12 December 2007

City Hill goes up for sale

| GnT
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The grassy hill with the flag pole on the ends of Northbourne and Commonwealth Avenues is set to become the latest big development in Canberra, with City Hill going up for Auction this Friday. The Canberra Times has the story, as well as an opinion piece.

There’s a lot of controversy because this hill, along with Parliament House and Russell Offices, make up the Parliamentary Triangle, a major part of Griffin’s design. Maybe it should be public space with a design which reflects it’s purpose as the heart of Canberra City?

I think that whenever anything gets built anywhere you’ll have people crying “eyesore!” Once it’s built we’ll get used to it as part of the landscape and over time it WILL become a treasured part of the Canberra landscape (think Telstra Tower, Questacon, National Museum etc).

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The city has a long way to develop yet. When they get started on Braddon you’ll see some fairly spectacular stuff too, I suspect. Come on city property values!!

Holden Caulfield10:26 am 18 Dec 07

Wow $92M! And people outside of Canberra thought the missus and I were nuts when we paid $72K for a block of land in Gungahlin back in 1998. Hah, where are they now!

$92 million is the going rate for a good carpark in Civic these days.

Personally, I like the fact that Canberra has development happening instead of becoming a Shrine to Government, but I’d like to see WELL PLANNED development instead of the ongoing muckabout that is Canberra International Snowtown

I wasn’t there, and even if I was, no one can prove it. 🙂

The only sniping going on anywhere near City Hill is from the Legislative Assembly!

Got something to hide, Mr Evil ?

I don’t trust grassy knolls – there could be a shooter up there, and I don’t mean the heroin kind either!

If anyone thinks the city is lacking in carparks, try the carpark above Big W. Even two weeks before Christmas, it is full of ample available carparks at lunchtime. Seems to me that there are plenty parking spaces, just the wrong mix of short/long stay.

Isnt it the plan that they get rid of that off ramp that goes onto parks way comming from the bridge.. and that land there could be built on.. Sending the traffic down to london from an intersection at the city hill round about.. like a left 90 degree turn not a long round off ramp.

Hopefully the money from any sale will go toward a study to find out how many carparks the city is lacking

Last time I walked over City Hill it was covered in rubbish (beer bottle and hamburger wrappers) near the park benches, so someone must go there for lunch.

Oh, and. Some time back, the local gov’t formed some kind of committee to look at that city hill area, and how it was to be developed and Civic revitalised etc.

Terry Snow was very active on that committee, with lots of grand ideas. And now that patch is to be released, guess who one of the main bidders is slated to be? Yeah. Canberra Airport Group. How nice. Snow does seem to be attracted to development opportunities where the lines of accountability are not standard. ie, here again the ACt Gov’t and the NCA will be “sharing” jurisdiction.

Let’s hope he doesn’t get it.

Yep, MelonHead is right. The NCA was responsible for the amazing waste of money that was the Fairbairn Ave “upgrade”. All those trees knocked down, all those gardens and whatnot, but NO double lane! It was originally to be double lane, but then somehow, it was changed to a massive gardening project (apart from the trees being knocked down) which cost a MINT but the road remained the same capacity.


Don’t forget NCA plan to close Vernon Circle (look it up on a map) and flog the real estate that is Flynn Drive. They must be the most incompetent bunch EVER! Disagree?? Look at the job they did on Fairbairn Ave/Limestone Ave extension past the war memorial. Then tell me what you think

I used to go up there to make out when I was a teen. Quite a few others would do the same.

Vic, I ‘use’ City Hill every time I look up from my desk and out the window. It’s called ‘open space’ …

Vic Bitterman7:15 pm 12 Dec 07

I reckon they should selloff that roundabout enshrined piece of parkland. It’s actually quite large…. the only one time I even walked on it was a few years ago during my lunch hour, and it surprised me. In fact, I only walked on there to get to the other side of London Cct, rather than walking around.

What struck me is that it’s well maintained, had at the time park benches and what-not… but nobody was using it.

It must cost us the taxpayer a fair bit of $ to maintain for something that isn’t used. Now you could argue the same for the vast expanses of grass verges alongside our connector roads… but if the guvmint can get some $ from a roundabout, good on em.

I bet this ‘development’ will be another black box like the new ATO building in Genge Street and the proposed new DEEWR building on the old QEII site.

The NCA controls a lot of Canberra outside of the Parliamentary Triangle. Apart from all entrances to Canberra, there are a number of ‘designated’ areas under their control, inluding the hills and buffer zones and Lake Burly Griffin. None of us has ever voted for anybody in this organisation and if you disagree with an NCA descision, too bad.

A case in point is the mooted ‘immigration bridge’, which seems to be a folly designed to make money for somebody. If this eyesore is built, it will affect a lot of people who use and enjoy the lake throughout the year. But the NCA seems to have made it mind up on it, supported by the Stanhope Govt. This is disgraceful. A lot of valid opposition to the bridge is simply being dismissed.

More on this stupid footbridge here (under ‘club news’): http://www.canberrayachtclub.com.au/

NCA has a loooooong reach. They {like to think} they are in charge of the ‘entry to canberra’ so they insist that the properties lining the Fedral Hwy remain as ‘green spaces’. Although the old Canberray fair that is now going to be units seems to have beaten them on that one.

NCA are in charge of northbourne Ave, so it is allowed to be watered. And they have oversight of the ‘vista of canberra’ or some such, under which they tried to stop (or did stop) the rebuilding of the burnt out properties at frenches forest miles from the parliamentary triangle.

Word was labor feds were going to rein them in – hope so.

Can someone explain to a stupid person what the NCA’s job actually is? I would have thought it was the ‘grand plan’ of Canberra as the capital of Australia, with monuments and federal landmarks. Not a grubby non-descript commercial development in the business district of town, somethng you would think that our local council would have some say in. I seriously don’t get it, or what the hidden agenda is here.

They should build a little footbridge to the grassy knoll and people might actually use it to eat lunch etc.

Another civic carpark bites the dust.

Dark and Mysterious4:14 pm 12 Dec 07

Well that explains my puzzlement – I was wondering about how anyone was going to get access to the ‘grassy knoll’. I’d just love to try to walk to it or get parking on it if I worked at some new building on the site. 😉

The part they’re selling off is currently a car park. Oh no! City Hill is defined as anything within the confines of London Ct….not just the hill with the flag itself. The opinion piece in the CT lists the site as “priceless”….what a joke.

asking the obvious then, apart from the grassy knoll housing the flag, and the trees, what else is there?

There is no plan to develop the grassy knoll that currently houses the flagpole.

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