Canberra Rowing Club dips oars with plans for new, bigger clubhouse

Ian Bushnell 18 December 2020 31
Proposed Canberra Rowing Club

An artist’s impression of the proposed new Canberra Rowing Club. Images: TT Architecture.

Canberra Rowing Club wants to replace its ageing premises at Yarralumla Bay on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin with a new, two-storey building that will not only provide boat storage but club facilities for social activities and off-water training.

The club has submitted a Works Application to the National Capital Authority, the approval of which it says will open the way to Commonwealth and Territory Government grants and other sponsorship to pay for the project.

Established in 1964, the club has operated out of its current boatshed at Yarralumla Bay since 1972.

The club says that this one-storey brick building, expanded in 1986, provides only basic facilities and the washing, toilet and change areas are inadequate, particularly for women members and visitors.

It says the present facilities are limiting its ability to cater for its members and its performance as a competitive rowing club.

Another view of the design

Another view of the proposed design.

”The club’s plans for a replacement boathouse also align with the future vision for this area, which has already started to materialise with other development recently occurring in Yarralumla Bay,” the club says.

The proposal involves the demolition of the existing boatshed and its replacement with the two-storey facility, providing for storage for racing shells, safety boats and other equipment such as oars on the ground level, as well as two unisex toilets.

The proposed design provides for four main bay doors at the lakeside end of the building, allowing for easy pedestrian access, and a boat carriage, from the building to the lake. The club says the new shed won’t make any additional impact on the lake frontage.


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On the upper level, there will be club rooms with upgraded shower and toilet facilities, and meeting, social and off-water training spaces, including a small lounge and social area containing a deck and kitchenette on the lake side.

As is the present situation, the only pedestrian access proposed is directly from Alexandrina Drive, via new staircases, and a wheelchair accessible lift, located in the north-western corner of the site.

A footbridge link, further enabling wheelchair accessibility, will connect a common entrance to the public footpath on Alexandrina Drive.

Aerial view of the proposed development

The club is one of several on the lakeshore.

Given the boat storage requirements at the lower level, the building will be higher than a usual two-storey building but the application says it will be articulated to minimise impact.

The structure will be a mix of brick, concrete, and cladding with a Colorbond steel roof.

The 703 square metre site on the western edge of the Bay abuts the ANU Sailing Club to the south, the Lake Burley Griffin Sea Scouts facility to the north and Alexandrina Drive to the west.

The club says the Yarralumla Residents Association and the ANU have indicated that they have no objections to the proposal, nor do the Lake Burley Griffin Sea Scouts, as long as the final design, and any other supporting works, address any technical common boundary requirements.

The proposal also includes a possible driveway for the Sea Scouts.

Comment can be made on the proposal until COB Wednesday, 27 January 2021.


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31 Responses to Canberra Rowing Club dips oars with plans for new, bigger clubhouse
Jess Lucia Jess Lucia 7:46 pm 22 Dec 20

Fantastic, it’s long overdue.

Fabio Fabbo Fabio Fabbo 3:32 pm 22 Dec 20

What a pity about the multicultural bridge/lack thereof

Jacque Gutterson Jacque Gutterson 3:51 pm 21 Dec 20

Bit of a waste if there is going to be sea planes dominating the lake.

    Paul Irving Paul Irving 8:21 pm 21 Dec 20

    Jacque. How does a proposal for two flights a day dominate the whole lake, all day.

    Jacque Gutterson Jacque Gutterson 9:27 pm 21 Dec 20

    Do you really think they will stop at two if they are making $300 per person? The fact that it is happening at all means it is all about money.

    Stephen Page-Murray Stephen Page-Murray 1:19 pm 22 Dec 20

    Jacque Gutterson

    Dominating? A couple of flights a day

    Brian Beard Brian Beard 2:25 pm 22 Dec 20

    Corinthians 12:17 'And lo i looked out upon the world and saw darkness, The hbris of man had blocked out the lord light with there ye olde sea planes. Man knew only darkness and the world ended'

    Its in the bible people. The bible. Sea planes is the end of the world.

    Loonce Yu Loonce Yu 2:35 pm 22 Dec 20

    Jacque Gutterson why should the rowers be the only one to enjoy the lake?

