Former Navy base site to be released for sale

Thumper 13 November 2007 25

ABC online is reporting that the Federal Liberal party has committed a re-elected Coalition Government to releasing 32 hectares of Commonwealth land in north-west Canberra, to help combat the housing affordability crisis.

The Defence Department land, at the old Naval Tracking Station site at Lawson off Ginninderra Drive, would be released for housing development in 2009.

Is Canberra seeing a bit of pork due to the challenge on Gary Humphries’ senate seat?

Personally I would like to see the whole area turned into a park with trees, paths and boardwalks along the creek and lake.


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25 Responses to Former Navy base site to be released for sale
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Luke Luke 10:43 pm 15 Nov 07

Ponky – sorry, but your ideas are ridiculous, even ignoring the fact that you’d be screwing anybody who’s bought property recently…

It’s governmental interference in the housing market that’s alowed prices to go into the stratosphere in the first place. Negative gearing, discounted capital gains tax, first home owner grants, stamp duty concessions, etc, etc have all conspired to artificially increase demand for housing.

We aren’t going to fix this by offering people more discounts/etc. Realistically, capital gains tax and negative gearing would need to be phased out to bring the property market back to some sort of natural equilibrium. But, this would have to be a gradual phase-out over, say, 30 years – otherwise the impact on the housing market would be chaotic.

Deano Deano 3:33 pm 14 Nov 07

Declare an amnesty on capital gains tax for residential properties sold before the end of 2008 and the market would absolutely flood with properties that are currently held for investment.

And who will buy these houses? Landlords attracted to the boosted returns from being able to buy rented properties on the cheap. And if landlords believe that housing investments are worthwhile at today’s prices, they will bid up prices to similar levels.

people would put their own CGT-free residences up for sale to beat the slump

One small complication – where do these people then live? The housing market has a fairly unique characteristic that for most people participation is not optional – if they sell then they have to buy elsewhere. The slump would also be only short term, so people who got out before hand would either buy during the slump (pushing up demand and prices) or afterwards (where they would find themselves left behind of the market).

endless variety of deliberately ineffective schemes.

Which in the end may be the best ‘solution’ – keep people happy by appearing to do something and meanwhile let the market sort itself out.

Ponkygirl Ponkygirl 1:13 pm 14 Nov 07

There are really only two things you can do to improve a person’s ability to buy a house. The first is to give them more money. Whether you do it via low-interest loans or a targeted grant – Deano is right in saying that it will ultimately push house prices up. Which really doesn’t help anyone.

The other thing you can do is make it suddenly very attractive to sell your house. This is actually quite easy. Declare an amnesty on capital gains tax for residential properties sold before the end of 2008 and the market would absolutely flood with properties that are currently held for investment. House prices would fall dramatically, and as they started to go people would put their own CGT-free residences up for sale to beat the slump, and prices would fall further.

Unfortunately, the only people who want that are the small minority who are currently looking to buy. The rest of us (especially with large mortgages) feel quite ill at the thought of negative equity.

End result? A lot of hand-wringing and the politicians coming up with an endless variety of deliberately ineffective schemes.

caf caf 12:55 pm 14 Nov 07

I’m not sure about the rest of it but talk of “high levels of EMR from the grids under the old towers” is rubbish.

Even when the towers were active the grids were just earthing grids – not radiating elements. And now they’re just inert copper mats.

Tempestas Tempestas 11:53 am 14 Nov 07

PCB’s, Asbestos and high levels of EMR from the grids under the old towers – Prime housing land.
Think of the energy efficiency, lights will glow by themselves.

Of course Urban infill that leverages existing infrastructure would be better but I’ve no doubt the NIMBY’s would be against leveling Reid and Campbell to make them Med to high density a la Braddon/Turner

Danman straight6_EB Falcodore Danman straight6_EB Falcodore 11:37 am 14 Nov 07

Good, so Defence has located and decontaminated the PCB dump then

I have first hand experience with the Asbestos on site – and have heard that there is asbestos cement buried on site thus delaying development back in the early 90’s.

So many have talked the talk before – someone really needs to walk the walk…

CanberraGreen CanberraGreen 11:15 am 14 Nov 07

The rental crisis has been solved? Will somebody please tell the agents, tenants and owners?

