The Property Council of Australia (ACT) has welcomed the announcement by the Planning Minister, Simon Corbell, that the Canberra Central Taskforce has completed its report on the future direction of planning and development of the City Hill Precinct, and that the report has now been presented to government.
Property Council Executive Director, Catherine Carter, said that the Property Council is pleased that the Minister has responded to calls from the Property Council and others in the community about the urgent need to reinvigorate Civic.
“We are especially encouraged that the Minister has again restated the ACT Government’s commitment to ensuring the best planning options for the city.
“We are now looking forward to hearing that the Government will immediately implement and act upon a program to drive the revitalisation of Civic.
“We also look forward to hearing the Government’s plans for a land release programme, further details about a simplified planning framework, traffic modelling, and solutions for the shortfall of car parking in the city centre,” Ms Carter said.
ACT Property Council President, Greg Lyons, has said that the rebuilding of Civic has huge implications for Canberra and will be on a scale that will dwarf anything ever attempted before under self-government.
Development rights for the City Hill precinct alone could represent 400,000 to 600,000 sq m, of residential, commercial and other mixed use developments.
The Property Council is therefore calling for the establishment of an independent statutory authority – also sometimes described as a renewal corporation – with a clear policy framework and able to operate at arms length from government, to drive the renewal of the city.
“Managing a project of this magnitude will clearly be beyond any single ACT government agency, as it would have the effect of overwhelming its resources and make it impossible to carry out planning and land administration work elsewhere,” Ms Carter said.
“Consequently, what is required is a renewal corporation, modelled along the lines of VicUrban which was created by the Victorian Government to manage the transformation of the Melbourne Docklands.
“We look forward to the Government making a formal announcement about the way forward in the near future,” Ms Carter said.
Catherine Carter, Executive Director, 02 6248 6902 or 0412 330 079