“Tired, outdated” parts of Braddon, Dickson get $14 million facelift

Dominic Giannini 4 June 2020 42
Andrew Barr

Chief Minister Andrew Barr in Lonsdale Street, Braddon, announcing the public works. Photo: Dominic Giannini.

The ACT is splashing $13.9 million in Canberra’s inner north to upgrade lighting, accessibility and parking along streets in Braddon and Dickson.

The first stage of works will begin in February along Lonsdale Street in Braddon between Cooyong and Girrawheen streets, and Woolley Street in Dickson. The works are set to be completed in early 2022.

Widened footpaths leading to the light rail stops, more bike racks for cyclist parking and increased lighting along Haig Park have been flagged by the ACT Government.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr says the upgrades will create 20 local jobs during the construction and design process over the next 18 months and boost economic activity in the precincts.

“It represents one further practical example about how we are staging construction works and staging recovery works so not everything is falling within the next six months and we do have a pipeline of projects,” he said.

“These particular precincts are older than most other parts of Canberra … this area has been going through a gradual renewal phase over the last 20 years and this investment takes that to the next level.

“They have a strong history, a strong heritage and a really unique character that we seek to enhance through these public realm infrastructure improvements.”

Braddon contained Canberra’s first light-industrial area back in the 1920s and became the centre for car traders before being redeveloped into an entertainment and residential precinct over the last couple of decades.

Some of the buildings go back almost a century to when the suburb was first established.

While the suburb has a rich industrial history and heritage, certain parts are in desperate need of a facelift, Mr Barr said, labelling elements of Lonsdale Street and Woolley Street “tired and outdated”.

“It has a heritage of a mixed-use industrial area … but since about 2008 there has been quite a significant transformation of [Lonsdale Street],” he said.

“It is popular and it works because it is a little more compact, there is activity on both sides of the street, and it is a mix of uses.

“It is what makes this street work, it is why it is unique and it is why it needs investment over the next few years to take it to that next level.”

The move has been welcomed by Braddon businesses, but Kel Watt from Braddon’s United Retailers and Traders (BURT) says community consultation is needed.

“The goal of beautification is welcome, but without practical solutions to infrastructure pressures and well-executed construction strategies, there is a risk some businesses could effectively face a third shutdown in just a few months,” he said.

“No business is placed to survive months of footpath and scaffolding chaos after the massive financial downturns experienced since before Christmas.”

Parking is also a big issue for residents and workers, Mr Watt said.

“Solutions to traffic and parking pressures are vital to ensure Braddon remains a destination for shoppers and diners. People wanting to enjoy Braddon’s excellent bars, cafes and restaurants will become frustrated and stay away, otherwise,” he said.

“With hundreds employed in the hospitality sector, parking should also consider the safety of staff finishing shifts late at night. At the moment many young women and men are forced to walk through Haig Park or nearby dark streets to their car.”

Mr Barr flagged that the Government would be working with the private sector to increase investment in the precincts and make it more friendly for the public – including working with builders to ensure new carparks make it into any development plans.

“Our ACT Government investment will be the catalyst for more private sector investment so it will have a multiplier effect through our economy,” he said.

“As this precinct continues to develop and more people live in and around this area … the complementary investment by the ACT Government in the public land certainty does add to the value of the precinct and its attractiveness for private investment.”

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42 Responses to “Tired, outdated” parts of Braddon, Dickson get $14 million facelift
jenpalex jenpalex 7:38 am 12 Jun 20

The Chief Minister of North Canberra spreads more good news to the outer colonies!

Ctl_Alt_Del Ctl_Alt_Del 5:18 pm 11 Jun 20

I think Lonsdale St had more soul when it was a bit crappy. The ACT Gov seems to like to ‘upgrade’ things which only sanitises them. Or declares ‘this is the cultural precinct’ or ‘this is the LGBTQI precinct’. I’d rather see communities grow the culture of places organically without government intervention.

