local commerce activity includes large and smaller department stores, clothes retailers, car dealerships, homeware, supermarkets, and specialist grocery outlets. There are numerous restaurants and a variety of licensed premises within the Belconnen Town Centre, many close to the shores of Lake Ginninderra. The Belconnen Markets are a fresh food market area within this commercial district operating from Tuesday to Sunday during business hours. Smaller retail shopping centres are located at the Jamison Centre in the suburb of Macquarie; the Kippax Centre in the suburb of Holt; and shopping centres in the suburbs of Charnwood , Hawker, and Kaleen. The surrounding suburbs were designed each to have their own smaller shopping areas, with small supermarkets, chemists, hairdressers etc.

Within the Belconnen Town Centre is a number of Australian Government department head offices including the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Australian Broadcasting Authority and the Australian Communications and Media Authority. The Australian Taxation Office had offices located in the Belconnen Town Centre in the Cameron Offices.

The Calvary Hospital is a privately operated public hospital, located in the suburb of Bruce. Also in the suburb of Bruce are a number of sporting and education facilities including the University of Canberra (UC), the Canberra Institute of Technology (or CIT), the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), and Canberra Stadium.

Demographics

At the 2016 census, there were 96,049 people in the Belconnen district, of these 49.4 per cent were male and 50.6 per cent were female. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 1.7 per cent of the population, which was lower than the national and territory averages. The median age of people in the Belconnen district was 35 years, which was lower than the national median of 38 years. Children aged 0 – 14 years made up 18.8 per cent of the population and people aged 65 years and over made up 13.9 per cent of the population. Of people in the area aged 15 years and over, 47.8 per cent were married and 10.4 per cent were either divorced or separated. [1]

Population growth in the Belconnen district between the 2001 census and the 2006 census was 0.85 per cent; and in the subsequent five years to the 2011 census, the population grew by 9.55 per cent. When compared with total population growth of Australia for the same periods, being 5.78 per cent and 8.32 per cent respectively, population growth in Belconnen district was slightly higher than the national average. [15] [16] The median weekly income for residents within the Belconnen district was significantly higher than the national average, and slightly lower than the territory average. [17]

At the 2016 census, the proportion of residents in the Belconnen district who stated their ancestry as Australian or Anglo-Saxon exceeded 64 per cent of all residents (national average was 62.3 per cent). [1] In excess of 43 per cent of all residents in the Belconnen district nominated a religious affiliation with Christianity at the 2011 census, which was lower than the national average of 50.2 per cent. Meanwhile, as at the census date, compared to the national average, households in the Belconnen district had a marginally higher than average proportion (21.4 per cent) where two or more languages are spoken (national average was 20.4 per cent); and a relatively average proportion (77.0 per cent) where English only was spoken at home (national average was 76.8 per cent). [17]

Selected historical census data for the Belconnen district
Census year2001 [15] 2006 [16] 2011 [17] 2016 [1]
PopulationEstimated residents on census night81,70184,38292,44496,049
District rank in terms of size within the Australian Capital Territory2ndSteady2.svg 2ndIncrease2.svg 1stSteady2.svg 1st
Percentage of the Australian Capital Territory population25.9%24.2%
Percentage of the Australian population0.44%Decrease2.svg 0.42%Increase2.svg 0.43%Decrease2.svg 0.41%
Cultural and language diversity
Ancestry,
top responses
English24.0%24.1%
Australian26.9%23.7%
Irish9.1%9.3%
Scottish 7.0%7.3%
Chinese3.3%4.4%
Language,
top responses
(other than English)
Mandarin n/cIncrease2.svg 1.4%Increase2.svg 2.2%Increase2.svg 3.7%
Vietnamese 1.1%Increase2.svg 1.2%Increase2.svg 1.3%Steady2.svg 1.3%
Spanish1.0%Steady2.svg 1.0%Steady2.svg 1.0%Steady2.svg 1.0%
Italian1.4%Decrease2.svg 1.2%Decrease2.svg 1.0%Decrease2.svg 0.9%
Cantonese n/cSteady2.svg n/cIncrease2.svg 0.9%Steady2.svg 0.9%
Religious affiliation
Religious affiliation,
top responses
No Religion 19.2%Increase2.svg 23.3%Increase2.svg 28.9%Increase2.svg 37.1%
Catholic 28.8%Decrease2.svg 27.6%Decrease2.svg 25.3%Decrease2.svg 21.7%
Anglican 18.0%Decrease2.svg 16.3%Decrease2.svg 14.3%Decrease2.svg 10.7%
Uniting Church 4.9%Decrease2.svg 4.4%Decrease2.svg 3.7%Decrease2.svg 2.7%
Buddhism n/cSteady2.svg n/cIncrease2.svg 2.4%
Median weekly incomes
Personal incomeMedian weekly personal incomeA$680A$858A$919
Percentage of Australian median income145.9%Increase2.svg 148.7%Increase2.svg 138.8%
Family incomeMedian weekly family incomeA$1,662A$2,120A$2,285
Percentage of Australian median income141.9%Increase2.svg 143.1%Increase2.svg 131.8%
Household incomeMedian weekly household incomeA$1,440A$1,802A$1,915
Percentage of Australian median income140.2%Increase2.svg 146.0%Increase2.svg 133.2%

List of suburbs

Transport

The primary mode of transport within the District is by private vehicle. The District of Belconnen was planned in the 1960s and was guided by a philosophy of reliance on private personal transport and an abundance of roads. [ citation needed ] Public buses serve the district and a bus interchange that used to exist in the Town Centre, in its place is a bus station that services all suburbs, City/ South Canberra as a way point for passengers exiting the nearby Westfield shopping town at Benjamin Way.

