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Greens to fight for EPIC’s future

Shane Rattenbury MLA 12 June 2019 105

EPICis home to events like the National Folk Festival. Photo: Photox – Canberra Photography Services (www.fb.com/photoxben).

EPIC, or Exhibition Park, holds a special place in the cultural heart of our city. Home to great events like the Lifeline Bookfair, Royal Canberra Show, Capital Region Farmers Market and National Folk Festival, EPIC is a fantastic venue that hosts hundreds of events and draws thousands of Canberrans in every year.

Despite that, EPIC’s future is under a cloud.

Redevelopment of EPIC?

The ACT’s Planning Directorate is currently conducting investigations into the future development of EPIC, Kenny and surrounding land. One option is for EPIC’s major events to be relocated so that part or all of the site can be redeveloped, potentially for housing.

The ACT Greens don’t support the redevelopment of EPIC for housing.

EPIC is too important a community asset to lose. The advantages of having EPIC within 7km of the city, and on the light rail route, make it a very attractive spot that’s easily accessible to residents and tourists.

Yes, facilities will need to be upgraded, and that could include tourist accommodation like better camping facilities or a hotel. However, EPIC must first and foremost be for events – not for housing.

Time to secure EPIC’s future

Instead, urgent action is required to safeguard EPIC’s future.

With Canberra’s population growing, more homes than ever before are going up along the Northbourne corridor and surrounding areas.

As the city becomes more compact, unless something is done, we will likely see an increase in conflict between residents and the noise from entertainment venues like EPIC. Some of the events held there can be quite noisy.

If we act now—before more homes are built, and before the area becomes denser—we can make sure that EPIC is kept as an important cultural and music venue by making EPIC one of Canberra’s ‘entertainment precincts’.

Entertainment precincts: What are they?

Entertainment precincts help to protect the long-term future of the music and entertainment industry without exposing residents or businesses to unreasonable or unexpected levels of noise.

Precinct laws mean that the onus is on new developments to incorporate extensive noise insulation—not on music venues to turn down their volumes when residential development is built nearby.

In areas like Fortitude Valley in Brisbane, entertainment precinct laws have helped ensure that these vibrant mixed-use areas work for residents, nightclubs, live music venues, cafes, restaurants, hotels and retail businesses.

It is not just EPIC that needs protection as an entertainment precinct. Canberra’s music and events culture has evolved organically, with entertainment venues popping up in the city, in town centres and at local shops.

As our city becomes more compact, now is the time to act.

The Government needs to make real headway on the growing need for entertainment precincts and environmental noise dampening. Given the rate of new apartment blocks going up in the Northbourne corridor and in our Town Centres, this should be a priority.

We are still awaiting the Government’s response to MusicACT’s 2015 Cool Little Capital Action Plan and outcomes from the Urban Sounds discussion paper from 2016, which were both expected by the end of 2017.

The Greens believe we should get started on the community consultation to roll out across the city in places like EPIC, Woden and Belconnen Town Centres, to ensure that we’re supporting our live arts and music scene, and our local residents.

Now is the time to secure the future of our cultural venues.

Shane Rattenbury MLA is the leader of the ACT Greens and Member for Kurrajong.


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105 Responses to
Greens to fight for EPIC’s future
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1:54 pm 12 Jun 19

That's great. There'll be no probs. If the Rat wants it then he'll get his way.

1:54 pm 12 Jun 19

Don’t we have enough concrete blocks of units in the ACT now????

1:52 pm 12 Jun 19

Is this where they are going to put the new stadium they want to build.

    6:10 pm 12 Jun 19

    Trish Lingard-Wyss no, they have proposed the new stadium would take over the civic pool precinct in the heart of the city.

1:35 pm 12 Jun 19

The only time I have agreed with the rat

1:27 pm 12 Jun 19

Natex..suprised they havent pulled it down already that close to the tram. Think of all the wasted fares 😏

1:17 pm 12 Jun 19

Kudos to Shane and the Greens on this one. Every capital city and most country towns have a Showground of some sort. Yet Barr's agenda is to claim thw land for urban infill and more apartments. Where does it leave the Canberra Show, Summernats, the National Folk Festival, the Farmers Markets, the Convoy for Cancer after party, the Trots, Canberra Home and Leisure Show and the tens of other events held at EPIC every year.

1:09 pm 12 Jun 19

Maybe we can build a NEW convention Center out at Epic. Then all the Hotels on Northbourne can service it.

