The first stage of Canberra’s newest suburb of Whitlam today officially opened, with the public able to drive through and explore the area set to be the home for around 5,000 people in approximately 2,100 dwellings.
Named after former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, the suburb will be the furthest northern of Molonglo Valley, bordering William Hovell Drive to the north and John Gorton Drive to the east when complete.
It will sit directly north of the planned Molonglo commercial centre, 5km south of the Belconnen Town Centre, and 9km east of Civic.
It will include a local public primary school and shopping centre, multiple parks, as well as a Whitlam Mingle program to help connect residents.
Proving popular, the first blocks in Whitlam went on sale in May this year, selling all 80 blocks within a week of release.
The second public release took place this month with a total of 250 blocks sold to future Whitlam residents, with the third release expected in early 2021.
Full release of all 2100 dwelling sites is expected by 2023, while construction activity for the first 500 blocks will happen throughout 2021.
Over 2,300 trees will be planted in stage one of Whitlam—2,000 of which have already been planted—with more to be planted as following stages of the suburb are developed, up to a total of over 5,000 trees.
The theme of Whitlam is ‘arts and culture’. In line with this, each street is named for people who contributed to Australian culture.
One of which being Hazel Hawke AO, first wife of Bob Hawke the 23rd Prime Minister of Australia, for her notable public service and social justice work.
Other Whitlam street names include Sculthorpe Avenue, named after Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe; Churcher Street, named after arts administrator Betty Churcher; and Maymuru Way, named after visual artist Narritjin Maymuru.
In July 2019, Gough Whitlam’s family joined Minister for Housing and Suburban Development Yvette Berry to break ground on the suburb.