$9 million facelift for Canberra’s public spaces, shops

Ian Bushnell 22 March 2021 20
City Walk in Civic

City Walk in Civic will be transformed in time for spring. Photo: File.

Shopping centres across Canberra will be given a refresh as part of more government stimulus spending, which will also include a facelift for City Walk in Civic and a feasibility study for an upgrade of the Kippax Group Centre.

Minister for City Services Chris Steel said almost $9 million will be spent improving the look and feel of the city with refresh works to 14 local shopping centres and the city centre, new public toilets and increased maintenance activities such as weeding.

“This broad package of work is designed to improve Canberra’s public spaces, but also to create employment when our city really needs it,” he said.

“This is labour-intensive work in construction and maintenance which will support more jobs and help to keep Canberrans in employment as the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues.”

Shops in Gordon, Hackett, Kaleen East, Macgregor, Macquarie, North Lyneham, Page, Weetangera, the two local shops in Spence and three local shops in Kambah will be refreshed.

READ ALSO: See Macgregor Differently

The refresh works will aim to improve safety and access and provide better seating, landscaping and other facilities that encourage people to spend more time in these public spaces.

Mr Steel said City Walk would be transformed with gardens and lawn areas between Garema Place and Ainslie Place, involving the installation of more than 3000 new plants including 14 new replacement trees, 630 square metres of lawn areas, new paving, better lighting and new furniture.

Kippax Fair

A feasibility study will look at ways to improve public amenity at Kippax Group centre. Photo: File.

The feasibility study for the Kippax Group Centre will respond to the community feedback received in the development of the Kippax Group Centre Master Plan.

Mr Steel said it would look at creating a community hub and central plaza area for the centre with active meeting places, a reconfigured car park layout and better pedestrian and cyclist connections to and within the centre.

Also in Belconnen, the public toilets at John Knight Memorial Park will be replaced and better positioned to use natural light and ventilation, with modern facilities that use less water.

A new toilet will also be constructed at Lake Tuggeranong to support recreation around the whole lake and support surrounding facilities.

Mr Steel said the stimulus package also provides additional funding for maintenance works including more weeding, an enhanced cleaning program for pollution traps and asphalt patching ahead of the 2020-21 road resurfacing program.

Six new staff will be employed to increase weeding at prominent sites such as along arterial roads including road median barriers and near bollards and signs.

An extra program will remove fallen leaves by hand from hard-to-reach areas that cannot be removed using street sweepers.

“Increased efforts to remove leaf litter and additional cleaning of gross pollutant traps which are the first water pollution control point in the stormwater network will improve the water quality of our lakes and ponds,” Mr Steel said.

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20 Responses to $9 million facelift for Canberra’s public spaces, shops
Robyn Baer Robyn Baer 4:55 pm 27 Jul 20

Why not a tram to Batemans Bay? 🤔😝

Tina Shooks Tina Shooks 7:43 pm 26 Jul 20

Election year spending.

Tracy Robinson Tracy Robinson 1:55 pm 26 Jul 20

Giralang shops anyone??? 🤪😂🤣😂

Helen Prior Helen Prior 9:23 pm 25 Jul 20

Poor old Narrabundah. Lived there for 20years in 70s and 80s.Went back recently and nothing changed .What a shame.Helen Prior

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 10:31 pm 25 Jul 20

    I can assure you Narrabundah has changed. I have lived there over 30 years. When I moved there, there were two houses across the street from me selling heroin, an empty house a couple of doors down was being used to store stolen goods, a house robber (and girlfriend basher) lived three houses along from my house the other direction. Other iffy people too. Over the years I lived there the population changed; the old residents have been replaced. New houses are replacing the old. I have replaced an old house with a new one.

    Helen Prior Helen Prior 10:49 pm 25 Jul 20

    I only knew good honest people From all different backgrounds.

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 11:02 pm 25 Jul 20

    They were still there too, but some of the houses had been sold off. Also many of the original tenants were aging and dying, or being moved to specific housing for the aged, and likely a different type of tenant was being placed in the 'govies'. Although not all were renting. One of the houses across the road to me (an ex-govie) was owned by the drug dealers, who were also drug users themselves.

Rob Thomas Rob Thomas 8:17 pm 25 Jul 20

But what about me and mine?!?!?!????

Alby James Alby James 5:38 pm 25 Jul 20

Build more trams that’s what I reckon

Ashley McBride Ashley McBride 4:53 pm 25 Jul 20

Nothing for Narrabundah, Griffith, Red Hill?

Corey Karl Corey Karl 12:16 pm 25 Jul 20

Must be an election coming

Darron Marks Darron Marks 10:15 am 25 Jul 20

Bloody Lake Tuggeranong again with more spending. We need security lighting at Yerrabi Ponds minister Gentleman !!

I don't mind that those shopping centres are getting a bit of a face lift but 99% of what was announced is for the south side or inner city !

    Toby O'Brien Toby O'Brien 4:08 pm 25 Jul 20

    They gotta look like they are giving the south something. Cause they aren't gonna be getting a tram or any other major or minor infrastructure

    Fenji Stradwick Fenji Stradwick 7:20 pm 25 Jul 20

    A billion dollar tram is a pretty good sharing of the money to the north. Yes??

    Darron Marks Darron Marks 8:45 pm 25 Jul 20

    No one in Gungahlin asked for the light rail system but due to the massive population growth and underinvestment in roads it was deemed to be economical to build.

    Unlike every other city compared that has a similar lightrail system. The Government still owned a majority of the land. This enabled high density housing to be build along the entire route.

    Have you ever considered how much extra revenue these apartments contribute to the ACT economy ?

    Unlike the south it will never offer the same level of return on investment. They know this that is why they build stage one from civic to Gungahlin.

    So stop whinging about the light rail you will get it in the south. It will be more expensive and you will refuse to allow high density housing along the route. It will not have the same level of return on investment and will be a greater burden on ACT taxpayers than stage one will ever be !

Trish Roberts Trish Roberts 1:58 pm 24 Jul 20

Is there a toilet yet at Henry Rolland Park, LBG? Or a second public toilet at Ainslie shops, bringing it up to a grand total of 2? From the number of shoppers, couriers, people exercising or out walking, 1 public toilet at Ainslie shops is not enough. Often people waiting in line. There used to be more before they were demolished.

Karl Hock Karl Hock 10:58 am 24 Jul 20

Instead of putting make up on a pig. How about we be the 1st city to not only openly admit there is a huge housing crisis in Canberra, also devote to fixing it.

I'll give you an idea on how to decrease the housing issue. Get Child mental health sorted so they don't grow up to be Adults in need of public housing.

Richard Willcoxson Richard Willcoxson 10:36 am 24 Jul 20

Canberra centre killed city walk. You can tart it up as much as you want but the reality is not as many people pass through now

A_Cog A_Cog 9:51 am 24 Jul 20

What a waste… consumer activity is down, and its got nothing to do with how scuffed the city centre looks.

Why focus so much on the city centre, with only minor refreshes of other places? Might it have something to do with the fact that this is the only part of the ACT the ministers and their staffers ever see, as they wander around having coffee chats?

Here we have this out-of-touch government funneling public money back into its own services and works divisions, or contracting out works to companies staffed and/or run by retired ACT Govt staff which charge double what other companies charge. The public toilet in Oaks Estate should have cost $43,000 if done by Exeloo, the company used by Queanbeyan Council. But the ACT used a different company for a final price of $77K. Pull apart this $9m – which should have gone into DV, or housing, or mental health – and I bet you could save $4m easy.

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