    Marc Edwards Marc Edwards 2:44 pm 22 Dec 20

    Jacque Gutterson you do known the majority of rowing is done on the western side of both black mountain peninsula and the western side of western park.

    Margaret Freemantle Margaret Freemantle 3:56 pm 22 Dec 20

    Jacque Gutterson certainly is all about money!! It was a definite ‘no’ for when any motorised recreational use was suggested. Sea planes are elitist and the lake belongs to us all.

    Margaret Freemantle Margaret Freemantle 4:00 pm 22 Dec 20

    Loonce Yu the lake is enjoyed by rowers, yachts, paddle boats and boards - stay consistent and keep motorised vessels out of it! The lake is an oasis of peace for many of us.

    Loonce Yu Loonce Yu 4:13 pm 22 Dec 20

    Margaret Freemantle there are motorised vessels already on the lake. there are lake cruises all the time.

    Margaret Freemantle Margaret Freemantle 4:20 pm 22 Dec 20

    Loonce Yu true, but for the whole of life of the lake, individuals have been denied the use of motorised vessels. When money making becomes involved, the rules change.

    Brian Ashcroft Brian Ashcroft 4:53 pm 22 Dec 20

    Jacque Gutterson overreaction perhaps

    Jacque Gutterson Jacque Gutterson 5:50 pm 22 Dec 20

    Loonce Yu It is not just rowers. If you count the number of people utilizing the lake at any one time it far exceeds the 12 people a day that the seaplanes will shut down the lake for. However, those 12 people will pump money into the government coffers. What is really happening is the lake is being taken away from Canberra residents and given to the ACT Government and a Sydney company as a revenue making machine.

    Margaret Freemantle Margaret Freemantle 6:17 pm 22 Dec 20

    Jacque Gutterson correct Jacque!

    Stuart Mcpherson Stuart Mcpherson 6:36 pm 22 Dec 20

    Margaret Freemantle you guys sound like a couple of local elitists guarding your perceived backyard.

    Fabio Fabbo Fabio Fabbo 7:01 pm 22 Dec 20

    No immigration bridge

    Nicole Lloyd Nicole Lloyd 7:36 pm 22 Dec 20

    Margaret Freemantle not what I have heard. They use to water ski on the lake by all accounts.

    Margaret Freemantle Margaret Freemantle 9:41 pm 22 Dec 20

    Nicole Lloyd no Nicole. I have lived in Canberra all my life. There was special permission for one day of the year for power boats and water skiers, but that didn’t even last as an annual event!

    Margaret Freemantle Margaret Freemantle 9:43 pm 22 Dec 20

    Stuart Mcpherson it is actually our backyard! ALL of us own it, not just the corporates. I have been called a few things in my time, but never elitist! A first for everything it seems.

    Jacque Gutterson Jacque Gutterson 9:44 pm 22 Dec 20

    Brian Ashcroft Perhaps, but apathy is much worse.

    Stuart Mcpherson Stuart Mcpherson 9:48 pm 22 Dec 20

    Margaret Freemantle a person can be elitist in many ways .

    Margaret Freemantle Margaret Freemantle 9:54 pm 22 Dec 20

    Stuart Mcpherson ? Relevance?

    Jacque Gutterson Jacque Gutterson 9:55 pm 22 Dec 20

    Stuart Mcpherson I think if you are looking for elitists perhaps you should target the seaplane company and its patrons.

    Brian Ashcroft Brian Ashcroft 2:38 pm 23 Dec 20

    its a big lake-one sea plane, with fairly infrequent use, will have minimal and likely no impact-I'm guessing you live in Yarralumla

    Jacque Gutterson Jacque Gutterson 5:14 pm 23 Dec 20

    Brian Ashcroft I am guessing you should stop guessing because you would be wrong again.

    Peter Bee Peter Bee 3:34 pm 24 Dec 20

    Fabio Fabbo the clowns that raised money for that bridge couldn’t organise the proverbial at Fyshwick - hence the reason the money went in ‘consultant fees’.

    Fabio Fabbo Fabio Fabbo 3:53 pm 24 Dec 20

    Maybe you, Glenn and I can try to get our money back and create an initiative to do it properly

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