23 March 2022

New business ideas welcomed to liven up Commonwealth Place lakeside

| Ian Bushnell
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West Kiosk

West Kiosk at Commonwealth Place. Photos: NCA.

A new operator is being sought for a prime location by Lake Burley Griffin in Parkes. West Kiosk at Commonwealth Place could be set up as a cafe and bar, or tourism outlet.

The National Capital Authority, responsible for the area, is seeking proposals from commercial operators for the 54 square metre site, including a 39 square metre area under the canopy.

There is also 200 square metres of outdoor space that could be used for al fresco dining.

The NCA says West Kiosk, which does not have a kitchen, is designed to cater for small-scale commercial operations, serving visitors to that area of the lake foreshore.

With the 570 square metre West Jetty also an option for a new operator to use, proponents are being urged to put forward their ideas for the space.

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The NCA says future uses for West Kiosk, currently a Segway hire facility, includes café and bar; ice creamery; sporting equipment hire for bikes and canoes; a gift and souvenir shop; or tourist services.

It would prefer West Kiosk to complement nearby East Kiosk, now The Jetty bar, after the group behind The Dock at Kingston was awarded its licence in a similar process last year.

The successful proponent will need to fit out the facility – in terms of design, theme, colours, signage and materials – subject to NCA approval and in keeping with the architecture and prestigious location.

West Kiosk

Proponents must have a minimum of two years’ business experience and be able to hire adequately trained staff.

If a hospitality business is considered, the proponent must be experienced in serving high-quality food and beverages, and show how it will trade through changing seasons.

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Conditions also require it to be open seven days a week but trading hours can vary, depending on seasons, weather and events.

The licensee will also be required to use environmentally-sustainable business practices.

The NCA envisages a three-year licence, with a further option of two years.

In recent years, the NCA has encouraged more commercial activity on and around the lake, including East Kiosk; the Black Mountain water park; the redevelopment of the Canberra and Region Visitors’ Centre at Regatta Point; the proposed West Basin development; and plans for seaplane services.

Submissions must be sent to Austender by 2 pm on Wednesday, 20 April.

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If my memory serves me right, being an exposed area it is very hot in summer and with the wind off the lake, bitingly cold in winter. They will need some form of shelter to make the area suitable for cafes and the like. Since we are encouraging new business ideas, could one of Dutton’s fabled submarines dock there and provide rides for tourists? The proximity to Questacon would make it an ideal launching pad for Australia’s space industry.

Capital Retro7:14 am 28 Mar 22

A tsunami would cause millions of dollars worth of improvements.

It looks like it could provide a helicopter landing pad for all Canberra’s visiting VIPs. Maybe a Brodburger van nearby for all the spectators. Maybe the Chinese Communist Party needs a new port. I believe the current Federal Government might be quite supportive given the Port of Darwin fiasco.

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