Roads

Belconnen is well served by a network of near-freeway-quality roads located between suburbs and intersecting the district. The main roads between suburbs are typically landscaped with mounds of earth and vegetation to form 'parkways'.

The main roads connecting the district with North Canberra and the city centre are Belconnen Way and Ginninderra Drive. These roads are 6 lane parkways for the majority of their length and run in an east–west direction. Belconnen is situated south of the Barton Highway which leads to Yass, where it connects with the Hume Highway to Sydney and Melbourne. To the south of the district is William Hovell Drive which connects the southern and western suburbs of Belconnen with Parkes Way and the Tuggeranong Parkway which lead to the city centre and Canberra's southern districts respectively.

Public transport

Belconnen Community Bus Station, located on the former site of the original bus interchange Belconnen Community Bus Station.jpg
Belconnen Community Bus Station, located on the former site of the original bus interchange

The ACTION bus service which provides public transport throughout Canberra is the only form of regularly scheduled public transport in Belconnen. Services from the various suburbs generally pass through a bus interchange at Belconnen Town Centre from where they continue to Civic and the other town centres to Canberra's south. Some services travel to Gungahlin. There are also express services which connect directly with Tuggeranong.

The bus interchange is spread across the Belconnen town centre in three different locations. The previous interchange, which is now one of those locations, was connected by footbridge to large shopping centre and to office buildings occupied by major Government departments. It was an ageing facility which was criticised for being unsafe, particularly at night, and for being dirty and prone to vandalism. For these reasons it was subject to major renovations.

The ACT Government plans to construct a busway to connect the Belconnen Town centre with the hospital and CIT precinct in Bruce and the city centre.

Places of note and interest

Albert is a metal frame sculpture of a carp (fish). Created for Floriade 1996, it was erected at Belconnen Fresh Food Markets in 1998. Albert (sculture, Belconnen).jpg
Albert is a metal frame sculpture of a carp (fish). Created for Floriade 1996, it was erected at Belconnen Fresh Food Markets in 1998.
The central and eastern towers at Belconnen Naval Transmitting Station being felled, at 4.07 pm, 20 December 2006. The western tower fell at 3.24 pm; visible lying on foreground rise. Belconnen towers falling.JPG
The central and eastern towers at Belconnen Naval Transmitting Station being felled, at 4.07 pm, 20 December 2006. The western tower fell at 3.24 pm; visible lying on foreground rise.

Education

The University of Canberra is located in the suburb of Bruce and has a student population of approximately 10,000. A Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) campus is also in Bruce.

The Australian Capital Territory Government operates 23 Preschools, 19 Primary Schools, 5 High Schools and 3 Colleges (Senior Secondary Schools) within the District of Belconnen. There are also 8 religious schools and one Government special school for students with disabilities. Prominent High schools include Radford College and Canberra High. Belconnen is also the home to the ACT's only government operated Year 7–12 school, with the dual campus Melba Copland Secondary School located in the North-Eastern suburb of Melba.

Related Research Articles

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Florey, Australian Capital Territory Suburb of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

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Macquarie, Australian Capital Territory Suburb of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

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Belconnen Town Centre town centre for the Belconnen district in Canberra, Australia

Belconnen Town Centre is located in the suburb of Belconnen on the south-western shore of Lake Ginninderra in Canberra, Australia. It is the town centre for the Belconnen district.

Belconnen, Australian Capital Territory Suburb of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

Belconnen is the most inner suburb of the larger district of Belconnen in Canberra, Australia. Sharing its name with the larger district which encapsulates it, the suburb is surrounded with well developed infrastructure, and planning which allows it sunset views from the Brindabellas on its western side. The suburb contains important amenities for the District of Belconnen including the Belconnen Town Centre and Lake Ginninderra as well as its own well populated residential areas. It is bounded by Ginninderra Drive, Aikman Drive, Eastern Valley Way, Belconnen Way and Coulter Drive. It has a number of parks such as Margaret Timpson Park, Eastern Valley Oval, and on the foreshores of Lake Ginninberra, Diddams Close Park and John Knight Memorial Park.

Kaleen Suburb of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

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Lawson, Australian Capital Territory Suburb of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

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Macgregor, Australian Capital Territory Suburb of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

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Scullin, Australian Capital Territory Suburb of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

Scullin is a residential suburb in the Belconnen district of Canberra, located within the Australian Capital Territory, Australia. The suburb is named after Prime Minister of Australia James Henry Scullin. It was gazetted on 6 June 1968. In the city of Canberra, suburbs are assigned street names that reflect a distinct sub-group of cultural or historical Australian significance. The streets in the suburb of Scullin are named after aviators. Scullin is located adjacent to the suburbs of Higgins, Florey, Page and Hawker. Southern Cross Early Childhood School and Scullin neighbourhood oval are located within the suburb. It is bordered by Kingsford Smith Drive, Belconnen Way, Southern Cross Drive and Chewings Street. Scullin is approximately 20 minutes walk and 5 minutes by car from the Belconnen Town Centre and 15 minutes walk and 3 minutes by car from the Hawker Shopping Centre. It is approximately 10 to 15 minutes by car from Canberra City and 30 minutes from Canberra Airport.

Emu Ridge, Australian Capital Territory Australian Capital Territory

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Electorates of the Australian Capital Territory multi-member electorate for the ACT Legislative Assembly

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Ginninderra electorate electorate of the Australian Capital Territory

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