Australian Capital Territory

New agencies to deliver a renewed CBD and increased land supply in ACT

THE ACT Government introduced legislation last week to establish the City Renewal Authority and the Suburban Land Agency, which will help to deliver a renewed CBD and increased land supply.

The City Renewal Authority will focus on encouraging and promoting a vibrant city through the delivery of design-led, people-focussed urban renewal, and encouraging and promoting social and environmental sustainability.

Black Mountain, Canberra
Above: Black Mountain, Canberra / by Prescott Pym.

In addition to introducing new legislation to establish the City Renewal Authority and the Suburban Land Agency, the Government released a map showing the area the new Authority will renew.

The Authority will be tasked with breathing new life into the CBD and Dickson, supporting the development of new public spaces and buildings along and around Northbourne Avenue and creating the lakeside precinct in West Basin.

The new Authority will be a statutory authority with a new board ensuring strong corporate governance and boasting expertise in design, engineering, sustainability, community building and administration. Work to appoint the board will start immediately. The board will then appoint the chief executive.

The new authority aims to take the same precinct based approach that has been successful in projects like Southbank in Brisbane and Elizabeth Quay in Perth.

The City Renewal Authority will lead major projects; buy, 'package' and sell land; and attract and support investors. It will also administer design competitions and negotiate contracts to ensure Canberrans get the best possible design for their new public areas and buildings.

It will be responsible for community engagement relating to city renewal, improving public spaces in the precinct and preparing sites and associated infrastructure. Its mission to create great public places will see the new Authority deliver on the master planning work to improve Haig Park.

The Government will also establish the Suburban Land Agency to deliver new greenfield residential estates and more affordable housing. The new Agency, under the governance of a new board, will deliver land release, affordable housing, better suburbs and focus on urban renewal projects in town centres and suburbs.

A newly established ACT Government directorate for planning, land and environment will provide administrative and policy support to the new bodies. The new arrangements will commence from 1 July 2017.

Photo: Black Mountain, Canberra / 'Tall Tower, Long Shadow' / Prescott Pym / Licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC 2.0.

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