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Pesec calls for halt to ACT Government’s apartment plans for West Basin

Ian Bushnell 5 May 2019 34

An indicative illustration of what a developed West Basin would like. File photo.

Independent Senate Candidate for the ACT, Anthony Pesec, has bought in to the row over the proposed development of West Basin on Lake Burley Griffin, saying he will push for a parliamentary inquiry if elected on 18 May.

Mr Pesec called for a halt to planning for apartment development at West Basin, throwing his support behind the Guardians of Lake Burley Griffin, who have opposed ACT Government plans to reclaim part of the lake and develop the area.

Government plans to redevelop West Basin into a residential, business and recreational precinct are moving ahead with the City Renewal Authority seeking a consultant to devise a development plan for the key lakeside area.

The Authority has already flagged the possibility of 2000 apartments as part of a major reshaping of West Basin into a waterfront community connected to the city, and tender documents describe the area as ‘unique’ in terms of the Indicative Land Release Program and Government revenue opportunities.

“Public meeting after public meeting has called for an end to this ill-judged proposal to fill in part of the Lake, one of the most recognisable and loved features of our national capital. Yet the ACT Government and the National Capital Authority press on regardless,” Mr Pesec said.

He took aim at his opponents in the main parties – Liberal Senator  Zed Seselja and former Labor senator Katy Gallagher – for not doing anything to address community concern about the West Basin plans, which he said would severely degrade the environmental, heritage and social values of Lake Burley Griffin.

“The incoming Federal Government should immediately approve the heritage listing of Lake Burley Griffin and its landscape setting to ensure the permanent protection of the lake shores from projects like West Basin which are little more than a blatant revenue grab by the ACT Government,” Mr Pesec said.

“The Kingston Foreshore development is an example of what can happen when commercial interests prevail over good planning. Our national capital values must never again be traded away for short term budgetary gain.”

Mr Pesec said he recently met with the Guardians and was impressed with their commitment to the Lake and its importance to Canberra’s status as a planned city of world renown.

“I support the Guardians’ call for a review of West Basin planning with community involvement,” he said.

Mr Pesec said that if elected to the Senate on 18 May he would press for an inquiry into West Basin by the Federal parliamentary committee on the National Capital and External Territories.


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34 Responses to Pesec calls for halt to ACT Government’s apartment plans for West Basin
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Justin Watson Justin Watson 2:37 pm 06 May 19

There is a lot of whinging so its hard to understand the actual reasons. I mean there are a lot of people who think every single thing the government does is wrong. The lake does need more facilities and needs more use. Building some more apartments and hopefully restaurants and cafes in a few areas will help this. The reality is right now that apartments are sitting at 1% vacancy rates, so despite the opposition to them being built, they are being lived in.

    Warwick Penn Bradly Warwick Penn Bradly 3:15 pm 06 May 19

    Justin Watson the lake gets a lot of use. Not everything has to be coffee shops and apartments. We have to fight hard to keep the lake edge parkland and fend off greedy development proposals. If developers had their way they would pave over every nature reserve and parkland.

    Justin Watson Justin Watson 3:33 pm 06 May 19

    Warwick Penn Bradly most of it is nature reserve and parkland and I want it kept that way, but as a lake user (i kayak on the lake) it is underused. It doesn't need a lot of development, but some would be good. Canberra is about the only city I've been to in the world with such a nice waterfront, that is hardly used. We can have a good balance of both natural beauty and some reasons to bring people to the lake.

    Garvin Francis Garvin Francis 4:04 pm 06 May 19

    Justin Watson there are far too many people in this city who would like to see Canberra stay the way it is or even regress to what it was many years before

    Stan Vizovitis Stan Vizovitis 4:07 pm 06 May 19

    But canberra doesn't own the lake

    Mat Barber Mat Barber 4:14 pm 06 May 19

    Canberra could use some nice waterfront restaurants, there's a few at Kingston and that's about it, the ones at Belconnen aren't somewhere you'd go for a nice meal, it'd be nice to have some nice restaurants with a view over the lake so people can enjoy it, link it up with the new park next to the bridge and people can go for a nice evening walk around the lake too, whilst they're at it, build a damn underpass to Commonwealth Park so when Floriade is on the road doesnt clog up with those stupid traffic lights.

Daniel Königs Daniel Königs 2:50 pm 06 May 19

I’m actually hugely keen on city to the lake, and don’t see any problem with activating two opposite corners of the lake more heavily.

Trevor Watson Trevor Watson 2:56 pm 06 May 19

Really what the lake needs is agitation to help prevent algal growth. Maybe we should encourage more boating on it?

Ursula Gamal Ursula Gamal 3:13 pm 06 May 19

I do not want to see waterfront apartments. But a thriving life with waterfront beaches, playgrounds, restaurants and only cottage industry shops and weekend music for a 'bus depot' experience to attract the people, young and old as well as promote recreational boating.

    Bethany Williams Bethany Williams 4:56 pm 06 May 19

    Ursula Gamal I would LOVE to see a Southbank style waterfront beach, restaurants, shops, etc. that would be amazing!

Mikey Moore Mikey Moore 4:07 pm 06 May 19

That's a shame, I was prepared to vote for him until now. I'm 100% behind the city to lake/west basin plan.

    Bethany Williams Bethany Williams 4:55 pm 06 May 19

    Mikey Moore it is not part of the original WBG plan, and will ruin the view for everyone except those wealthy enough to afford the apartments. The lake is for everyone to be enjoyed. It’s not for developers to exploit.

    His decision to block this development makes me want to vote FOR him!

    Penny Gordon Penny Gordon 7:01 pm 06 May 19

    Bethany Williams agreed.

    Victoria Robertson Victoria Robertson 5:54 pm 07 May 19

    A parliamentary inquiry by the NCET Committee gives transparency, accountability and everyone with an interest gets a say. 🤷‍♀️

Mat Barber Mat Barber 4:11 pm 06 May 19

Just hurry up and build something, we've seen so many artists impressions and ideas of restaurants and new open spaces yet with all the mucking about we're still stuck with an empty carpark

Hans Dimpel Hans Dimpel 4:54 pm 06 May 19

it's not a federal issue?

    Mikey Moore Mikey Moore 5:27 pm 06 May 19

    Hans Dimpel the lake is under the NCAs control. The west basin plan requires the reclamation of some of the lake so therefore it is a federal issue.

Narrelle Kelly Narrelle Kelly 5:02 pm 06 May 19

I thought he was running for the federal senate- obviously doesn’t understand planning is an ACT government function. Strange

    Mikey Moore Mikey Moore 5:28 pm 06 May 19

    Narrelle Kelly anything to do with the lake requires National Capital Authority (federal) approval

    May Day May Day 6:09 pm 06 May 19

    Narrelle Kelly yeah, I think the plan is to bring back the NCA so there’s a proper planning authority, rather than a bunch of developers, driving ‘progress’ in this city.

Justin Watson Justin Watson 5:48 pm 06 May 19

I'd still vote for him ahead of Zed, even if I think this inquiry is a waste of money.

    Jude May Jude May 6:22 pm 06 May 19

    I'd vote for a bag on manure before I'd vote for Zed.

Darcy Ryan Darcy Ryan 8:32 pm 06 May 19

Building this will kill what has been done in the city and Braddon. Anyway who want to sit at lake Burpy Gherkin and look at the blue green algae.

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