Turner, Australian Capital Territory

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
Coordinates 35°16′07″S 149°07′27″E / 35.26861°S 149.12417°E / -35.26861; 149.12417Coordinates: 35°16′07″S 149°07′27″E / 35.26861°S 149.12417°E / -35.26861; 149.12417
Population 3,595 (2011 census)[1]
 • Density 2,400/km2 (6,210/sq mi)
Established 1928
Postcode(s) 2612
Area 1.5 km2 (0.6 sq mi)
District North Canberra
Territory electorate(s) Kurrajong
Federal Division(s)
Suburbs around Turner:
O'Connor Lyneham Dickson
Turner Braddon
Acton City

Turner (postcode: 2612) is a leafy early Canberra suburb, close to Canberra City and the Australian National University (located in the suburb of Acton).

Turner is named after Sir George Turner, a Federalist, legislator and one of the founders of the Australian Constitution. He was a Premier of Victoria, and later Federal Treasurer under prime ministers Barton, Deakin and Reid. Streets in Turner are mostly named after writers, legislators and pioneers.[2]


In the 2011 census, the population of Turner was 3,595, including 41 (1.1%) Indigenous persons and 2,217 (61.7%) Australian-born persons. Only 20.2% of dwellings were separate houses (compared to the Australian average of 75.6%), while 7.9% were semi-detached, row or terrace houses (Australian average: 9.9%) and 72.0% were flats, units or apartments (Australian average: 13.6%). 45.0% of the population were professionals, compared to the Australian average of 21.3%. Notably 28.6% worked in government administration, compared to the Australian average of 1.3%, although the Canberra-wide average is 20.1%. Turner is favoured by students and young adults with 18.5% of its population in the 15- to 24-year-old age group (compared to the Australian average of 13.3%). The suburb has few children under 15: 7.0%, compared to 19.3% Australia-wide. 37.7% of the dwellings are occupied by single person households, compared to the Australian average of 24.3%.[1]


Apartments on Northbourne Avenue
A recently constructed double storied home in southern Turner.

Turner was developed in the 1940s and 1950s. The suburb is an example of garden city design with wide nature strips and generously proportioned roads.

Turner, though a small suburb, can be divided into three logical areas:

David Street which forms Turner's northern boundary is designed to line up with Black Mountain in one direction and Mount Majura in the other direction.

Original block sizes were generous in Turner, ranging from around 800 m2 to 1400 m2, with some even reaching 1600 m2. 900–1000 m2 is typical. In the postwar period when resources were scarce, disproportionately small houses were built on these large blocks that are now inner city. This has made Turner blocks well suited for redevelopment, whether it be for units, townhouses, dual occupancies or occasional luxury houses. It was quite usual with the original buildings to have tiny three bedroom and even two bedroom houses on the blocks with floor areas of around 85 m2 - 110 m2. These houses were not only small but typically had tiny windows and were poorly positioned on the block for solar access - an important consideration in Canberra's cold climate. Houses were typically positioned for aesthetic effect with various ideas like inner-corner semi-detached (Hackett Gardens), facing the corner (Macleay Street) or symmetrical arrangements between the houses (Holder Street).

Few houses remain in their original unextended state. Floor plans of the original government designed and built houses can be obtained from the local planning authorities. Many houses have been replaced by multi-story unit developments. The scale of redevelopment post-2000 has been significant—the population in the suburb has grown from 1,852 people in 2001 to 3,010 in 2006 and 3,595 in 2011.

A number of artifacts of the original design of Turner can still be seen. Firstly, as is typical for Canberra, powerlines are behind the houses so as not to interfere with street trees. Street lamps are low and designed for pedestrians. Several different designs of lamp were installed originally, and examples of each can be still be seen. Some streets have footpaths with the house numbers imprinted on the concrete and red fire hydrants can be seen in some areas. Because the suburb's construction was interrupted by the war, various ideas can be seen in the layout of footpaths. For example, in the southern areas, footpaths cut off the diagonal of the block. McKay Gardens has service lanes, uncharacteristic both of the suburb and the Canberra region.

Many of the single houses between Sullivans Creek and Northbourne Avenue have been replaced by two and three storey flats in recent years as a result of being zoned in the Inner North Precinct.[3] Land adjoining Northbourne Avenue (except Havelock House) is now zoned to permit redevelopment with 25 metre (about 8 storeys) high flats or 32 metres (about 11 storeys) at the corners of Macarthur Avenue with Northbourne Avenue.[4] Low-rise offices are permitted in a small area in the southeast of the suburb around McKay Gardens.[5]

Suburb amenities

Turner has a combined Special-Education and Mainstream Public school situated between David, Hartley and Condamine Streets, with a combined Pre-school. Child-care centres in the suburb include:

Turner has several churches:

It also has a tennis club (in Condamine Street) and lawn bowls club (in McCaughey Street) and several ethnic clubs, a French association (the Alliance Française) (in McCaughey Street) and Polish club (in David Street) and Croatian club (in McCaughey Street). There was a police youth club on Watson Street (relocated to West Belconnen in late 2006 due to costly maintenance issues with the building).

Turner is within walking distance of the CBD and the Australian National University. The suburb adjoins the local O'Connor shops.

Open space

Turner has a high proportion of parks and open space. This is due to a number of factors:


2016 Federal Election[6]
  Labor 45.76%
  Greens 28.75%
  Liberal 19.05%
  Bullet Train for Canberra 3.83%
  Independent 2.61%
2016 ACT Election[7]
  Labor 42.8%
  Greens 28.5%
  Liberal 18.5%
  Canberra Community Voters 2.6%
  Independent 2.6%

Turner is located within the federal electorates of Canberra (south of Haig Park or west of Sullivans Creek) and Fenner (north of Haig Park and east of Sullivans Creek). It is represented in the House of Representatives by Andrew Leigh in Fenner and by Gai Brodtmann in Canberra, both for the Labor Party. Polling place statistics are shown to the right for the Turner polling place at Turner School in the 2016 federal election for Fenner.[6]

In the ACT Legislative Assembly, Turner is part of the electorate of Kurrajong, which elects five members on the basis of proportional representation, two Labor, two Liberal and one Greens.[8] Polling place statistics are shown to the right for the Turner polling place at Turner School in the 2016 ACT election.[7]


Calcareous shales from the Canberra Formation are overlain by Quaternary alluvium. This rock is the limestone of the original title of Canberra "Limestone Plains".

Several fault lines pass through Turner including the inactive Acton Fault.[9]

Notes and references

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Turner, Australian Capital Territory.
  1. 1 2 Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Turner (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 23 January 2009.
  2. "Suburb Name search results". ACT Planning & Land Authority. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
  3. "Inner North Precinct Code" (PDF). ACT Planning and Land Authority. 29 November 2013. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  4. "Northbourne Avenue Precinct Code" (PDF). ACT Planning and Land Authority. 18 December 2012. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  5. "Turner Precinct Map and Code" (PDF). ACT Planning and Land Authority. 18 December 2012. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  6. 1 2 "Federal Election 2016 - Polling Place Turner (Fenner)". Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  7. 1 2 "2016 Results for Kurrajong Candidates at Turner Polling Place". ACT Electoral Commission. 12 November 2016. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  8. "Current members". ACT Legislative Assembly. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  9. Henderson, G. A. M (1980). Geology of Canberra, Queanbeyan and Environs (Map). Canberra: Bureau of Mineral Resources, Geology and Gophysics.
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