Transforming West Basin

The West Basin waterfront has been designed to bring the everyday life of the city to Lake Burley Griffin. The precinct will include new parks, cafes, restaurants, plazas and streets for the community to use and enjoy.

Stage 1

Construction of the waterfront will be delivered in stages. Stage 1 of construction commenced in November 2016 and is scheduled to open to the community in early 2018. It has a bold design that has been further developed since receiving the 2013 Australia Award for Urban Design.

Stage 1 of the waterfront includes:

  • The first 150 metres of boardwalk. It is 8.1 metres wide and positioned just above the water level.
  • A protected cove providing recreational lake users a place to berth watercraft and access the waterfront precinct.
  • Creation of a public park on the southern headland of West Basin.
  • New paths connecting Commonwealth Avenue to the waterfront, and upgrades to the western section of Barrine Drive into a new shared zone.

Stage 2

Stage 2 of construction is scheduled to begin in January 2018 and includes:

  • Completion of the final 500 metres of concrete boardwalk and lake wall.
  • Reclamation of a part of the lake edge, approximately 80 metres, to provide for a generously scaled public waterfront promenade
  • Construction of two jetties.

Future Stages

Design features beyond these stages are subject to government consideration, but are likely to include:

  • Purpose built pavilions for cafes and tourist facilities along the promenade.
  • New recreational areas including open parks, playgrounds, barbeque facilities and water play spaces.
  • A central events plaza.
  • Shade trees and other plantings.
  • Water sensitive design features to filter storm water before it enters Lake Burley Griffin.
  • Dedicated bike lane with a minimum width of 3 metres adjacent to the shore.

Thanks for your Feedback

In 2013, community feedback was sought during two consultation periods. Feedback received specifically in relation to West Basin waterfront, highlighted the importance the community placed on public access to lake. While embracing the vision for the proposal, existing lake users indicated they wanted to continue to use walking and cycling tracks at West Basin, and enter the lake for water sports without impediment. As a result of this feedback, continuous public access to the lake edge will not only be maintained in the precinct, but enhanced to improve user experiences.

Community feedback also showed that creation of public areas, before any building development occurred, was preferred for this area. The ACT Government listened to this feedback and is continuing to progress the development of public areas in West Basin as a high priority.

In June 2015, the community was once again invited to provide feedback on the proposed waterfront design, and have their say on the types of commercial activities, community facilities and events they would like to see down at West Basin in the future.

Renewing Haig Park

Canberra is known for its large green spaces and beautiful parks. Haig Park is a highly valued green space and park and an important part of the heritage of our city. However, there is strong feedback from Canberrans that Haig Park is currently underused, feels unsafe and doesn't meet the needs of the community.

A masterplan for Haig Park is being developed that sets out a long-term vision for the park and suggested short-term actions to make it more inviting and usable while maintaining its heritage value. The themes for the Masterplan include:

  • Character and amenity
  • Environment and sustainability
  • Access
  • Destination, and
  • Heritage

Over the past four months we’ve heard that Canberrans believe changes and improvements can be made to Haig Park to better reflect its current and future potential while continuing to emphasis its important heritage value.

Head over to to find out more and provide your feedback on how the park could be improved.

Activating the City

The City Renewal Authority is improving the amenity of the central parts of Canberra using an innovative approach to community engagement, place making and partnership.

The City Action Plan outlines the goals for our city centre and actions over the short medium and long terms. Together with the community and businesses we want to create:

  • a strong and growing 24 hour economy
  • innovation in city design, technology, events, and commerce
  • an active, diverse street life
  • a city that inspires pride – a city to celebrate
  • a fun, lively, attractive, safe and accessible city
  • easy connections for pedestrian, cyclists and commuters.

The City Renewal Authority will deliver a range of projects to meet these objectives, including:

  • enlivening the city through activities and events
  • starting the conversation with the community, business and creative sector on what changes we want for the city
  • stimulating economic activity in the city
  • informing budget bids to allow areas of the city to be ‘event ready’ sites.

Help shape the future of our growing city centre by joining the conversation at Tell us how you use the city, the characteristics of our city neighbourhoods and your aspirations for the future our of city centre.