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Northbourne Ave slums… demolish or preserve?

By 26 June 2014 12

I refer to an article in the Canberra Times about the slums they refer to as public housing, located in some of the most prime real estate in Canberra.

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/yvette-berry-pushes-for-northbourne-public-housing-tenants-to-remain-in-the-city-20140624-zsjfx.html

The real estate these flats sit on could be sold off and developed, providing a budget windfall for the ACT government, providing hundreds if not thousands of construction jobs and flow on economic benefits for the rest of the taxpaying community. These flats are located along the gateway to Canberra, Northbourne Avenue and are one of the first things a visitor to Canberra sees.

What sort of impression are we giving visitors to our city but to see run down buildings which are a mecca for associated crime and low lifes.

I  agree with providing welfare and social housing to those truly in need, but I just don’t believe it has to be on prime real estate like this. Katy & Co, Rather than raising our rates by astronomical amounts to pay for extra MLA leeches and white elephant trams that only service a small part of the community, look at how you can improve the image of the city, benefit everyone and make a huge amount of money doing so!

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12 Responses to Northbourne Ave slums… demolish or preserve?
#1
Grail10:46 am, 26 Jun 14

I fear Yvette Berry has missed the memo. The plan is indeed for Northbourne Avenue to be redeveloped into “posh apartments”, but the conditions on the redevelopment are that a portion of the new apartment spaces are to be available for public housing tenants. At least, that’s what I was told, as a prospective investor in some $400-800k apartments being planned for the space.

Or perhaps Yvette did get the memo, and this complaint is merely a Dorothy Dixer disguised as a massive troll of the local rags. But her statement about these being people’s homes rather than merely a roof over their heads indicates that she’s not aware of the conditions of the ABC flats at this point in time (they’re falling apart).

As for the “white elephant trams”: the redevelopment of the ABC flats into high end apartments is part of the entire tram plan. I guess you haven’t been following the issue, and only comment about it because your Liberal Party masters tell you to?

#2
bd8411:26 am, 26 Jun 14

Take a picture of them for history and then demolish them all. An eyesore in disrepair and community need should outrank any perceived historical value.

Any new development can contain a small number of units reserved for public housing. This will reduce the concentration of public housing tenants in these locations.

#3
chewy1412:32 pm, 26 Jun 14

Grail said :

As for the “white elephant trams”: the redevelopment of the ABC flats into high end apartments is part of the entire tram plan. I guess you haven’t been following the issue, and only comment about it because your Liberal Party masters tell you to?

So are you saying that it’s the government’s responsibility to create the demand for the tram instead of constructing the tram to meet an existing infrastructure need? Why wouldn’t you use the money on something more pressing and build the tram after the demand actually exists?

Seems like the white elephant call sounds just about right then.

#4
VYBerlinaV8_is_back3:08 pm, 26 Jun 14

bd84 said :

Take a picture of them for history and then demolish them all. An eyesore in disrepair and community need should outrank any perceived historical value.

Any new development can contain a small number of units reserved for public housing. This will reduce the concentration of public housing tenants in these locations.

Spot on. Keep records and pictures, redevelop for profit, and use some of this money to provide improved public housing and related services.

#5
John Moulis5:18 pm, 26 Jun 14

The so-called “heritage arguments” for preserving the Northbourne Flats are stupid. I can remember similar nonsense being spouted when the notorious Burnie Court in Lyons was muted for redevelopment. “1970s Group Housing Architecture” they called it. Drive past the area now. An aesthetically pleasing apartment building containing both private and community housing making it virtually slumproof. Sometimes progress and the welfare of the community must take precedence over backward-looking “heritage” nonsense.

#6
fabforty6:19 pm, 26 Jun 14

Demolish

#7
screaming banshee9:09 pm, 26 Jun 14

Demolish

#8
rommeldog569:53 pm, 26 Jun 14

I’m for demolish too – providing that the nice, new, modern architecture ones are better visibly. But, as u drive around the redeveloped/newer areas of Canberra, you have to wonder…….

#9
benno110:15 pm, 26 Jun 14
#10
farout9:46 am, 27 Jun 14

Knock down an rebuild.
Move the existing tenants to newer, more energy efficient housing further out where the rates / land taxes are lower.

The ACT Govt can get a one-off windfall from the sale of the land, plus ongoing rates and land taxes from owners and investors in this prime corridor.

Seems like a no-brainer.

#11
Maya12310:39 am, 27 Jun 14

I have nothing against the look of the flats, for they could be given a more imaginative paint job than beige and they would look so different. Then gardens around them and they would ‘sparkle’. (This is a fault with the present tenants too, because what an opportunity they are missing. Where are their gardens!? A different selection of tenants in such an important location might have made a difference.) The change in looks wouldn’t improve their energy efficiency though, but they could be better insulated. However they are underutilising a lot of land along a transport corridor. I do wonder with a little imagination if they could be incorporated into a new development? Just a thought, as no doubt it would be cheaper and easier to demolish and rebuild from scratch. Then they could be more energy efficient. However this is an entrance into Canberra and it would be nice to see the best of architect here.

#12
Sandman10:48 am, 27 Jun 14

Knock me down. They’re incredibly inefficient in all ways. There aren’t that many flats on a piece of land that could support 3 times the number of tenants. All that open space for residents who spend most days getting high on the couch playing x-box.

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