Brindie Brindie 10:44 am 07 Jun 20

The Labor-Greens Coalition only has one focus – and that is the inner North. Other areas of Canberra are ignored. Why are the Labor MLAs representing the rest of Canberra standing up to Barr and demanding that our rates be better directed? Whether you live in Belconnen; Tuggeranong; Woden; Weston Creek or the Molonglo Valley, we all have genuine issues that this failed, tired Government is neglecting to address. I don’t care who vote for, just ensure this hopeless mob is voted OUT at the next election.

Lucy Irene Lucy Irene 2:25 pm 06 Jun 20

Mmm, not sure why ‘rainbow’ roundabouts could be an issue, curious!

Adam Rath Adam Rath 6:24 am 06 Jun 20

More rainbow roundabouts I bet

Ken Chau Ken Chau 9:36 pm 05 Jun 20

Why Dickson?! How about O’Connor or Ainslie?

Alex Elliott Alex Elliott 7:19 pm 05 Jun 20

How can Braddon and Dickson get $14 million combined and the single bus depot building get $6.5 million. I'd like to see how the figure for the bus depot was arrived at and see the cost breakdown for what that amount will be used for. Seems like a huge waste that could be better used elsewhere. The bus depot also had a lot of work done after the recent hailstorm.

Ian Daun Ian Daun 9:10 am 05 Jun 20

How about replacing the letter boxes that have been removed.

Robyn Holder Robyn Holder 9:32 pm 04 Jun 20

Hey whingers, there is money being spent all over Canberra at the moment. And if it's needed more in older more used places, that's where it should go.

    Warwick Alsop Warwick Alsop 9:31 am 07 Jun 20

    Have you ever been to Braddon? They only pulled the plastic off the last rebuild a couple of years ago.

Greg West Greg West 6:53 pm 04 Jun 20

Wasting more money on the city wasteland, fix the roads.

Get rid of the bike lanes.

phillipbusinesscommunity phillipbusinesscommunity 4:21 pm 04 Jun 20

Hand Up ????! Phillip Business Centre is desperate for a facelift, missed out for years. Send some of that our way! #justsaying #forgottensouth

Tom Adam Tom Adam 4:18 pm 04 Jun 20

Heaven forbid Phillip (South) should get a look at?

    Natalie Roseworn Natalie Roseworn 10:30 pm 06 Jun 20

    Tom Adam they announced some major refurbishments for Woden/Phillip not long ago.

    Tom Adam Tom Adam 10:48 pm 06 Jun 20

    Natalie the Woden area around the bus depot. (Where they had to due to land sale agreements).

    Not the Phillip business Centre south of Hindmarsh.

Sean Bishop Sean Bishop 3:39 pm 04 Jun 20

I'm tired and outdated.. do I get funding??

Anne Daun Anne Daun 3:12 pm 04 Jun 20

How about repairing the pavements of Kambah and providing for the homeless of Canberra?

Giulia Quadraccia Giulia Quadraccia 2:47 pm 04 Jun 20

Weston Creek needs a proper upgrade.

Dickson and Braddon have had 100s of millions worth of development over the past 5 years.

Stas Idowu Stas Idowu 2:38 pm 04 Jun 20

nothing for Southside again

Ray Young Ray Young 2:30 pm 04 Jun 20

Oh goody... Northside now will get the title soon of the Biggest Speedhump from Tuggers....

Brisal Brisal 1:43 pm 04 Jun 20

Have some vision. Close Woolley St to traffic altogether, and make it a pedestrian mall area with outdoor dining for the restaurants, and a weekend outdoor market. Tie in the myway card so that if you get off the train in Dickson you get a discount at whatever car park you’ve left your car.

Chris Olsen Chris Olsen 1:01 pm 04 Jun 20

Robert Knight At first glance I thought it was you 😂

Annie Mills Annie Mills 12:36 pm 04 Jun 20

Geez, what a bunch of whingers. First you complain that all the money is spent in area x & it should go somewhere else, then you complain when it goes somewhere else because you don’t agree with it. Then there are the people who complain that it is not going to something else. Get over yourselves

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