Defence Forces Staff College – Cotter Road

The WCCC provided a submission in 1999 to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Public Works Committee in respect of the co-location of Defence Force Staff Colleges at the Cotter Road site. The Committee of Public Works recommended the collocation of Australia’s Defence Force Colleges from various sites around the Australia to the Cotter Road site.

The WCCC supported the co-location, based on feedback from residents, with the proviso that an acceptable solution is found to the entry/exit and that the external lighting did not adversely impact on the Mt Stromlo Observatory.

The WCCC has kept open communication with the Defence Force Staff College and the Department of Defence.

Colonel Paul Appleton from the Defence Force Staff College attended the February 2000 regular monthly meeting and provided an overview of the location of other staff colleges and the types of training they provide for the Defence Force staff. These colleges are from Balmoral in Sydney, Queenscliff in Victoria and RAAF Fairbairn in the ACT and are to be collocated with existing teaching courses at the Cotter Road site.

The students would be equivalent or higher rank of major, many would be at the College accompanied by their family. The courses could range in duration from 12 months to 3 years. There would be no student accommodation on site.


The questions that were raised included:

  • Why is there a requirement for a roundabout on the Cotter Road?
  • Is there any information on the extent of the increased delays for traffic exiting Weston Creek?
  • What is the impact on the congestion at the Streeton Drive/Cotter Road intersection, which is already overloaded at peak times and you cannot even get through when the lights are green.
  • Is the ‘form one lane’ problem to be removed by duplication?
  • Will giving way at a roundabout exacerbate the problems at the ‘form one lane’?
  • Are traffic lights being considered?
  • Are there any other options for an entry?
  • Could a tunnel under from the Cotter Road (from the western- parkway side) be considered, to go under Cotter Rd? [Similar to that at CSIRO under Barry Drive to Dryandra Street].
  • Will the roundabout be double lane? [Like Cotter Road/Lady Denman Drive].
  • Can the lanes from the proposed roundabout to the parkway over-pass be double lanes?
  • Can the single lane from Streeton Drive uphill to the roundabout be double even if the downhill lane remains single?
  • Will the external lighting from the extra Defence College buildings adversely affect Mt Stromlo?


The WCCC has on a number of occasions through 2000 and in 2001 lobbied both the Chief Minister Gary Humphries and the Minister for Urban Services Brendan Smyth regarding remedial work to the poorly designed roundabout access to the College. We have been advised that no remedial work will be undertaken. The current situation will continue until the Cotter Road is duplicated from Streeton Drive to the Tuggeranong Parkway, expected in 2001-2002.

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