Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Opinion

Expert strata, facilities & building management services

Impending closure of ugly boxes of Westside welcome news

By Greg Cornwell - 17 January 2017 19

Westside shipping container village. Photo: Paul Costigan

Many locals will applaud the National Capital Authority’s decision to close the Westside Container Village by the end of the year.

The so-called justification for its creation was specious: to bring people to the area ahead of the ACT Government’s sale of land at West Basin for commercial and residential development (the City to Lake project).

One would have thought the availability of such a desirable if contentious site would have sold itself without an ugly set of coloured boxes being called upon the promote interest.

That it also was temporary raises questions. Why encourage small business to establish only for a few years (to March 2019) and thus to attract more businesses than the food and drink currently there, unless the intention was a much longer tenure? This smacks either of a poor understanding of how small business operates or an unrevealed relocation plan – elsewhere on the lake? – to mollify these small investors.

Would you like to see the Westside shipping container village rebuilt elsewhere in Canberra once it's time at New Acton comes to an end?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Plagued by building delays and a shabby appearance, even when completed the site looked and was untidy, an undesirable set of visible circumstances which did not endear it and worse, the problem appeared to be increasing with trucks and more containers sitting around.

At a time when other Australian capitals are smartening up their waterways: Darling Harbour, Southbank, why are we cluttering Lake Burley Griffin with unnecessary man-made additions? Is it an anti—elite attitude by our egalitarian government, because if so it is ill-conceived: the natural beauty of LBG is available to all.

Already sections of the lake have been nibbled away, for example, Yarralumla Bay and the Kingston foreshore, and it is important to recognise any chance to create a corniche beyond the existing central basin will diminish if more and more lakeside land is taken for profitable government sale.

ACT governments should realise Canberra’s central area is more than a rich source of revenue, it is also a responsibility to be protected for the nation. We are its guardians.

Developers also must recognise this area bordering the parliamentary triangle is not somewhere to be exploited for private profit.

All of this made the decision to allow the container village to be built upon such a prominent site a surprise, more so that the NCA should have given its approval. Even if it had only agreed in principle, how could it have OKed the confronting design towering above any other structure nearby?

Possibly the issue has a precedent the NCA was unable to argue against: the earlier unsuccessful futsal slab which opened the section for development. If so, legislative action is required to ensure a repeat of these two unhappy experiences does not occur upon this site.

Meantime the anger and frustration of the traders is understandable and talk of relocation is reasonable, even if the temporary nature of their current leases must have been known.

Whatever the Westside Container Village was intended to provide, even if there were a need for it in Canberra, the shores of LBG should not have been the venue.

Pictured above is Westside in 2015. Photo: Paul Costigan

What’s Your opinion?


Post a comment
Please login to post your comments, or connect with
19 Responses to
Impending closure of ugly boxes of Westside welcome news
1
Chris Mordd Richards 7:17 am
17 Jan 17
#

I will definitely miss Habibiz, aesthetics aside, there were some great businesses there. I hope they get into the ANU pop up village that is being planned as they are trying to currently. The execution on this might have failed but the driving idea behind it was solid and still is in my opinion.

2
Rollersk8r 9:23 am
17 Jan 17
#

Once again I have no idea what you are talking about?? Will the same people “applauding” the removal of the containers also be cheering the construction of more million-dollar apartments in their place??

3
Mysteryman 9:39 am
17 Jan 17
#

Chris Mordd Richards said :

…there were some great businesses there.

I must have missed them. Last time I was there, I got charged $10.50 for a 355ml can of average lager, and $17 for a ‘burger’ that was pitifully small, and contained nothing but meat and sauce. Those two businesses wouldn’t survive amongst actual competition.

4
bruce_lord 9:49 am
17 Jan 17
#

I reckon the $1.3 million ACT government spent on the container village would have had better social and economic impacts it they had instead spent the money on the Kambah Village shopping centre. Surely that’s the most in need shopping zone in canberra. I think some of the Westside restaurants would go better than currently if the Kambah centre was reasonable and attracted the 16,000 locals.

Or better yet spend the million down my way at Lanyon. The container building would allow a great view of the Brindabellas.

5
1967 1:04 pm
17 Jan 17
#

Convert it to an amenities block for homless people with accommodation and a permanent dining space for the soup kitchen

6
dungfungus 3:00 pm
17 Jan 17
#

Mysteryman said :

Chris Mordd Richards said :

…there were some great businesses there.

I must have missed them. Last time I was there, I got charged $10.50 for a 355ml can of average lager, and $17 for a ‘burger’ that was pitifully small, and contained nothing but meat and sauce. Those two businesses wouldn’t survive amongst actual competition.

Was the hamburger “pulled” (like your wallet)?

7
dungfungus 3:06 pm
17 Jan 17
#

1967 said :

Convert it to an amenities block for homless people with accommodation and a permanent dining space for the soup kitchen

I would rather see that than another block of soviet style apartments for off-shore investors.

