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Section 1 : Agency Overview


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

The Act establishes the NCA, prescribes its powers and functions and makes it subject to general ministerial direction. The Minister for Local Government, Territories and Roads administers the Act.

The NCA consists of a Chairman, a Chief Executive and three other members. The Chief Executive is a full-time member while the other four members serve on a part-time basis. The Chief Executive manages the affairs of the NCA under the general directions of the Authority and has the responsibility of a Chief Executive under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act) and Head of Agency under the Public Service Act 1999. The NCA is a prescribed agency under the FMA Act and is principally budget funded through departmental and administered appropriation.

The Statutory functions of the Authority

The NCA manages the continuing interests of the Commonwealth in the National Capital, including the range of functions required to maintain, enhance and promote the national qualities of the Capital.

The functions of the NCA establish the extent of the Commonwealth's interest in the National Capital and are set out in section 6 of the Act. They are:

(a) to prepare and administer the National Capital Plan
(b) to keep the Plan under constant review and to propose amendments to it when necessary
(c) 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
(d) to recommend to the Minister the carrying out of works that it considers desirable to maintain or enhance the character of the National Capital
(e) to foster an awareness of Canberra as the National Capital
(f) with the approval of the Minister, to perform planning services for any person or body, whether within Australia or overseas
(g) with the Minister's approval, on behalf of the Commonwealth, to manage National Land designated in writing by the Minister as land required for the special purposes of Canberra as the National Capital.

These functions provide a robust framework to secure the planning and development of Canberra as the National Capital; to accommodate the Seat of Government and associated national and cultural requirements; to provide national public places for all Australians to visit and enjoy; to enhance the unique character and symbolic meaning of the capital; and to develop appreciation of the capital as a reflection of our democracy and national life.

The NCA's vision for Canberra is:

  • a National Capital which symbolises Australia's heritage, values and aspirations, is internationally recognised, and worthy of pride by Australians.

The NCA's mission is:

  • to build the National Capital in the hearts of all Australians.

The NCA's goals are to:

  • realise the promise of the city plan and the ideals of the founders
  • foster Canberra as the National Capital, and
  • develop the special character of the National Capital.

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