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Government goes to private sector to further develop and manage Stromlo Forest Park

Ian Bushnell 19 June 2019 22
Stromlo Forest Park

The pump track at Stromlo Forest Park. Photo: Stromlo Forest Park.

The ACT Government is looking to open up Stromlo Forest Park to commercial interests for the development of short-stay accommodation, park infrastructure and activities and management of the 1200 hectare site in the west of the ACT.

The Government has released a Market Sounding to consider interest from companies, non-profit organisations, and individuals that may wish to invest and/or contribute, individually or in partnership with the Territory, to the future development and growth of Stromlo Forest Park. This does not include the Stromlo Leisure Centre (aquatic centre) that is under construction, which will be the subject of a separate tender.

Stromlo Forest Park, with designated trails for off-road and on-road cyclists, runners, walkers, equestrian riders and others, is a world-class multi-use, recreational sporting facility available to both recreational and professional users. It attracts over 160,000 visitors a year, with a large proportion visiting from outside the ACT.

Documents point to overseas adventure recreation parks using a combination of private and public sector investment to develop their infrastructure, and say Stromlo would be able to benefit from the growing schools market by being able to offer quality, low-cost, tourist accommodation which can also be used by sporting and recreation users outside of the peak school periods.

They say that the ACT does not have enough budget/value (3.5 star) accommodation for school and sporting groups, other groups and families and that this is deterring tourists and driving business across the border.

The accommodation site proposed is located to the east of the Stromlo Leisure Centre on Dave McInnes Road, and would include cabins, a caravan park, camping site and amenity blocks, as well as a conference centre but no motel or hotel.

The Government is keen to see what other appropriate commercial ventures would enhance the park and add to the recreational facilities and activities already there, within the bounds of the Master Plan and vision.

The key elements of the Master Plan include the boulevard, a prominent north south access link across the park; a location for a temporary event village, with multi-purpose amphitheatre and finish bowl, gondola/chair lift to the summit, and opportunities for commercial enterprises; and short-stay accommodation.

It also contains active components such as BMX Race Course and jumping dirt park, criterium track extension, cross country running track, adventure and gravity sport activities; Stromlo Leisure Centre; an enclosed oval and district playing fields; links to existing facilities inside and outside the park; and enhanced trails for cyclists and equestrians.

The Master Plans calls for the character of the landscape to be maintained, and access to carparking and services.

The Sounding documents say that any potential development at Stromlo Forest Park will be through a licence agreement or sub-lease, depending on the nature of the development. Stromlo currently has a licensed cafe and bike hire and bike servicing business, with exclusive arrangements with a bike shuttle operator.

The Government also want to see if there is market interest in managing the park as a whole or parts of its operations. This could be part of a commercial investment proposal or as a stand-alone proposition. It would involve managing the park’s recreational activities, events and assets, and the land, including fuel reduction, fire trails, invasive plant and feral animal control, erosion and sediment management.

The Market Sounding closes on 8 August for Government to consider responses in September.

Click here for more information.


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22 Responses to Government goes to private sector to further develop and manage Stromlo Forest Park
Dory Johns Dory Johns 11:41 am 21 Jun 19

Very soon we won't need self-government because they won't have anything to manage

Capital Retro Capital Retro 8:26 am 21 Jun 19

“Denman has a first class supermarket, one of the best in the ACT”

Pity that the rest of the suburb is very ordinary.

Tania Ezra Tania Ezra 7:56 am 21 Jun 19

More light pollution slowly killing what makes mt stromlo famous: astronomy 😥

Capital Retro Capital Retro 7:50 am 21 Jun 19

“……you might have to pay to ride….”

Why not? I have to pay to drive my car and use the gym. You two-wheeler mob have been cosseted for far too long. It’s time you pulled your wallets out and started to pay your way.

Matt Donnelly Matt Donnelly 7:33 am 21 Jun 19

Bernard Ramirez Abejaron, sounds like you might have to pay to ride 😡

    Matt Donnelly Matt Donnelly 5:52 pm 21 Jun 19

    Bernard Ramirez Abejaron yep, unless you got a wad of cash to invest

Rob Chalmers Rob Chalmers 10:21 pm 20 Jun 19

It's short hand for charge Canberrans for what was once free, or at least taxpayer funded.

Chele Forest Chele Forest 9:51 pm 20 Jun 19

Did this get mentioned to the people who bought properties in coombs, Wright and Denman ? I think they would prefer a supermarket first

    Michelle Fitzpatrick Michelle Fitzpatrick 10:11 pm 20 Jun 19

    Chele Forest Denman has a huge IGA there already.

    Simon Dw Disndat Simon Dw Disndat 10:17 pm 20 Jun 19

    Anyone can open one. Off you go.

    Chele Forest Chele Forest 10:21 pm 20 Jun 19

    No thanks. I have a job I enjoy and it's way out of my area. I was just asking because I saw an article not too long ago where the residents were asking when they were getting the shopping they were promised.

    Stephen Page-Murray Stephen Page-Murray 11:32 pm 20 Jun 19

    Chele Forest

    Denman has a first class supermarket, one of the best in the ACT

Paul Dowden Paul Dowden 9:39 pm 20 Jun 19

Barr: Don’t use the “lots of out of town visitors use it” excuse to remove a much loved free public amenity from rate payers.

Eric Tenthorey Eric Tenthorey 9:27 pm 20 Jun 19

Bretto Spaghetto does this mean a pay per use model. :(

    Bretto Spaghetto Bretto Spaghetto 10:24 pm 20 Jun 19

    Dunno. Doesn’t sound like it.

    Bretto Spaghetto Bretto Spaghetto 10:26 pm 20 Jun 19

    There will be riots, burning cars and generally street rampaging if they do. Sounds more like encouraging private interest in accomodation and other peripheral services though.

    Eric Tenthorey Eric Tenthorey 10:48 pm 20 Jun 19

    Bretto Spaghetto doesn't sound good to me...

    Bretto Spaghetto Bretto Spaghetto 10:52 pm 20 Jun 19

    the riots and burning cars or they private investment in Stromlo?

    Nathan Cooper Nathan Cooper 12:52 am 21 Jun 19

    Bretto Spaghetto "The Government also want to see if there is market interest in managing the park as a whole or parts of its operations". How this might play out in the short, medium and long term is concerning to me

Gabriel Spacca Gabriel Spacca 9:26 pm 20 Jun 19

It’s sad. This move may very well have merit, but given this Government’s track record with developers, it’s hard not to be cynical.

Gwg Heldon Gwg Heldon 9:23 pm 20 Jun 19

Because they can't be arsed looking after it themselves. 🤦🤦🤦🤦, Although I don't have a problem with a hotel in the area so that interstate people can enjoy the facility.

And what the hell is a Market Sounding. More stupid words to try and usurp the other 10 words that are already being used.

Briohny Conway Briohny Conway 9:21 pm 20 Jun 19

Let’s sit back and wait for them to introduce fees to access Stromlo...

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