The National Capital Plan

The National Capital Plan (the Plan) is the strategic plan for Canberra and the Territory. It ensures that 'Canberra and the Territory are planned and developed in accordance with their national significance' The key matters of national significance include:

  • The pre-eminence of the role of Canberra and the Territory as the centre of National Capital functions, and as the symbol of Australian national life and values.
  • Conservation and enhancement of the landscape features which give the National Capital its character and setting, and which contribute to the integration of natural and urban environments.
  • Respect for the key elements of the Griffins’ formally adopted plan for Canberra.
  • Creation, conservation and enhancement of fitting sites, approaches and backdrops for national institutions and ceremonies as well as National Capital uses.
  • The development of a city which both respects environmental values and reflects national concerns with the sustainability of Australia’s urban areas.

This recognises the value of the unique purpose, setting, character and symbolism of Australia's national capital.

In accordance with section 10 of the Australian Capital Territory (Planning and Land Management) Act 1988 (the Act), the Plan sets out the broad planning principles and policies for Canberra and the Territory, and detailed conditions of planning, design and development for the 'Designated Areas' because of their particular importance to the special character of the national capital. The detailed conditions of planning, design and development are set out in the Plan. Works Approval for development within the 'Designated Areas' in the responsibility of the National Capital Authority (NCA).

If you would like to discuss or would like to obtain a printed or digital copy of the plan contact us:

Please note that there is a cost related to providing a printed hard copy of the plan. This is charged on a cost recovery basis.


The Consolidated National Capital Plan site is provided as a basic information service only. The information is not an official or complete version of the National Capital Plan. It does not include all elements of the Plan.

The National Capital Authority makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, regarding the completeness, accuracy or usefulness of any information contained in this site. Any use or reliance on the information provided in the National Capital Plan site is at the risk of the user.

Users should verify all representation, information and statements with their own professional advisers. The National Capital Authority will not be liable for any damage or injury to any person arising out of the completeness, accuracy or usefulness of any information contained in the National Capital Plan site.

The main provisions of the Legislation Act 2003  commenced on 1 January 2005 and as a result registration on the Federal Register of Legislation (FRL) web site is now the official form of notification for all legislative instruments which includes the original National Capital Plan as gazetted and subsequent Amendments. The Legislation Act 2003 also requires that a compilation of each legislative instrument be available on the FRL website.

Further information, technical advice, building and development enquiries should be directed to:

Every attempt is made to ensure that information provided is up to date, however, information is subject to change without notice.

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