6 September 2023

$5.62 million facelift starts revitalisation of Lake Tuggeranong foreshore

| Claire Fenwicke
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rotted fort at Tuggeranong Park playground

Parts of Tuggeranong Park playground have rotted and are unsafe. Photo: Claire Fenwicke.

The “jewel in the crown of Tuggeranong” is getting an upgrade over the next 12 months, with $5.62 million worth of improvements along the lake foreshore kicking off in coming weeks.

The past year has seen more than 650 submissions to the ACT Government on how to improve the foreshore and town centre.

This has culminated in a plan to deliver an improved playground, path infrastructure, new and upgraded public toilets and more seating around the lake.

“One of the key objectives was to also provide connection through from Tuggeranong Town Centre and South Point, where we’ve seen upgrades on Anketell Street, the Town Square and the laneways. [We wanted] to make sure that was connected through to the lake,” City Services Minister Chris Steel said.

“We couldn’t do everything as part of the project, but $5.62 million is quite a significant investment and will allow us to do a considerable amount right along the foreshore.”

The Tuggeranong Town Park playground will be the first location to receive a facelift, with new equipment which is more inclusive and accessible, including a flying fox.

“Some of the elements [here] are now considered to be unsafe and … parts of the playground have had to be fenced off because they weren’t meeting current standards,” Mr Steel said.

“So this gives an opportunity for more exciting play elements with what we call ‘high play value’, so we’re adding elements to some of the existing play equipment to provide a wider range of experiences for young children.”

The toilets will also be upgraded to be more accessible.

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The foreshore path will be widened and lighting upgraded in key locations, with “clutter” removed along the way to ensure there aren’t obstacles along the path. The boardwalk corners will also be widened to make it more accessible.

“There is existing furniture along the foreshore but it’s just aged. Some of it’s rotted, so there’s the opportunity to put in brand new furniture, set it back from the foreshore so that it isn’t cluttering the path, and provide accessibility for people who want to sit back and enjoy what is the jewel in the crown of Tuggeranong,” Mr Steel said.

The widening will also help accommodate joggers and recreational users alongside those who wish to fish, or stop and look at the lake.

Construction will move along seven work zones to minimise community disruption, and will terminate at Reed Street.

Mr Steel said there were more ideas given to the government, but not everything could be done in this round of funding.

While some of the money will be used to address safety issues and rideability issues at the Tuggeranong skate park, he acknowledged more would need to be done to that space in the future.

Despite rotting furniture and play equipment deemed unsafe, Mr Steel said the government had not neglected the area.

“It’s at the stage where some of the infrastructure is starting to age and needs to be renewed, so we’re in that renewal process,” he said.

“There’s been considerable investment here [through the Suburban Infrastructure Upgrades Program] … but it’s an investment right across the city.

“We know that as our city grows, these open spaces and parklands become more important and better used, so we want to make sure there’s higher quality, high value play areas for children, places to walk, cycle, run and do all of those activities that people want to do.”

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Community members have welcomed the funding, but pointed out they’ve been asking for improvements for years.

Tuggeranong Community Council (TCC) planning and transport committee chair Harvey Bell said the group hoped the upgrades would go further.

“I think they’ve taken [our feedback] on board … we think it’s going to work quite well,” he said.

“[But] this is a small part of the lake and there’s another 5 km of lake foreshore [path] to fix up … it’s a very well-used path and it’s just a standard width path, so it’s very hard for people to walk side by side on it and still have room for a bike to go past.”

Given the medium-density development going up around the lake, it was hoped the amenity improvements and quality would catch up with the expected population growth.

On the lake, water quality has remained a sore point.

Drain naturalisation works have been announced in an attempt to minimise the algae growth and odours which occur on the lake in the warmer months.

“It’s a lovely area and people love to walk here … but the lake has been closed in the summer periods since 20o2,” TCC president Glenys Patulny said.

“At least they’re trying to do some work on it but it needs more.”

The staging program of the works is available through City Services.

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“Mr Steel said there were more ideas given to the government, but not everything could be done in this round of funding.”
Maybe if he hadn’t pissed away $76 odd million on a failed system upgrade?

Maintenance of existing infrastructure and continual improvements in the surrounding area would have delayed the “rotting furniture and play equipment deemed unsafe”, the clutter and accessibility issues that Steel and his useless Council have suddenly been offended by. The $5.62 million worth of improvements “jewel in the crown of Tuggeranong” is getting an promised upgrade over the next 12 months. The Local Council has now remembered there is another part of Canberra apart from their cosy enclave and they need their votes. Won’t be getting mine.

Ha ha. Yes a year out from an election it’s announcement time.

Unfortunately my friends and neighbours from my old Tuggers stomping ground have memories of a goldfish and don’t remember that the same infrastructure announcements keep getting re-promised each election but never delivered.

“Despite rotting furniture and play equipment deemed unsafe, Mr Steel said the government had not neglected the area.”

Surely he’s neglecting the truth however. We have to remember this is the bloke who threw away $76 million and told us the benefit was he would better learn how to manage an IT contract.

Must be an election coming up, they’re announcing funding for Tuggeranong again, haha.

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