National Capital Authority

Section 1: Entity overview and resources

1.1 Strategic direction statement

The National Capital Authority (NCA) was established under the Australian Capital Territory (Planning and Land Management) Act 1988 (the PALM Act).

The PALM Act prescribes the NCA's powers and functions and makes it subject to general Ministerial direction. The Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories has administrative responsibility for the PALM Act.

On behalf of the Australian Government, the NCA performs the role of trustee and manager of areas in Canberra and the ACT that are designated as National Land for the special purpose of Canberra as Australia's National Capital. The NCA works closely and collaboratively with the ACT Government in shaping the future of Canberra through the National Capital Plan and related planning and development work. The NCA also manages much of the National Estate—such as Lake Burley Griffin, the National Triangle and Anzac Parade—and educates and informs the community about Canberra's unique characteristics and special role as the National Capital.

The functions of the NCA are set out in section 6 of the PALM Act and include:

  • to prepare and administer a National Capital Plan, providing the overall planning and development framework for Canberra as Australia's National Capital;
  • to keep the Plan under constant review and to propose amendments to it as required;
  • on behalf of the Commonwealth, to commission works to be carried out in Designated Areas in accordance with the Plan where neither a Department of State of the Commonwealth nor any Commonwealth authority has the responsibility to commission those works;
  • to recommend to the Minister the carrying out of works that the NCA considers desirable to maintain or enhance the character of the National Capital;
  • to foster an awareness of Canberra as the National Capital;
  • with the Minister's approval, to perform planning services for any person or body, whether within Australia or overseas; and
  • with the exception of the taking of water, and with the Minister's approval, to manage National Land designated in writing by the Minister as land required for the special purposes of Canberra as the National Capital, on behalf of the Commonwealth.

The main components of the NCA's work is to:

  • support the planning, design and development of nationally significant parts of Canberra and the ACT;
  • inform and educate the community about the unique characteristics and importance of Canberra as the National Capital; and
  • manage and enhance Commonwealth assets on National Land.

The NCA's key priorities for 2019–20 include:

  • addressing the need to upgrade ageing built assets on the National Estate, notably Commonwealth Avenue Bridge, Scrivener Dam and parts of Lake Burley Griffin;
  • actively managing and enhancing the Estate's natural assets in the context of environmental change and the ongoing need for remediation and renewal; and
  • meeting the challenges of planning for a growing, vibrant city while maintaining the unique character and special purpose of Canberra.

1.2 Entity resource statement

Table 1.1 shows the total funding from all sources available to the NCA for its operations and to deliver programs and services on behalf of the Government.

The table summarises how resources will be applied by outcome (government strategic policy objectives) and by administered (on behalf of the government or the public) and departmental (for the NCA's operations) classification.

Information in this table is presented on a resourcing (i.e. appropriations/cash available) basis, whilst the ‘Budgeted expenses by Outcome 1’ table in Section 2 and the financial statements in Section 3 are presented on an accrual basis.

Table 1.1: National Capital Authority resource statement—Budget estimates for 2019–20 as at Budget April 2019

1.3  Budget measures

Budget measures in Part 1 relating to the NCA are detailed in Budget Paper No. 2—Budget Measuresand are summarised below.

Table 1.2: Entity 2019–20 Budget measures

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Budget 2019-20