Deano Deano 10:41 am 14 Nov 07

land release was not part of the solution to housing affordability

I’ve got to agree with this one. There are sufficient houses available, its just that their price relative to everything else is way out of whack. The biggest reason for the recent boom in housing prices was the easy availability of cheap money. With more money available buyers were able pay more for desirable properties and sellers took advantage of that. Any scheme that gives people more or cheaper money to spend will have the same result. If you remember your high school economics, the demand curve has moved upwards, not rightwards.

Quickly releasing more land won’t cause the price to come down because the developers/builders will charge as much as the market can pay. Of course developers want more land to develop because they want to make to most of the cheap money supply before it runs out.

The only solution to the housing affordability crisis is time, time to allow the market to sort itself out. Any meddling in the meantime will just prolong the problem. Time is what solved the recent rental crisis.

Tempestas Tempestas 9:57 am 14 Nov 07

Didn’t Kate Carnell promise this land as a new upmarket suburb over a Decade ago? Good to see everything old is new again.

CanberraGreen CanberraGreen 9:48 am 14 Nov 07

definately camping out for that one

Isn’t that the point, if there is more land available the population of the People’s Republic of Canberra shouldn’t have to camp out like people in Soviet Russia wanting to buy a fridge. Thank you Chairman Jon, we are so appreciative of the LDA’s work and wish to bask in your reflected glory.

TroyWilliams TroyWilliams 9:35 am 14 Nov 07

Hi Boomacat. Yes, it is a case of “me too” but as before it’s a case of once again Labor copying the Coalition. When the Treasurer announced the Government’s land audit, Labor argued that land release was not part of the solution to housing affordability, indeed Tanya Plibersek said …selling off bits of Commonwealth land is not a significant contribution to a full-blown affordability crisis.

Labor then backflipped, announcing its own version of a land release policy. Unfortunately Labor’s rushed policy was poorly developed, involving a summit, a committee and several departmental reviews – but only one property for sale. Kevin Rudd said there is $6 billion of land that the Commonwealth is supposedly “sitting on”, but this includes Parliament House, the War Memorial, defence bases, post offices and Centrelink offices.

Doctor Evil Doctor Evil 9:30 am 14 Nov 07

So what they are saying is that thanks to the Liberal Party I can potentially buy a small block of polluted land…..at a ridiculous price……in Belconnen?

Definitely be camping out for that one.

philbert83au philbert83au 8:44 am 14 Nov 07

1. This is new? That site has been slated for development for a decade now, I’m sure!

2. As I understand it, the site is presently fairly polluted from chemicals that leaked (or were dumped) from old-style high-voltage components that were used there, so there’s a fair bit of work to be done on cleanup to start with.

boomacat boomacat 8:20 am 14 Nov 07

Me too hey Troy?

If I recall, Kevin Rudd promised an almost identical scheme to release Commonwealth land for housing in about week 2 of the campaign, and John Howard said it was a stupid idea!

How predictable.

My vote aint for sale at the last minute. I’ll be judging the Coalition on what its done for housing affordability in the last 11 years of government.

thetruth thetruth 11:53 pm 13 Nov 07

It will only help the Libs get elected if the good citizens of Canberra think it is a good idea and vote for it.

The dental plan for service people is designed to get Rudd elected, as are tax cuts, a water tank and solar panels in evwery school blah blah.

Pandy Pandy 11:42 pm 13 Nov 07

It is helping to get the Liberals to get reelected so in a round-about-way it does.

thetruth thetruth 11:39 pm 13 Nov 07

yeah don’t get too excited – firstly it doesn’t go into Liberal coffers and second there is the development and selling costs. They will unlikely be 250m2 so less blocks.

Pandy Pandy 11:25 pm 13 Nov 07

That is about 1,000 blocks at the Stanhope preferred size of 250 suare metres, allowing for roads etc. At $150,000 that is a nice little earner for the Liberals

thetruth thetruth 10:54 pm 13 Nov 07

its under the MF towers

Deano Deano 10:52 pm 13 Nov 07

Good, so Defence has located and decontaminated the PCB dump then.

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