The Canadian Flagpole at Lake Burley Griffin is coming down due to “serious” public safety concerns, with a detour in place around Regatta Point for anyone making their way around Lake Burley Griffin.
The National Capital Authority (NCA) said it is conducting final inspections on the flagpole, a single green spar of a Douglas Fir tree, with the view to felling it as soon as possible to ensure public safety.
An exclusion zone is in place around the flagpole, and the public exhibition at Regatta Point is closed. Anyone doing the bridge-to-bridge will now need to walk behind the National Capital Exhibition and Regatta Point through Commonwealth Park before re-joining the lake path.
The Canadian Flagpole weighs close to seven tonnes and stands at nearly 40 metres high.
It was erected at Regatta Point on 29 August 1957, after being gifted to the Australian Government by Canada’s then-Deputy Prime Minister C.D. Howe as a memento of his visit in 1955.
According to the NCA, the 40.2 metre piece of timber, logged from a forest in Canada’s British Columbia, arrived in Sydney in November 1955 and was submerged in Sydney Harbour for several days for quarantine purposes.
It was then transported to Canberra by train before being trimmed to 39 metres long, debarked and shaped and treated to protect the timber.
Before it was erected, the Canadian Flagpole had to be transported from the Canberra railway station to the Regatta Point site via a truck and trolley, with a crane following behind to lift the trolley back onto the road when it veered off.
The NCA says updates will be posted on their social media channels about the closures and the flagpole works.