1:02 pm 12 Jun 19

How about asking the residents of Downer, Dickson and Lyneham how they feel about Summernats being kept right on their doorstep...

Luckily I don’t live there, but the noise and other pollution must really annoy those residents.

Apartment living isn’t so bad, though terraced homes are preferable, space being a major concern in terms of services - roads, sewerage, rubbish collection, electric/gas supplies etc do factor in the cost of quarter acre blocks...

    1:07 pm 12 Jun 19

    Annie Wyer considering most residents in those areas moved in over the past 30 years, you could say the SummerNats was there first.

    1:12 pm 12 Jun 19

    Marc Edwards those suburbs have been there a longer time than Summernats or even the Show, as have a lot of those residents. Summernats is only 20 years old, the majority of those homes are more than 50 years old.

    I think you’re thinking of the newer sections of Downer further north.

    1:14 pm 12 Jun 19

    people like you are why Canberra misses out.

    1:26 pm 12 Jun 19

    Annie Wyer actually, you're wrong. I had a car at Summernats number 4. That was in 1991. And before Summernats, there was three Easternats there.

    1:29 pm 12 Jun 19

    Annie Wyer please get your facts right before making statements like this one. Summernats 33 was held earlier this year and before Summernats at EPIC, there were the Street Machine Nationals held there..... by my calculations that adds up to way more than 20 years!!! 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️

    1:33 pm 12 Jun 19

    Thank you all for your corrections.

    I take it none of you live in Downer.....I wonder why.

    1:46 pm 12 Jun 19

    Michelle Fitzpatrick Yep, ignorance is bliss......or is it just too much of the green leaf? The first ASMF nationals in Canberra was 1984,then again in 1986. Summer Nats took over that spot in 1988, so someone needs to unblur their time line somewhat.

    However, much like the annual rumor of Summernats moving interstate, or shutting down, this whole story of Epic being disposed of in favour of housing is just smoke.....or perhaps wishful thinking on the part of certain detractors who would like to see less disruption to their utopian lifestyle.

    2:58 pm 12 Jun 19

    Annie Wyer no I don't. I live in Swinger Hill. Under the flight path of the South Care Helicopter, within 500m of all three first responder stations, and both Athlon and Hindmarsh Drives. Without double glazing. I don't complain about it because I chose to live here.

    I suggest that, because you don't live there, you quit trying to stand up for the good burghers of Downer and Dickson. Watson too. If they don't like the ambient noise , they'll let us know here.

    3:00 pm 12 Jun 19

    Annie Wyer no im thinking that most homes have changed hands in that time, there would be very few original residents left in Downer

    3:50 pm 12 Jun 19

    I think the local residents enjoy their quick and easy access to the farmers market. Cycling distance. But it's been interesting to see the vitriol and spleen directed at you over Summernuts. Personally, I wouldn't have dared to question this ancient, holy and tribal event. You've challenged the cultural and ethnic bedrock of many simple citizens. Shame! In any case, it's interesting to guess the noise level once all vehicles are electric. Will 'petrol-head' be replaced by 'zaphead'?

    4:26 pm 12 Jun 19

    Morris Reinbear NEVER!

    4:33 pm 12 Jun 19

    No I don’t but if I did I wouldn’t worry about blocks of no more than 4 days at a time randomly placed during the year, as a problem to be putting up with a bit of noise. Life is about adaptation, if one cannot do that then perhaps living in a rural area would be more suitable for some. Oh but then the noise of cows mooing and roosters crowing would be the source of complaints.

    6:07 pm 12 Jun 19

    Marc Edwards those suburbs have been there a longer time than Summernats or even the Show, as have a lot of those residents. Summernats is only 20 years old, the majority of those homes are more than 50 years old.

    I think you’re thinking of the newer sections of Downer further north.

    6:07 pm 12 Jun 19

    Thank you all for your corrections.

    I take it none of you live in Downer.....I wonder why.

    6:18 pm 12 Jun 19

    Annie Wyer i grew up in downer, parents still live there.. been there for more than 35years summernats is only a few days a year the noise and pollution isn't that bad stop being a sad sack! People like you that ruin anything fun or interesting in canberra

    11:01 pm 12 Jun 19

    Annie Wyer Summernats is a couple of days each year!! It is no big deal for heavens sake!!

