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Fixing the Currong Apartments?

By johnboy - 18 August 2009 13

The Greens’ Amanda Bresnan has noted that the Government can’t find a buyer for the legendary Currong Apartments.

She’d like to see them turned into a bigger, better, greener, housing development:

    “One way to unearth innovative solutions is to run design competitions, as the Victorian Office of Housing and the Royal Australian Institute of Architects did in 2001. The resulting K2 Apartments in Melbourne are now home to 150 people living in 96 units, around half of which are designed for people with a disability. These award-winning units use less than half the usual energy and water, incorporating solar power and hot water, good air circulation, attractive low-water gardens, and are made from low emission materials.”

    “There are many other examples around the world. The BEDZED development in London is a mix of public and shared equity homes. It generates its own power, is wonderfully innovative in how it uses energy and water, and is home to a diverse, proud and engaged community of residents.”

    “The sad thing for Canberra is that there are not yet any adventurous worthwhile developments like that here. But the Currong site, already owned by Housing ACT and close to the city and services, is the perfect place to build something special. A properly constructed design competition will show us all what is possible in terms of environmental, social and economic sustainability. It’s much more than we are used to.” Ms Bresnan said.

I’m sure when they built Currong in the first place they thought it was the very marvel of the world.

[Updated 18 August]
According to the ABC Hargreaves has put the kybosh on the idea, admitting that they will take the money and run, but not before redistributing the unsavoury types throughout Canberra.

What’s Your opinion?


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13 Responses to
Fixing the Currong Apartments?
p1 11:28 pm 18 Aug 09

I would think that selling the land to a developer, and including in the cost that half a dozen of the new apartments go back to ACT housing is the only logical idea. After a public implosion of course.

Silentforce 8:21 pm 18 Aug 09

I would like to see the ACT Government try to outdo itself by competing with the Alexander McConechie Centre to produce a state of the art, world class public housing tenament that meets and exceeds all expectations of health, design, aesthetics and positively cements the Labor Party creedo of taking care of underpriveleged Australians in our community.

I-filed 5:52 pm 18 Aug 09

poptop said :

The idea of the ACT Government undertaking another major demolition, particularly so close to other homes and commercial property, is . . . concerning.

Oh, you know, Poptart, that’s just “emotional baggage”, remember? 😮

Thumper 11:24 am 18 Aug 09

and to say that the social and behavioural issues based around Public Housing are magnified in this space would be understatment to say the least.

Sadly, yes…

MrMagoo 11:18 am 18 Aug 09

Typical of the greens to want to continue on this line about having ‘more house’ for those that need subsidies accommodation. However, as noted in an earlier post, high density housing just breeds issues and poor social behaviour. While I do say that some public housing is needed, in no way should it be high desnity and in the middle of civic. Another touchy, feely Greens solution.

Just in case anyone thinks this is a simple sap box rant, think again. I live across the road from an ACT Housing Trust complex and to say that the social and behavioural issues based around Public Housing are magnified in this space would be understatment to say the least.

poptop 11:01 am 18 Aug 09

Back in 2002 the stated(in the CT)problems with Currong included that the complex did not meet fire safety standards, the lifts where too small to allow access for ambulance trolleys and there was concern whether the fire brigade would be able to evacuate or rescue people on the top 2-3 floors should some disaster occur.

Clearly, tenanting Currong with nimble and healthy students and through a community tenancy arrangement addressed all these safety concerns until the community housing provider pulled the plug.

The idea of the ACT Government undertaking another major demolition, particularly so close to other homes and commercial property, is . . . concerning.

c9 10:57 am 18 Aug 09

Prime developers land indeed. That’s why I reckon such piece of shit flats would rent out for $250 a week as I said earlier.

I-filed 10:26 am 18 Aug 09

How very interesting. Seven years ago the ACT Government told us the Currong Apartments were “structurally unsound” and beyond resuscitation, didn’t they? Must have been the convenient line at the time.

Up The Duffy 11:51 pm 17 Aug 09

A waste of prime developers land, the private sector can do much better, – get rid of the Junkies. Sell the land for a fat profit.
The real needy people like the disabled, and elderly could relocate to purpose built apartments near suburb shops in the suburbs, built from the profits.

The junkies can kick their habit dry out, become normal, and work for a living like the rest of us!

c9 10:57 pm 17 Aug 09

Rent them out at market rate – probably about $250 a week for a one bedder in Currong Flats.

Spectra 10:11 pm 17 Aug 09

I normally lean towards not knocking stuff down because it’s deemed ugly – hell, I even have some sympathy for the much hated Lyneham Flats. But the Currong Apartments, amongst all others, seem to my (admittedly totally untrained) eye to be just begging for a wrecking ball.

bd84 9:37 pm 17 Aug 09

Sell or bulldoze them. Any high density public housing complex is a slum in the making and exactly why Housing are progressively selling all complexes it owns.

I don’t see why the ANU doesn’t purchase them, since they’re being used for student accommodation. Though they would have to put money up to upgrade and maintain them…

seekay 6:06 pm 17 Aug 09

Why are slums so special in Canberra?

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