Frequently Asked Questions
How many hectares of land will be cleared?
The total site is 379 hectares in size. However, only 14% (52 hectares) will be developed, with 86% remaining untouched by development and rehabilitated as an extension to Jubilee Park. This rehabilitation will include the removal of invasive weeds and planting of native vegetation, thereby significantly increasing the available habitat for our native fauna.
Of the proposed development area, a large portion of the land is already open, having been cleared for the rifle ranges. The development also proposes the retention of existing bushland areas as community space.
What about the loss of wildlife habitats?
The Mount Lofty development will include a DHA contribution of 327 hectares of escarpment land to the community and to wildlife habitat. This means that over 86% of the site will be untouched by any development and will be preserved and protected in perpetuity.
DHA will undertake rehabilitation work on this land to remove invasive weeds thereby creating access for native fauna. Escarpment parkland will be further improved by pest management and community access to walking trails, bike tracks and picnic areas.
When will surveying begin to see where the unexploded ordnances are?
DHA’s investigations into contamination commenced some time ago, and are ongoing. The future safety of the residential lots will be assured through this process. All contamination must be removed from areas where future homes will be built, making the site safe for community use.
How is DHA factoring in the environment and native bushland? Can DHA guarantee some bushland won't be touched?
Yes. Not only will over 86% of the site be untouched by development, but significant rehabilitation work will be undertaken in this area to improve its accessibility and suitability as wildlife habitat. DHA intends to facilitate a significant expansion of 327 hectares to the adjoining Jubilee Park.
The proposed off-setting strategy will seek to rehabilitate large sections of this land that has extensive weed and pest infestations and has been assessed as having a low ecological value. The intent is to create a significant net environmental improvement that is protected in perpetuity. Benefits of the off-setting strategy include:
Creates a net vegetation improvement, including weed clearing, pest and wild dog management.
Results in additional planting and creation of new habitat.
Provides a management plan for weed, pest and wild dogs
Have local residents had a chance to contribute to the DHA masterplan for Mount Lofty?
Yes. Since early 2017 DHA has voluntarily conducted a comprehensive program of engagement with residents and other interested parties. This program has included the establishment of a Community Reference Group and holding Community Information Days as well providing regular updates to interested parties.
The feedback from this engagement has been considered throughout the development of a masterplan by DHA. In many cases the community’s ideas and feedback have been incorporated into the masterplan design.
How have the community been engaged?
Local residents and other interested parties have been invited to join the DHA community conversation by mail and email, and by reference to the project website. Regular website updates, and regular mail and email updates have ensured that interested stakeholders have been kept informed about DHA’s progress, and have provided people with opportunities to learn about the project and to provide feedback to the project team.
In addition, DHA has held three community information days at the site and has created a Community Reference Group (CRG).
Was DHA’s Community Reference Group process worthwhile?
Yes. For all parties – the broadly representative views of a varied mix of local people were instructive and our meetings helped us understand each other and promote a deeper understanding of local planning and development. CRG members noted they are better informed about planning and development. The CRG ably represented their neighbours and took information out to the community from the CRG.
CRG members' input influenced master plan in many ways:
24% of DHA’s Mount Lofty residential development area will be open space and parks (development area is 52 hectares of 379 hectare site)
Request for extensive pathways - Locals and visitors will enjoy 10km of new footpaths, trails and pathways
Only 342 residential house lots are proposed by DHA
DHA will revegetate and contribute 329 hectares of potential new escarpment parkland to the community, extending Jubilee Park
Retention of historic features - fig tree and target trench
Street scape planting retains Mount Lofty feel
Single storey limits on homes along the eastern side of Martini Street
Inclusion of wide bushfire buffers and fire access track.
Some CRG members met with decision makers in isolation from the group. There isn’t consensus around those meetings and that’s a good thing. Healthy representativeness. Our only concern is the distribution by a few members of material that is not accurate about matters clearly discussed in meetings.
Has DHA been communicating with the CRG recently?
DHA has been meeting with members since the CRG was established in May 2017. Four formal meetings were held over 12 months in 2017 and 2018. We last met with the CRG in September 2018. Meetings, exclusive member updates, community correspondence, fact checks, Q&A, informal catch ups and phone calls maintained open two-way lines of communication.
CRG members have been kept up to date on site activity, reports, our engagement with Council and other agencies. The CRG’s extensive questions on the DA and the IR were discussed and answered in detail. CRG members agreed to abide by terms of reference. This agreement doesn’t apply to people who aren’t members.
When will work start and finish on the project?
DHA and its consultant team have submitted their Development Application to the Toowoomba Regional Council. The project has moved through the Public Notification period which closed on 18 December 2018, and Council continues to work through the development assessment process with a decision expected sometime in 2020. Whilst it cannot be determined at this point exactly when work may commence on the site, we will continue to keep stakeholders informed about the project's progress.