1:00 pm 12 Jun 19

I’m with Shane. Just NO

12:55 pm 12 Jun 19

I never thought I'd agree with rattenbury, leave exhibition park alone.

12:55 pm 12 Jun 19

The soviet government is money hungry and its simple solution for income stream is block of flats and appartments- EPIC has been identified for this purpose for a very long time, as is the racecourse.

12:42 pm 12 Jun 19

Nah they should totally move EPIC to Hume, so everyone has to drive and there’s no public transport. That’d make the light rail an EPIC success... 🙄

12:39 pm 12 Jun 19

Never thought I’d say this but I agree with him

12:30 pm 12 Jun 19

Some nice boxy multi storey apartments would be good, wouldn't they? Preferably without parking and without a tram stop

12:26 pm 12 Jun 19

Someone in government needs to have the balls to stop apartment city becoming a reality. Planning laws need to ensure a large exhibition space for Canberra that allows key events like Summernats, Folk Festival, Royal Canberra Show and the like to be hosted to bring revenue to the city without naysayer lefties kyboshing and complaining about noise of said events. You bought there, know it's that kinda precinct. Accept it or buy elsrwhere

    12:35 pm 12 Jun 19

    Shayne Borger in urban areas density should 100% be increased. There is an abundance of land where the events you’ve described can take place away from land which is ideal for higher density development

    12:43 pm 12 Jun 19

    Shayne Borger lefties whinging about events? Ahahha this city is full of right wing NIMBYs Shayne and you know it.

    12:45 pm 12 Jun 19

    Elroy Jones moving the exhibition centre away from public transport would be such a great idea wouldn’t it? I totally support the increase in drink driving and drop in attendance numbers for events 🙄

    1:27 pm 12 Jun 19

    Uhh Shayne the Greens are supporting EPIC and other entertainment precincts. Aren’t the Greens considered the most “left” in Australian politics. So what Lefties are you talking about?

    I agree with the other commenter here that the people more likely complaining are right wing boomers who don’t want to have anything disrupting their happy little world.

    2:08 pm 12 Jun 19

    Shayne, I think you will find that the 'lefties' are trying to save EPIC :)

    2:58 pm 12 Jun 19

    Shayne Borger I think you just mean ACT Labor, yes they are left, but even the Greens see the point in saving EPIC

    9:38 pm 12 Jun 19

    Daniel Königs yep great point Daniel. What one earth would they do for water, sewerage, electricity at a new venue? It’s like they’d have to expand the network!

12:25 pm 12 Jun 19

More apartments means more bums on seats on the team and more revenue raising rates from apartments for the government who would rather earn more money from our pockets than from tourism and events such as Summernats.

    12:26 pm 12 Jun 19

    Should say tram

    12:36 pm 12 Jun 19

    Kerryn Price correct. That’s how a growing city works.

    12:55 pm 12 Jun 19

    Elroy Jones by taking away the chance for large tourist bringing events to be hosted her?

    3:03 pm 12 Jun 19

    Elroy Jones yet I’m sure most Canberrans would prefer to have a multitude of events that bring tourism to CANBERRA than a bunch more units.

    4:29 pm 12 Jun 19

    Kerryn Price believe if it gets redeveloped they plan on having an EPiC elsewhere.

    Me personally EPIC is a woeful place and needs a rebuild. If selling it for housing is the way to achieve that and meet the needs for the city to grow, which it will then why not.

    6:57 pm 12 Jun 19

    What about the Nats, Canberra’s premier cultural event.

    7:11 pm 12 Jun 19

    Michael Drew believe they are one of the loudest asking for new/improved facilities.

    9:50 pm 12 Jun 19

    Here’s a radical thought. Let’s upgrade the site without turning it into a set of battery hen cages.

    8:50 am 13 Jun 19

    Gabriel Spacca where do you get the money from?That’s the point selling the site gives the money to replace it albeit elsewhere.

12:22 pm 12 Jun 19

Wow, is any of Canberra’s currently un apartment infested space safe?!?!

12:19 pm 12 Jun 19

I totally agree preservation.

12:03 pm 12 Jun 19

Think of all the coffins, sorry I mean apartments, that geocon could whack on that place!

Capital Retro 11:11 am 12 Jun 19

Er, are you the same Mr Rattenbury who voted for the light rail which Transport Canberra now openly admit was about “urban regeneration and not public transport”?

You appear to have gone along with this and given that just about everything along your tram track is being converted to high density boxes what is different about do the same at EPIC?

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