The Chronicle brings news that the battle to retain Australian Heritage Village as a community asset has been lost.
The government has agreed to rezone this large block as a residential area, bringing a substantial windfall to the owner, developer Bob Winnell. Bob says the business was never viable, and says he is not in the business of subsidising unviable businesses. So why did he buy this block?
It is true that both Australian Heritage Park and the former Canberry Fair went bust in this location. But that was in the days when Watson was the end of Canberra, and the park was in a lonely spot across the one lane Federal Hwy. These days, with all the units nearly surrounding it, and Gungahlin just down the road, I think a nice big enclosed grassy area with a few kiddie rides, bbqs, antique shops, lollie shops, pony rides, ponds and a pub would go down a treat with the locals. (I still miss Clancy’s, the pub you could walk your dog to and tie them up outside.)
There are some formalities to go through, with the rezoning not quite final, but it seems that another community resource is disappearing. There is not a lot for families to do in the inner North, and I am sad that the Heritage Village isn’t getting one last chance to shine.