The ACT Government is moving ahead with plans to provide a new home for the RSPCA at Pialligo with the release of the project’s design tender.
A new RSPCA facility was an election commitment to the volunteer-driven organisation and in March, Transport Canberra and City Services Minister Chris Steel announced the government had identified Block 2, Section 14 in Pialligo as the preferred site.
Located on the corner of Fairbairn Avenue and Addison Road and bounded by the Australian Defence Force Academy and Royal Military College Duntroon to the west, and Majura Parkway and Canberra Airport to the east, the site is zoned broadacre. This allows for animal care facilities large enough to accommodate the RSPCA’s needs and cater for growth.
It is also serviced by the route 54 bus from the city to Majura Park.
The successful consultant will develop a concept design into a preliminary sketch plan that will be used to engage a contractor to deliver the detailed design and construction.
Mr Steel said the design tender was an important step towards delivering on the government’s election promise.
Last year’s ACT Budget allocated $500,000 for early design work and estimated a further $525,000 would be required for the 2022-23 financial year.
Mr Steel would not confirm what had been set aside for the project in the Budget to be handed down on 2 August, but said the design work would inform future government decisions on investment in a new facility.
“Similar to the facility in Sydney, the RSPCA’s new home will include enclosed dog kennels and cattery facilities, as well as better adoption facilities to increase opportunities for abandoned animals to find their forever home,” Mr Steel said.
It will also provide more spaces for volunteer and community involvement in animal welfare activities.
A range of preliminary heritage, environmental and planning studies have been conducted as well as discussions with nearby stakeholders about the site.
The Statement of Requirements for the tender has not been made public due to information about RSPCA ACT being considered commercial in confidence.
Businesses in tendering for the work will need to sign a confidentiality agreement to ensure they use the information for tendering purposes only.
The existing site in Weston is zoned residential and will likely be absorbed into the growing Molongolo Valley.
The converted house on a residential street has cared for Canberra’s lost and surrendered pets and wildlife for more than 50 years.
RSPCA ACT CEO Michelle Robertson said in March that the Weston site was no longer able to meet the community’s needs.
“The block of land is not very accessible and we can’t do the things we should be doing, in terms of having those spaces where children, students, the elderly, everybody in the community can come and learn about the beauty of animals and how to be a responsible pet owner,” she said.