8
Mysteryman 3:55 pm
17 Jan 17
#

1967 said :

Convert it to an amenities block for homless people with accommodation and a permanent dining space for the soup kitchen

There’s no chance of that happening. Not while Barr and cronies can sell the land to developers.

9
Holden Caulfield 4:09 pm
17 Jan 17
#

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think John Hargreaves has this one covered:
http://the-riotact.com/if-the-nimbys-had-their-way-canberra-would-be-a-ghost-town/192975

10
dungfungus 4:36 pm
17 Jan 17
#

Mysteryman said :

1967 said :

Convert it to an amenities block for homless people with accommodation and a permanent dining space for the soup kitchen

There’s no chance of that happening. Not while Barr and cronies can sell the land to developers.

That’s right, Canberra gave Labor a mandate at the last election to do this.

11
miz 7:40 pm
17 Jan 17
#

I want to be able to see that lovely expanse of lake again, can’t wait for them to go

12
Chris Mordd Richards 1:26 am
18 Jan 17
#

Mysteryman said :

Chris Mordd Richards said :

…there were some great businesses there.

I must have missed them. Last time I was there, I got charged $10.50 for a 355ml can of average lager, and $17 for a ‘burger’ that was pitifully small, and contained nothing but meat and sauce. Those two businesses wouldn’t survive amongst actual competition.

Can’t comment, I only ever bought from Habibiz there myself, and I reckon they are some of the best value and best tasting food in Canberra atm! As for the other businesses, friends like a number of the other outlets there, so I was going off what they had told me they liked too.

BTW – @Charlotte – can the poll have an option like: Yes it should be rebuilt elsewhere but as something more aesthetically pleasing than a container village – poll seems a little skewed as if you like it you are also liking “ugly” container buildings, but some of may get that different design style is nicer but still think the concept minus the container village is the right thing to be doing. I don’t like the way the poll answers are structured atm myself. Ta!

13
dungfungus 7:57 am
18 Jan 17
#

Chris Mordd Richards said :

Mysteryman said :

Chris Mordd Richards said :

…there were some great businesses there.

I must have missed them. Last time I was there, I got charged $10.50 for a 355ml can of average lager, and $17 for a ‘burger’ that was pitifully small, and contained nothing but meat and sauce. Those two businesses wouldn’t survive amongst actual competition.

Can’t comment, I only ever bought from Habibiz there myself, and I reckon they are some of the best value and best tasting food in Canberra atm! As for the other businesses, friends like a number of the other outlets there, so I was going off what they had told me they liked too.

BTW – @Charlotte – can the poll have an option like: Yes it should be rebuilt elsewhere but as something more aesthetically pleasing than a container village – poll seems a little skewed as if you like it you are also liking “ugly” container buildings, but some of may get that different design style is nicer but still think the concept minus the container village is the right thing to be doing. I don’t like the way the poll answers are structured atm myself. Ta!

I thought the concept was meant to be “pop-up”, you know, cool and edgy.

You can’t have conventional design and pop-up together.

14
Chris Mordd Richards 6:00 pm
18 Jan 17
#

dungfungus said :

Chris Mordd Richards said :

Mysteryman said :

Chris Mordd Richards said :

…there were some great businesses there.

I must have missed them. Last time I was there, I got charged $10.50 for a 355ml can of average lager, and $17 for a ‘burger’ that was pitifully small, and contained nothing but meat and sauce. Those two businesses wouldn’t survive amongst actual competition.

Can’t comment, I only ever bought from Habibiz there myself, and I reckon they are some of the best value and best tasting food in Canberra atm! As for the other businesses, friends like a number of the other outlets there, so I was going off what they had told me they liked too.

BTW – @Charlotte – can the poll have an option like: Yes it should be rebuilt elsewhere but as something more aesthetically pleasing than a container village – poll seems a little skewed as if you like it you are also liking “ugly” container buildings, but some of may get that different design style is nicer but still think the concept minus the container village is the right thing to be doing. I don’t like the way the poll answers are structured atm myself. Ta!

I thought the concept was meant to be “pop-up”, you know, cool and edgy.

You can’t have conventional design and pop-up together.

I’ve seen pop-ups done in many different ways in different cities, cool and edgy is relative to different people. I don’t hate container buildings myself, but I have also seen container buildings done in ways that looked way better then New ACTON as well. I don’t blame some for hating the containers we had at westside, it could have been done better.

15
Ian 11:00 pm
18 Jan 17
#

Could never see why the government should have put money into this. If there was a market for it then some private investor should have spent their own money.

Once again, an example of our local ALP politicians showing their penchant for playing entrepreneur using taxpayers’ dollars

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2017 Copyright © 2017 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
www.the-riotact.com | www.b2bmagazine.com.au

Search across the site