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Greens to fight for EPIC’s future

Shane Rattenbury MLA 11 June 2019 104

EPICis home to events like the National Folk Festival. Photo: Photox – Canberra Photography Services (

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.

What's Your Opinion?

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104 Responses to Greens to fight for EPIC’s future
Yuri Shukost Yuri Shukost 6:48 pm 12 Jun 19

The Multicultural Festival should have been shifted to EPIC years ago. Now the light rail exists, getting there will be easier for some people. Leave EPIC alone.

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 12:43 am 13 Jun 19

    Except the stop is about 400 metres away from the entrance.

    Valerie Merritt Valerie Merritt 8:06 am 13 Jun 19

    Julie Macklin oh dear, we might have to walk a bit

    Yuri Shukost Yuri Shukost 2:46 pm 13 Jun 19

    Julie Macklin Oh, good grief. You have to laugh🤣

Stephen Burg Stephen Burg 6:45 pm 12 Jun 19

Selling off EPIC for housing makes great sence if all you want is to make a quick buck and don't care at all about the voters because you KNOW that they'll still vote you back in again next time anyway. However if you want to invest in the city, and make one of the best showground precincts in the country available for years to come, they'll stop letting EPIC fall appart to try and justify their claims its too old, and they'll fix it up and keep it.

William William William William 6:39 pm 12 Jun 19

They want new stadium built there

    Yuri Shukost Yuri Shukost 6:42 pm 12 Jun 19

    William William No, they want to build it in either Civic or its current location. What they're talking about for EPIC is another apartment development.

    William William William William 6:44 pm 12 Jun 19

    Yuri Shukost yes geocon has bids in there as they do with the whole act

chewy14 6:38 pm 12 Jun 19

If the Greens didn't insist on their unviable light rail project, then the government wouldn't be forced to look for new housing developments to pay for it.

Although we all know that these inner city Greens are happy for those who live in the outer suburbs to continue paying ever higher taxes so they can enjoy all this extra "amenity".

Where has Shane Rattenbury got investment properties again?

Ray Young Ray Young 6:32 pm 12 Jun 19

Must coming up on an election... someone sniffing the wind??

Chris Goodrum Chris Goodrum 6:31 pm 12 Jun 19

We keep the Showgrounds, That’s it No Question!

Annie Wyer Annie Wyer 6:07 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...

Bill Arnold Bill Arnold 5:46 pm 12 Jun 19

Do you mean The Showground ?

Louise Fitzgerald Louise Fitzgerald 5:38 pm 12 Jun 19

Please save EPIC. It’s a recreational entertainment haven in a sea of concrete and has the attractions, crowds and transport service to support it. Let’s preserve SOME Canberra character somewhere.

Simon Kelly Simon Kelly 5:09 pm 12 Jun 19

A Motorsport park, just putting the idea out there.

Susy Pocknee Susy Pocknee 5:09 pm 12 Jun 19

For the first time I’m with the greens on this. Probably the last too

Pam Hall Pam Hall 4:51 pm 12 Jun 19

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

Tara Maree McInnes Tara Maree McInnes 3:52 pm 12 Jun 19

Go Shane

Steven Lloyd Steven Lloyd 3:46 pm 12 Jun 19

Canberra needs a place it can hold events this place should not be sold to greedy developers who do nothing good but take money and never re invest it into the area. I really hope they don't sell it as the event site needs to be in the middle of Canberra not way north or way south

David Brown David Brown 3:36 pm 12 Jun 19

I knew that Barr and his cronies had their greedy eyes on our Showgrounds. It is more valuable now there is a tram. No need to consider Canberran’s amenity.

Andrea Lloyd Andrea Lloyd 3:30 pm 12 Jun 19

Leave EPIC alone. It should stay exactly where it is. If this Government does the developers dirty work by selling this site, it will show just who is running Canberra ! 🤬🤬🤬🤬

John Dillon John Dillon 3:15 pm 12 Jun 19

But but but, where will we have the ROYAL CANBERRA SHOW.....Oh that's right I forgot to be pc.........

Steve Wood Steve Wood 2:48 pm 12 Jun 19

New sports stadium.. has bus/tram and horse access 😂😂

Janet Almond Janet Almond 2:37 pm 12 Jun 19

I never thought I'd agree with Shane Rattenbury but he is right to defend Epic.

Annette Russell Annette Russell 2:02 pm 12 Jun 19

No more bush capital if Barr gets his way

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