Probing the polls: coat of arms questions and a $500 million potential stadium cost

Genevieve Jacobs 18 March 2021 87
Canberra stadium

Do we need a new stadium in Canberra? Photo: Supplied.

Do we need a new coat of arms? Do we need a coat of arms at all? Many RiotACT readers don’t think so.

The city of Canberra has a longstanding coat of arms featuring various heraldic devices, including a castle and crossed swords. It was originally commissioned for HMAS Canberra. It’s often been used in lieu of a Territory symbol and it sits on the ACT’s flag.

Now there are plans afoot for an ACT coat of arms. A community reference panel will consider what to include as part of a consultation process intended to bring the ACT into line with all states and territories with our own coat of arms.

The reference group is seeking people with experience in heraldry, Ngunnawal culture and history, people with design backgrounds and expertise relating to coats of arms or insignias. The group will also work with students from the University of Canberra’s Arts and Design faculty to design prototypes.

But there were plenty of commenters who thought the entire notion of a coat of arms was a waste of time and money.

We asked, Do we need an ACT coat of arms at all? A total of 885 readers responded. Your choice was to vote Yes, it’s a link with the past and an independent symbol of our city. This received 33 per cent of the total, or 288 votes. Alternatively, you could vote No, it’s a bit of outdated nonsense. This received 67 per cent of the total, or 597 votes.

This week, we’re wondering how you feel about the plans for a new stadium.

A long-running issue here in Canberra, the new stadium’s cost is now estimated at more than half a billion dollars depending on the design chosen. Preferred sites are either EPIC or the Civic pool.


READ ALSO: Civic or EPIC stadium kicks off at half a billion dollars, says report


A study commissioned by the government shows that a city stadium seating 25,000 people would be the cheaper option, but Chief Minister Andrew Barr says that building the stadium won’t become a priority until 2025 or later and that Bruce has life left in it for a while yet.

Currently, the government’s major infrastructure priority is the new Canberra Theatre, replacing a building constructed in 1965 when the city’s population was less than 100,000. A new theatre could also be used on a continuous basis by multiple community groups.

The Civic stadium site comes with several challenges, including changes to the National Capital Plan to enable a roof height of more than 25 metres and a potential realignment of Parkes Way. There would also be no parking on-site, and users would need to access the stadium via public transport or use existing city car parks.

But proponents point out that the existing facilities at Bruce are tired and that without a new stadium, it’s unlikely Canberra could attract major events, including Rugby World Cup games.

Our question this week is:

Do we need a new Civic stadium at the cost of half a billion dollars?

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87 Responses to Probing the polls: coat of arms questions and a $500 million potential stadium cost
Jaffa Groube Jaffa Groube 10:18 am 22 Mar 21

Current Bruce site is ideal, central enough and easily accessable via the GDE and Tuggeranong Pwy. Plus it has parking, unlike Civic or Manuka.

    Luke Codey Luke Codey 2:05 pm 22 Mar 21

    Dave Allen

    Only because the tigers can’t win there😂😂😂😂😂

Reece Mccusker Reece Mccusker 9:32 pm 21 Mar 21

Civic pool

Anthony Briscoe Anthony Briscoe 6:25 pm 21 Mar 21

I’m so glad I don’t live in Barr Town anymore

Peter Bee Peter Bee 5:34 pm 21 Mar 21

Another article about a new stadium not really needed - considering the low tax base in the ACT AND that no one wants to pay for.

Holy Benaiah Holy Benaiah 5:47 pm 20 Mar 21

Royal Warrant granting armorial bearings for the Federal Capital Commissioners and the City of Canberra, 1928: https://www.foundingdocs.gov.au/enlargement-royal-warrant.html

Sonal Singh Sonal Singh 10:18 am 20 Mar 21

Can’t even pack the stadium that we’ve already got..

Robyn Holder Robyn Holder 12:53 am 20 Mar 21

We have a stadium.

Brett Dean Brett Dean 11:59 pm 19 Mar 21

Cawell playing fields would be perfect, close to the highway

jorie1 jorie1 11:23 pm 19 Mar 21

We don’t need a football stadium. We don’t need more taxpayer money spent on even more male oriented activities. Many of us are fed up with the sexist ACT government not catering to what the majority of females want and need.

Kriso Hadskini Kriso Hadskini 10:06 pm 19 Mar 21

How about the football obsessed pay for it? I have no interest 1 way or the other.

    Nigel Jennens Nigel Jennens 8:50 pm 20 Mar 21

    Kriso Hadskini how can I ensure that all my taxes go towards a new stadium?

Jacob Padrotta Jacob Padrotta 9:16 pm 19 Mar 21

Civic!! No brainer. Epic is in the middle of no where and would provide no upside

Poppy Cam Poppy Cam 7:57 pm 19 Mar 21

Spend the money removing asbestos and lead paint from our public schools

Max Chesterfield Max Chesterfield 7:28 pm 19 Mar 21

hows about a fraction of that spent on reopening our existing drag strip. 🤷‍♀️

    Jaffa Groube Jaffa Groube 10:27 am 22 Mar 21

    Max Chesterfield our precious pollies couldn't do that.

Calan Mckay Calan Mckay 6:47 pm 19 Mar 21

On the tram route and near the city sounds ideal. Needs dinner options and pubs near by. unless its a private sector build, with covid still looming o/s etc, we should be spending it on the hospitals...

Tim Pollard Tim Pollard 4:36 pm 19 Mar 21

I thought this was already finalised to have it build over the civic pool and to have the parkway flow underneath it?I thought they already decided on a build like the one in Dunedin? All those saying Bruce Stadium is fine don't understand the time taken to get to and from when living in the south (yes the place that's always forgotten about) If they had any form of eateries in the area it would be fine (hence why a new one in the city works) then maybe we could hold off. Canberra needs a stadium with a roof so it can be used correctly all year around.

    Loretta Hately Loretta Hately 7:25 pm 19 Mar 21

    Tim Pollard 💯 the eateries around the stadium and just the atmosphere would bring the city alive when games are on Bruce is in the sticks sort of 😉

    Tim Pollard Tim Pollard 7:36 pm 19 Mar 21

    Loretta Hately exactly what I think when I see Bruce. Most of the stadiums in Australia are built within city centres so its easy to have a meal before and a drink after the game, or concert etc..., the longer they hold out the more expensive it will become

    Loretta Hately Loretta Hately 8:32 pm 19 Mar 21

    Tim Pollard totally agree!

Joshua F. Johnson Joshua F. Johnson 4:15 pm 19 Mar 21

No new stadium is required

John Evans John Evans 3:42 pm 19 Mar 21

Well given this ACT Labor government can't get the swimming pool right what hope do they have of getting the stadium right? Clearly we are destined for more Labor stuff-ups.

Sam Revill Sam Revill 3:19 pm 19 Mar 21

Just put some glad wrap over the top of GIO and there's your roof.

teddy bear teddy bear 2:43 pm 19 Mar 21

If there is to be a stadium on the site of the Olympic Pool, then at least keep the diving tower which my father was the engineer for and which won design awards at the time.

Janet Heap Janet Heap 2:10 pm 19 Mar 21

Fix.... health housing and education first!

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