Location Map for Downer
Location Map for Downer

Downer is a suburb in Canberra Australia, in the Inner North. The suburb is bounded by Northbourne Avenue, Antill Street and Philip Avenue.

The suburb was gazetted in 1960 and named after Sir John Downer (1844 – 1915) Premier of South Australia and a member of the first Australian Senate in 1901. There is no specific theme for street names.

The buildings which make up the Downer community centre and former shops, were built for the CSIRO in 1930s, and the area now comprising Downer was an agricultural research facility for the CSIRO. The area now comprising the suburb was used between 1939-45 as a plantation for the growth of opium poppy to provide a source for medications in the unavailability of imported supplies. The large pine and gum trees which surround the block around the shops were planted in this time as a wind break for the CSIRO building. Large trees (Camden Woolybutts) along Swinden street were also planted then, as Swinden street was the driveway for the CSIRO building, where it connected to Northbourne Avenue. With the development of the suburb the trees became diseased during the 1980s and a program is underway to replace them with more amenable local varieties of gum. As of September 2008, all but two or three of the older Swinden Street gums have been removed.

Downer has a local oval between Frencham, Melba, Bonython and Bradfield streets, with a shopping centre. However in 2005 the shopping centre was vacant due partly to the poor location of the centre away from major roads. There is also the Canberra Business Centre nearby, which at one time was a school. The Downer Club, which has an observatory, is nearby, although not technically in Downer, on the Dickson side of Antill Street.

The population count of Downer on census night 2016 was 3,662 people.

Local Groups:


Most Recent 5 Downer Development Applications

planningalertsThe latest public Environment and Planning Directorate – Planning notifications can also be accessed from their site. The following is an extract of the public applications selected by NCCC that principally relate to Downer or have an impact on North Canberra or its residents; the extract may not be complete and does not contain development applications that are not publicly notified.


Address: 29 Edkins Street, Downer, ACT

Development Application: 202037880

Desecription: LEASE VARIATION - Subdivision of the block into two blocks.
Comment closure date: 2020-12-16


Address: 2 Bradfield Street, Downer, ACT

Development Application: 201731204

Desecription: AMENDMENT TO APPROVED DA201731204. Amendment to the development application for proposal for multi unit development-block subdivision - the amendment includes changes to pathways,sliding doors to bi-fold doors, replacing concrete balustrade to frosted glazing and relocation of mailbox. Associated works include fire truck easement and allocation of parking to be part of stage 3. A full list of amendments as shown on supporting documents and associated plans.
Comment closure date: 2020-08-31


Address: 11 Bradfield Street, Downer, ACT

Development Application: 202037276

Desecription: PROPOSAL FOR ALTERATIONS AND ADDITIONS - Alterations and additions to existing dual occupancy development including an extension to rear of residence and associated works.
Comment closure date: 2020-08-24


Address: 29 Banfield Street, Downer, ACT

Development Application: 202037290

Desecription: PROPOSAL FOR SECONDARY RESIDENCE - Demolition of existing garage and unapproved structure, construction of secondary residence, garage and associated works.
Comment closure date: 2020-08-10


Address: 60 Swinden Street, Downer, ACT

Development Application: 202037284

Desecription: PROPOSAL FOR A SECONDARY DWELLING - a new single storey dwelling in addition to the existing dwelling, demolition of existing pergola, installation of water tank, landscaping and associated works.
Comment closure date: 2020-07-15



(Note: Earlier Development Applications can be seen by accessing the ACTPLA website or by going to PlanningAlerts. Note ACTPLA do remove access to the development application documentation some time after the DA closes, but PlanningAlerts do retain some basic historical information.)