The Causeway. Have you heard of it? If not, you’re certainly not alone. Shortly after I first relocated to the ACT, I moved to Kingston. I was living about 400 metres from The Causeway, but I had no idea of its existence for about a year. I would occasionally see ‘CAUSEWAY’ pop up online when selecting a suburb but always assumed it was one of those areas that probably has nothing there except maybe one or two old buildings.
This area was initially a village for workers that were building Canberra in the 1920s, with some of the original cottages now in Queanbeyan, Oaks Estate and even a couple on the South Coast. There’s a whole little community there now with about 50 or so houses.
However, according to the Territory and Municipal Services website, The Causeway isn’t even a suburb. The area that people refer to as ‘The Causeway’ is actually part of Kingston and The Causeway is the name of a street. I suspect it’s one of those things that people just kept referring to by one name and eventually it caught on without officially being changed.
I’ve only ever visited this area once and that was when I went hot-air ballooning and we attempted to launch from a field there. Hardly counts as visiting. The reason I’ve never visited properly is because I’ve never had any reason to go there (I’m not one for going somewhere just to wander around and sticky beak), and because, well, it creeps me out a little. When I told someone I lived in Kingston they told me to never walk around The Causeway by myself. Because I trust that person I think that message has always stuck with me and I’ve never ventured over there, no matter how curious I got.
Writing this article got me thinking, who lives in this place? I don’t know anyone who does, nor have I heard of anyone who does. It’s this little unusual area that the rest of Canberra no-one talks about and everyone seems to pretend it doesn’t exist. (However, our former PM Julia Gillard used to go for walks here… probably one of the only places she could get some peace and quiet!) Just a few hundred metres up the road from here there’s brand new apartments selling for millions of dollars.
To the best of my knowledge, about 90% of homes in The Causeway are government housing. Back in 2009, residents of the area were told that the land they lived on was going to be released and it appeared they would all have to be out by 2011. Three years on from then and it still stands as it did. Recent information suggests that it will still be a couple more years until the land is released. The tenants in the government housing won’t really have a choice, they’ll be forced to leave. But what about the residents in the 5% of homes that aren’t owned by the government? Let’s just say that most of the land here is released with the exception of 5 blocks with houses and big, fancy apartments get built where the government housing once was. Could these 5 remaining houses be potentially leased for big amounts because technically they’re in Kingston? Or would people reject that notion entirely and could these houses end up being leased out dirt cheap?
Have you ever lived in The Causeway? Would you live there if the opportunity arose?
Photo – Google Maps – The Causeway Kingston