Lake Burley Griffin Guardians will be delivering a petition to the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday 22 November to stop privately owned lakeshore development. The public petition, with over 730 signatures from local Canberra residents, shows that more than three times as many Canberrans oppose the West Basin development than supported it in the Government’s much touted 2013 consultation.
An independent review of West Basin development with effective public involvement is desperately needed, now.
The next stage of the West Basin development, the foreshore works to cost about $40 million, is to commence early 2018. A strip of proposed vibrant public space on the water’s edge has been the focus of the foreshore consultation and there has been no public consultation on the apartment blocks in Acton Park.
The ACT taxpayer will fund the cost of filling 2ha of the lake to create a larger site for future elite apartments blocks to be built over the existing public parkland. This entire area is public open space – ACT taxpayers’ don’t need to fill in the lake.
Petitioners are concerned about lake infill; foreshore works, the proposed apartment blocks and the lack of heritage protection. Hundreds of people that the Guardians have spoken to are stunned to realise the planned West Basin development and angry about the lack of disclosure and consultation. During Floriade, numerous interstate visitors expressed similar concerns.
Representatives of Lake Burley Griffin Guardians will be in Civic Square on Wednesday 22 November from 2.30pm to present the petition to the ACT Legislative Assembly. Elizabeth Lee, Shadow Minister for Environment, is sponsoring and tabling the petition.
If Acton Park, West Basin sneaks past public scrutiny and becomes a private apartment estate, it will be alienated forever. The West Basin landscape including Acton Park and Acton Peninsula is not any old piece of land. The lake with its foreshore is one of Canberra’s and our nation’s most significant cultural landscape assets.
There have been so many changes to the original City to the Lake proposal – no one knows what this project means or includes anymore. The community urgently needs to be updated and consulted about what type of West Basin revitalisation it truly wants now.