The Canberra Central Task Force report has been released and the Canberra Times, in an exclusive report, brings the news that they have chosen Planning Minister Simon Corbell’s plan to base Civic’s redevelopment on.
You may remember that a whole lot of plans were submitted to the taskforce with suggestions for what to do with the Civic area. A particular focus of many of them was City Hill and how to use that space better. Previous RA coverage (that I can find) of these plans is here and here.
The main competitor to Mr Corbell’s plan, in my mind at least, was one sponsored by airport owner and developer Terry Snow.
The main elements of the plan the taskforce recommended be carried out were to leave City Hill untouched except for a kiosk, lookout and other appropriate minor developments; to divert traffic from Vernon Circle to London Circuit, leaving the former as a ceremonial road to Parliament House; and to construct a new Legislative Assembly, court buildings, convention centre and high-density residential developments, although none of these will be on City Hill as in Mr Snow’s plan.
Under the redevelopment, London Circuit would be widened and turned into an “urban boulevard, operating as the main public transport circuit for Canberra central”. The report also recommended the government investigate the possibility of putting a tunnel under City Hill in case the planned traffic diversion create chaos.
However the taskforce failed to decide how the project should proceed, one of the minister’s main demands of them. Some people, including Zed Seselja and Mr Snow, say a statuatory authority should be set up, as has been the case with other major developments across Australia. Apparently some of the taskforce members thought this was the best way to go but others thought the Government’s Land Development Agency was up to the job.