How many lots will be created on the site? How many houses will be built?
The total size of DHA’s site at Mount Lofty is 379 hectares. Of this, 327 hectares are planned to be donated for community use as an extension to Jubilee Park. On the remaining 52 hectares, DHA proposes to create a masterplanned community comprising 342 residential lots, along with parks, an escarpment walkway, and other community amenities. Some of the lots will be retained by DHA on which homes will be built for Defence members and their families, with the remaining lots to be made available for public purchase.
Will the DHA community be developed and sold off all at once? Will this flood the Toowoomba market?
No. DHA is an award-winning developer, who has extensive experience in the development of quality communities for Defence families and the public. DHA develops and markets our projects in stages, releasing a small number of lots to the market which are largely sold out before the next release. DHA manages a large portfolio of housing throughout Australia. We have existing houses in Toowoomba and plan to be part of the local community for the long-term.
Will all the homes at the Mount Lofty community be exclusively for Defence families?
No. DHA plans to create a sustainable residential community for Defence families and the local community. Some of the lots will be retained by DHA on which homes will be built for Defence members and their families, with the remaining lots to be made available for public purchase. DHA will invest in Toowoomba for the long-term. DHA is not like other developers, who sell off all lots in an estate. DHA remains a deeply invested manager of our homes in which Defence members are accommodated. DHA seeks to retain a lasting and positive position in the places it develops.
What will be done about unexploded ordnance on the Mount Lofty site?
Unexploded ordnance (UXO) is munition devices that did not explode when they were employed. There may be UXO on some areas of the Mount Lofty site. DHA has engaged an independent expert to conduct on-ground inspections for UXO. This consultant will comprehensively review the site and will provide advice, and oversee, the clearing of UXO from some areas of the site.
How will the development affect the local environment and Jubilee Park?
A significant portion of the 379 hectare site will remain undeveloped. Future development of the site will be sympathetic to the surrounding environment and contain plenty of green space for new and existing Mount Lofty residents. DHA plans to retain part of the site for access and recreational use by all members of the Toowoomba community, including the potential for a contribution of land to expand Jubilee Park adjoining the site to the East.
What will happen to the Moreton Bay Fig tree at the end of Henry Street?
The Moreton Bay Fig tree, and its associated story, provide a wonderful connection for DHA from the past to the present. DHA intends to make the tree a centrepiece of the development at Mount Lofty. An arborist has inspected the Moreton Bay fig tree, and the nearby Chinese Elms (weeds) have been removed. The health and integrity of the Moreton Bay Fig tree is a priority for DHA and we will continue to keep the community informed about this.
How will DHA deal with increased traffic volumes?
DHA’s independent traffic engineers have conducted traffic volume surveys to identify existing traffic volumes at intersections and road links. Local knowledge about peak traffic volumes on nearby roads has been gratefully received by DHA, and provided to the traffic engineers. The traffic engineers have provided a comprehensive report, submitted to council as part of the Development Application, that includes proposals for the increased traffic volumes. These proposals include installation of traffic lights, additional lanes, increased parking provision, and other traffic calming measures.
How will extra housing affect existing water pressure?
Some local residents have told us that they experience issues with water pressure in their homes at Mount Lofty. We are grateful for this advice, which has been provided to DHA’s independent engineers and is being taken into account by them in their consideration of local water infrastructure.
How is dust managed during construction?
Before construction commences DHA will submit to council for its approval plans that detail all works. The plans will include dust management.
During construction, a water truck sprays areas where earthworks and other activity is underway. Other dust mitigation measures include a wheel wash, perimeter mesh fencing, and sediment guards.
What about bushfire risk?
DHA engaged a bushfire expert at the outset of the project and a Bushfire Management Plan has been developed for the proposed residential estate, which has been submitted to Council in our Development Application. There are clear standards in planning and land management legislation about the management of bushfire risk, and these have been fully adhered to in the DHA project. In addition, comprehensive fire mitigation measures have been put in place for the management of the site in its current form, and DHA takes steps to keep fuel loads at a minimum, to maintain suitable separation from neighbouring dwellings and to maintain internal firebreaks.
Who is DHA and what is their role as a developer?
DHA was born over 25 years ago to create a better lifestyle for Australian Defence Force members and their families, to help attract and retain personnel and to ensure that, while serving their country, they have safe, secure and high-quality homes. Over the last five years, DHA has evolved to become a leading residential property developer, with almost 50 projects across the country and a development pipeline worth more than $3 billion. DHA’s current development projects are located in growth zones in Perth, Sydney, Brisbane, Darwin, North Queensland and the Newcastle/Hunter region, and include contemporary city apartments and stylish townhouses, as well as quality land within our award-winning masterplanned communities.
Where do I find more information?
You can find more information about the Mount Lofty project by: