24 September 2017 - Public to choose name for new park at West Basin

20 September 2017 - 23,000 plants to transform new West Basin public park

8 September 2017 - Barrine Drive partially reopens for Floriade

6 September 2017 - Government sets first-year objectives for a better city precinct

25 August 2017 - Community makeover to give Dickson shops a facelift

24 August 2017 - Haig Park phase 2 consultation summary

21 August 2017 - City Renewal Authority welcomes Malcolm Snow

11 August 2017 - Sale of ageing government office block presents Dickson renewal opportunity

9 August 2017 - City 7 sale result shows strong interest in city renewal

8 August 2017 - Sales campaign for Northbourne Avenue sites commended

1 July 2017 – Hurly Burley Winter Fair brightens City West

16 June 2017 - City 7 sale to revitalise old Bega Flats site

14 June 2017 - Temporary traffic changes during waterfront park construction


Public to choose name for new West Basin public park

24 September 2017

A convict turned land manager, a landscaper, an architect artist and the founder of The Queanbeyan Age are the four options being put to the community for the naming of the new public park at West Basin.

City Renewal Authority chief executive Malcolm Snow encouraged people to visit the consultation page, find out more about the four nominees, and have input into the naming of a great new public space.

“This new park is going to be a great public asset. This is a wonderful opportunity for the people who will use the park to have a say in choosing its name,” Mr Snow said.

“With 23,000 plants, grassed areas, barbecue facilities, public art, connected walkways and access to the new public boardwalk on the lake’s edge, the park will be a focal recreational destination in the city precinct.

“It will need a name that reflects its importance to the region and the four names put forward all reflect significant contributions to the development and growth of the Canberra region.”

The four options selected by the ACT Place Names committee are:

  • John McLoughlin Park – John McLoughlin arrived in Australia in 1811 after being found guilty of stealing two horses in his home country of Ireland. In 1824 McLoughlin was put in charge of 2000 acres, including what is now the site of the National Museum of Australia – the first recorded European grazing run on the Limestone Plains. He also established Canberry station, considered the first settlement by white people on the site of the future national capital.
  • Sylvia Crowe Park – Dame Sylvia Crowe was an English landscape architect commissioned to prepare the landscape masterplan for Commonwealth Park. Dame Sylvia’s design, prepared in collaboration with local landscape architects Margaret Hendry and Richard Clough, offered an opportunity for quiet enjoyment of plants and landscape and emphasised the different qualities of water – still reflections, flowing water, running water and falling water.
  • Henry Rolland Park – Henry Maitland Rolland OBE was a resident architect in Canberra during 1912-16 working mainly on the construction of the Royal Military College, Duntroon.  He was the Chief Architect in the Federal Capital Commission from 1925-27 tasked with overseeing the construction of the new city of Canberra and its centrepiece, the provisional Parliament House.
  • John Gale Park - John Gale’s advocacy for the Canberra area as the best site for the future federal capital earned him the colloquial title of ‘Father of Canberra’.  He founded the first local newspaper The Golden Age in Queanbeyan in 1860.  He served as District Coroner for the Federal Territory and Queanbeyan for many years and was the Member for Murrumbidgee in the NSW Legislative Assembly in 1887-1889.

Voting will be open online at yoursay.act.gov.au until Friday 27 October.

The new park in West Basin and its adjacent boardwalk are expected to be opened to the public in early 2018.


23,000 plants to transform new West Basin public park

20 September 2017

The nearly 23,000 plants that will be used to transform a new public park in West Basin have been ordered, with about a third being grown locally at the Yarralumla Nursery.

The plantings for the creation of the park on the headland next to Commonwealth Avenue Bridge, consist of a large range of ground-cover shrubs and grasses – including the locally endangered Button Wrinkewort - as well as 86 new trees.

Both the park and the first section of the new boardwalk are due to open early in 2018.

City Renewal Authority chief executive Malcolm Snow said the park was a significant improvement on the previous public space in West Basin.

“The new public park at West Basin is a sign of the government’s commitment to providing high-quality open space and public places in the city centre,” Mr Snow said.

“Linking in with the boardwalk, the park will provide a new recreational destination so more people can enjoy the beautiful vistas the lake provides.

“What was mostly surface car parking will soon be transformed by 23,000 plants, 86 trees and grassed areas.  Public access around the lake will be significantly improved with connecting paths to encourage active travel.”

The landscaping will not only significantly improve the attractiveness of the 14,700 square metre park but will also play an important environmental role.

“The mixture of native and exotic trees and plants chosen are robust and climate resilient. They will increase the percentage of vegetation cover and improve the diversity of habitat and biodiversity outcomes,” Mr Snow said.

“This will have a positive impact on the surrounding area through an increased number of birds and wildlife, increased shade, improved soil, while the application of water sensitive urban design will reduce the pollutants entering the lake.”

To see the full list of plants ordered for the new park click here.


Barrine Drive partially reopens for Floriade

8 September 2017

A section of road in West Basin that has been closed for the construction of a new public park will be temporarily reopened as a one-way street from tomorrow until the end of Floriade.

The section of Barrine Drive, south of Albert Street in West Basin, will be opened in one direction to allow vehicles to travel from Commonwealth Park into West Basin (see image below).

Diversions will be in place to ensure continuous access to both Commonwealth Park and West Basin parking areas. Detour signage will be in place to direct motorists.

City Renewal Authority chief executive Malcolm Snow said the road had been temporarily reopened to allow greater access during Floriade and would be closed again following the festival until the park is completed in early 2018.

“Floriade is one of the city’s most important festivals, with a large number of locals and visitors using the area each day,” Mr Snow said.

“While the closure of Barrine Drive has been necessary to allow for the significant public realm improvement that is underway, we have gone to extra lengths to partially reopen the road during Floriade to improve access to and from the event.”

When the park is completed Barrine Drive will be a two-way shared zone.

While the partial reopening of Barrine Drive will improve traffic conditions, Floriade organisers have emphasised that parking at West Basin and at Commonwealth Park will be limited.

Visitors are being urged to use alternative transport options, including public transport and active transport.

There are a number of parking options available within walking distance to the venue, including in the city and the Parliamentary Zone.

A free shuttle bus will operate throughout the day from various city centre locations.

Pedestrian and cyclists will continue to use the signalised Commonwealth Avenue crossing.

For more information on parking options visit floriadeaustralia.com


Government sets first-year objectives for a better city precinct

6 September 2017

Renewal of the city bus interchange, improvements to the Sydney and Melbourne buildings and increasing the liveability of the city precinct are some of the goals set for the City Renewal Authority in its first 12 months.

The ACT Government’s first statement of expectations for the authority outlines a plan for growth and urban improvement guided by stakeholder and community engagement.

In addition to continuing activation and urban renewal projects, the authority will need to enable, encourage and promote cohesive renewal and development. It will also identify and recommend prioritisation and sequencing of major public infrastructure works.

Chair of the City Renewal Authority, Dr Michael Easson AM, said the response would identify how and where key stakeholders and the community could have input into the city’s renewal.

“Our board will put forward a plan for how we will deliver on the government’s stated expectations for renewal of the city precinct,” Dr Easson said.

“A key focus for the board will be to guide the delivery of high-quality design outcomes in the urban built form and public realm in the precinct.

“An important part of that plan will be how and where we can involve the community and key stakeholders in the process.”

The government’s statement of expectations requires the City Renewal Authority to continue to activate the precinct, progress existing urban renewal projects and develop a plan for the renewal of the city renewal precinct as a whole.

“While there has already been a significant amount of engagement on some of our ongoing projects, like those in Haig Park and West Basin, there are some great opportunities to involve the community further in helping us deliver quality urban renewal in the city renewal precinct,” Dr Easson said.

“The opportunity to renew and enliven the city bus interchange to make it make it a more attractive city destination is a great chance to make a positive impact on a key part of the city precinct.

“We have also been tasked with ensuring cohesive renewal and maintenance of the iconic Sydney and Melbourne buildings. The authority will work with the various owners with a stake in those buildings to help return them to a condition that reflects their import historical place in Canberra’s landscape.”

The statement of expectations also requires the authority to actively contribute to the liveability and vitality of the city centre through the planning and delivery of a diverse range of events, capital works upgrades, public realm and amenity improvements and stakeholder partnerships.

“Increasing the vibrancy in the city centre so that people can better use the area to live, explore and enjoy is a key priority,” Dr Easson said.

“We will identify opportunities to increase activity in the city, from testing public spaces with events and interventions to identifying opportunities for large scale festivals or seasonal events.”

The City Renewal Authority board has until 7 October to respond to the Chief Minister’s statement of expectations.


Community makeover to give Dickson shops a facelift

25 August 2017

The Dickson community is being invited to help to re-imagine the courtyards at the group centre during a seven-day makeover later this year.

A public planning workshop led by the Dickson Village Traders on Tuesday (29 August) will set the tone for the makeover, which will take place from 19-25 November.

The seven-day community-led facelift, which has funding from the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development will be featured in the Canberra Design Festival and aims to transform the courtyards into more people-friendly spaces.

Dickson Traders Association spokesperson Jason Mann said the working group was keen to engage with the community to help create a space that would make people linger, play and connect.

“We have some exciting plans to demonstrate how much can be achieved in just seven days,” Mr Mann said.

“The seven-day makeover event will be community led so we have planned interventions that are affordable and can be implemented by volunteers.

We are looking for some community input into how we can make these interventions really work for the local community.

“The workshop on Tuesday gives us a chance to get into the detail of how we can implement some simple but effective improvements, like pavement stencilling, yarn bombing or the installation of new seating, planter boxes or fairy lights.

“If you are passionate about your community, want to improve the experience at the Dickson shops, and can help during the makeover, then we’d love to see you at the planning workshop.”

The Dickson courtyards makeover planning workshop is on Tuesday, 29 August, from 6pm to 7.30pm.

Register your interest at MyDickson.com.au


Haig Park phase 2 consultation summary

24 August 2017

Thanks to everyone who contributed their time, ideas and feedback during the second phase of the Haig Park community engagement.

It has been great to hear how important Haig Park is to our community. Feedback received will help the development of the masterplan.

You can check out the summary report here: http://bit.ly/HaigParkSummary


City Renewal Authority welcomes Malcolm Snow

21 August 2017

Award winning urban thinker and planner, Malcolm Snow is the new Chief Executive of the City Renewal Authority (CRA).

CRA Board chair Dr Michael Easson AM said Mr Snow brings four decades of experience to the role.

“Mr Snow is recognised as one of Australia’s leading place makers. With a career spanning four decades, he is well equipped to deliver a vibrant city centre in Canberra.

“He joins the City Renewal Authority following a diverse career leading major city revitalisation programs throughout Australia, Asia and the United Kingdom.

“Mr Snow will lead the organisation as it commences work on improving the liveability and vitality of the city centre through the planning and delivery of a diverse range of events, capital works upgrades, public realm and amenity improvements and stakeholder partnerships.

“Mr Snow is currently the Chief Executive of the National Capital Authority.  Previously he was Head of Design with the City of Melbourne, Director of international consulting firm Urbis and, CEO of South Bank Corporation in Brisbane.

“A constructive innovator, Mr Snow was instrumental in enhancing Brisbane’s South Bank, which is now recognised as one of Australia’s most successful leisure, commercial and inner-city precincts.

“Mr Snow has been the recipient of 36 international, national and state awards for urban planning, design, development and business management excellence including The Australia Award for Urban Design on four occasions (1996, 2011, 2012 and 2015).

“I look forward to working closely with Mr Snow to deliver against the ambitious goals that have been set for the City Renewal Authority,” Dr Easson said.

Mr Snow will commence in the role on Monday 28 August.  His appointment follows an extensive nation-wide search and interviews and unanimous endorsement by the CRA Board.


Sale of ageing government office block presents Dickson renewal opportunity

11 August 2017

Dame Pattie Menzies House

The sale of the ACT Government’s Dame Pattie Menzies office buildings in Dickson is another step in the group centre’s ongoing renewal as a vibrant residential, commercial and retail centre.

The two Dickson buildings were sold by tender for $15 million to Merrylin Lindland Pty Ltd.

The ACT Government has a three-year lease on the two buildings - which house the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate – with two additional one-year options, to allow for construction of a new government office building on the nearby motor registry site.

City Renewal Authority interim chief executive Gary Rake said the 3.5 hectare site would be a fantastic urban renewal opportunity after the ACT Government lease ends.

“This site has great potential to complement the ongoing renewal in and around the Dickson group centre,” Mr Rake said.

“The location of this site makes it a really wonderful opportunity for future urban renewal that can really add to the ability for people to live, explore and enjoy the area.

“It is situated conveniently next to the new Dickson bus interchange, adjacent to the Wooley Street dining precinct and just a very short stroll from the Dickson light rail stop.

“The area surrounding the site is already home to significant renewal activity, with new high-density residential developments under construction a stones thrown in both directions and a new development set for the old motor registry site across the road expected to begin soon.

“With its central Canberra location, proximity to the new light rail line and a wide variety of dining and entertainment options, Dickson is a booming area in the city renewal precinct and the sale of this site provides a great opportunity for further renewal.”

The site is zoned CZ2, which allows for a variety of uses including commercial, residential and retail.

The Dickson precinct code allows for buildings up to six storeys high.

The sale is part of the Commonwealth Government’s Asset Recycling Initiative, which provides a 15 per cent bonus to the ACT Government on the sale of ageing public infrastructure.


City 7 sale result shows strong interest in city renewal

9 August 2017

City 7, Reid

The purchase today of City 7 (the Bega Flats site in Reid) is another significant step in the renewal of the city precinct.

Bordered by Cooyong Street, Ainslie Avenue and Boolee Street, the almost-12,000 square metre CZ5 zoned site (Section 7 Reid) was bought by local developer Geocon for $38.5 million in an auction that had seven registered bidders.

City Renewal Authority interim chief executive Gary Rake said the high level of interest in the CBD site and the strong result were indicative of industry confidence in the city precinct’s ongoing renewal and growth.

“Renewal and growth in our city precinct are critical in accommodating Canberra’s growing population while making the city more vibrant, connected and sustainable,” Mr Rake said.

“With its proximity to Glebe Park, the Canberra Centre and the CBD, this site is a fantastic opportunity for a development that will have a positive impact on the area.

“This site has the potential for up to 350 dwellings and I look forward to seeing plans for a high-quality development that brings new residents into the city and improves the lives of the people who already use the area.”

The sale of the Bega Flats public housing site is part of the Commonwealth Government’s Asset Recycling Initiative, which provides a 15 per cent bonus to the ACT Government on the sale of ageing public infrastructure.

All remaining public housing tenants will be relocated prior to settlement, which is expected to occur during 2018. The ACT Government’s Public Housing Renewal Taskforce is replacing public housing sold through the scheme with 1,288 new sustainable public housing dwellings across Canberra.

Height limits and other development conditions for potential developments on City 7 are set out in the Reid Precinct Code.


Sales campaign for Northbourne Avenue sites commended

8 August 2017

The ACT Government’s campaign to sell premium sites along Canberra’s Northbourne Avenue corridor has been commended at the prestigious Urban Development Institute of Australia NSW Awards for Excellence 2017.

The “On Northbourne” campaign received a commendation in the highly competitive UDIA Award for Marketing – Urban Development on Friday 4 August.

The campaigns for Dickson on Northbourne and Lyneham on Northbourne represented the first stage of an ambitious vision to transform Canberra’s gateway boulevard into a vibrant residential, commercial and retail precinct – a place that truly says “welcome to our capital”.

City Renewal Authority interim chief executive Gary Rake said the award was further recognition of the transformation Canberra was undergoing.

“Northbourne Avenue is an area experiencing significant growth and vitality through the Canberra Metro light rail project,” Mr Rake said.

“The redevelopment of these sites will create an avenue of opportunity not to be missed – an environment that promotes a vibrant mix of residential, business and retail space and an invigorated gateway to Canberra’s CBD.

“There was a lot of community interest in the sale of these sites, due to their strong heritage connection as well as their premium location. Northbourne Avenue is where most first impressions of Canberra are formed, so it was important that these key factors were considered in marketing the sites.”

The UDIA judges praised the ACT Government for its marketing strategy:

“On Northbourne developed a unique wholesale business-to-business strategy encompassing four large superlots. Located along the entrance and main arterial road into the north of Canberra, their marketing demonstrated clear thinking aligned with clever execution.

“Selling four large sites at different time intervals, scattered over five kilometres, meant they needed one unambiguous umbrella brand that could cope with four different suburban flavours.

“The ACT Government marketers got it very right. On a shoestring budget…they have sold two of the sites well over reserve.”

The UDIA NSW Awards for Excellence is a high profile, annual program that recognises and rewards excellence within the urban development industry.  The ACT Government was honoured to receive the commendation.


Hurly Burley Winter Fair brightens City West

1 July 2017

Hurley Burley Winter Fair

Canberra’s City West precinct hosted a celebration of all things wintery with the capital’s first Hurly Burley Winter Fair on Friday June 30.

The event was organised by local artist Chenoeh Miller of Little Dove Theatre Productions. Ms Miller is currently also the Director of the Canberra Multicultural Fringe and ACT Music Awards in partnership with the ACT Government.

Hobart Place was transformed into a family friendly winter fair with delicious, locally-made food and live music by Kristobelle and the Southern Jubilee Ringers, East Row Rabble and more. There were creative goodies to purchase at the market stalls along with fire pits, marshmallow roasting and story-telling by some of Canberra’s best poets.


City 7 sale to revitalise old Bega Flats site

16 June 2017

A new mixed-use precinct that will add to the vibrancy of Canberra’s city heart is one step closer with the start of the sales campaign for the City 7 old Bega Flats site, Director of Urban Projects Nicholas Holt announced today.

“The sale of the almost-12,000 square metre City 7 site by auction on 9 August will be an exciting opportunity for prospective buyers to renew a precinct that will add to Canberra’s status as one of the world’s most liveable cities,” Mr Holt said.

“City 7 is located between suburban Reid, with its tree-lined streets, and the vibrant commercial and recreational areas of the Canberra CBD. The successful buyer will have a great opportunity to develop a precinct that blends these two distinct areas together.”

“The government is committed to providing a variety of housing options for Canberrans, and urban renewal in our city centre, close to shops, entertainment, public transport and employment opportunities, is key to helping the city grow in a sustainable way.

“With the potential for about 350 dwellings the redevelopment of City 7 will allow even more people to live right in the heart of our growing city.”

The sale of the former Bega Flats public housing units is part of the Commonwealth Government’s Asset Recycling Initiative, which provides a 15 per cent bonus to the ACT Government on the sale of ageing public infrastructure.

All remaining public housing tenants will be relocated into updated housing prior to settlement.
The ACT Government’s Public Housing Renewal Taskforce is replacing public housing sold through the scheme with 1,288 new, sustainable public housing across Canberra.

Height limits and other development conditions for potential developments on City 7 are set out in the Reid Precinct Code.

The auction of City 7 is on 9 August 2017. For further sales information please contact the appointed sales agents, LJ Hooker Commercial (Greg Lyons on 0406 995 383 or Mark Thompson on 0438 624 042).


Temporary traffic changes during waterfront park construction

14 June 2017

Road access under Commonwealth Avenue Bridge between West Basin and Commonwealth Park will be closed from Monday 19 June until Friday 8 September to allow for the construction of a new public park.

Diversions will be in place to ensure continuous access to both Commonwealth Park and West Basin parking areas during the temporary closure, including during individual events taking place during that period.

The temporary road closure, to allow work to begin on a waterfront park next to Commonwealth Avenue Bridge at the southern headland of West Basin, has been timed to allow the road to be reopened for Floriade.

Barrine Drive will be closed again after Floriade until the park’s completion in early 2018, when it will be reopened as a shared zone.

LDA City to the Lake Director Nicholas Holt said both West Basin and Commonwealth Park would remain accessible to users during the closure but some diversions would be in place for drivers looking for access from the opposite sides of Commonwealth Avenue.

“While the closure of this section of Barrine Drive is necessary for the construction of a new high-quality public park, we have ensured access to these two important areas will still be available,” Mr Holt said.

“We recognise that the diversions in place will be an inconvenience to some people but the delivery of a waterfront park, along with the new public boardwalk in West Basin, will create a fantastic new public space where Canberrans and visitors to enjoy Lake Burley Griffin.

“Given the greatly increased volume of traffic using West Basin and Commonwealth Park during Floriade we have ensured Barrine Drive will be accessible during this important event.”

Vehicle access during the closure will still be available to both West Basin (entry and exit northbound on Commonwealth Avenue) and to Commonwealth Park (exit and entry southbound on Commonwealth Avenue).

Drivers wanting to access or exit these areas in the opposite direction will need to turn around at Vernon Circle to the north or via the Flynn Drive off-ramp at the southern end of Commonwealth Avenue Bridge.

Pedestrians and cyclists will be able to use the signalised Commonwealth Avenue crossing.

These diversions will be in place both day and night.

Detour signage and barriers will be in place to alert motorists and pedestrians to the closure and direct them to the diversions.