22 July 2022

Government seeks community views on East Lake plans

| Ian Bushnell
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East Lake aerial

The East Lake urban renewal area. Development is edging closer. Photo: ACT Government

Community consultation has opened on the ACT Government’s move to develop a Place Plan for the strategically-located East Lake urban renewal area between Kingston and Fyshwick, bordering the Jerrabomberra wetlands.

The consultation will complement a number of planning studies already under way and its results will feed into the development of the Place Plan, which will be finalised in late 2022.

It will include events, workshops, “walkshops”, door-to-door engagement and online activities such as surveys, storytelling and photo-sharing over coming weeks.

Early to mid next year, the government expects to finalise technical assessments and its East Lake Planning Report.

In April, the government hired two consultants, one to lead the development of the Place Plan, or what the urban landscape will look like, the other to provide a Community Needs and Demographic Assessment, or who will live in East Lake and what will they need?

As well as the Place Plan, the consultant will provide a Planning Report to support a variation of the Territory Plan to facilitate the project, and an Estate Development Plan.

The area has been earmarked for medium-to-high density residential development for years and early studies envisaged 9000 people living in the precinct, and 3000 people working there.

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The government is looking to release land between the railway corridor and the wetlands, with an initial target of 650 residential dwellings in 2025-2026.

Housing types will include townhouses, terrace houses and other ‘missing middle’ medium-density housing, with higher densities in strategic locations around transport infrastructure and services.

The aim will be for a mix of public and affordable housing, long-term rental accommodation, such as Build to Rent models, and multigenerational housing, incorporating adaptable ‘universal design’ to create a diverse community.

The government also wants East Lake to be an innovation hub for local businesses.

It aims to reduce private parking to cut reliance on private vehicles and to minimise traffic congestion, although the area is expected to be fully integrated into active transport links such as cycling paths and public transport, including possibly light rail, which could link with a new interstate rail line.

The needs study will look at what education, community, sports and recreation facilities exist in the area and what may be needed as East Lake develops.

The government will run engagement sessions, pop-up stalls and activities in the East Lake area this month and the next.

The consultation team will visit businesses on 30 July to capture owners and traders’ local insights and ideas for the future of East Lake.

The same day there will be two “walkshops” around East Lake, the first starting at Canberra Railway Station at 11am and the second starting at Causeway Hall at 2pm. Pop-up stalls will be held at various locations between 7 and 13 August.

To learn more visit the YourSay website.

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Fake consultation?

Previously mentioned on the riotact that that Government previously undermined the loading and unloading operations at the train station by refusing upgrades and claiming it was unsafe to operate which was a viable business that took trucks off the road.

The rail corridor should be protected as rail transport is one of the few means of meeting climate targets.
However seems developers will win on that one.

Very tricky area. Lots of contamination. Some very important heritage such as the Causeway Hall, Cargill’s Cottage (the Big Gun dairy) and one of only two limestone outcrops in the city area. The railway could be the focus of a great transport hub for the new population in the area. The area sits in the south lakes cultural zone which extends from the National Library, Kingston Arts Precinct, and across to 1 Dairy Road – there needs to be good connection between these attractions.

Wonder about the viability of the existing rail corridor and a light rail line from Queanbeyan to Kingston to state circle. This would open up a lot of opportunities for medium to high density close to existing ammenities and employment.

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