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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

West Basin lake edge to be redrawn under new proposal

Lake Burley Griffin’s West Basin shoreline is set to be filled in and redrawn in the next phase of the City Renewal Authority’s plans to revitalise the “Acton Waterfront”.

With the end goal of establishing a “a new city neighbourhood” that is host to a range of “shops, businesses, cafes, recreations, tourist activities and accommodation” plus a range of “open spaces, parks and residential developments,” this next phase of the West Basin redevelopment will see the existing Henry Rolland Park boardwalk receive a 500 metre extension.

Wet fill land reclamation works will plug the gap between the existing lake edge and the newly constructed boardwalk to a temporary level.

The National Capital Authority (NCA) recently received a works approval application from the City Renewal Authority for this next phase of their West Basin Acton Waterfront redevelopment.

This comes after the ACT Government acquired 2.8 hectares of federal land at West Basin in exchange for 31 hectares of land in Curtin, which the Federal Government plans to develop into a new expansive diplomatic estate.

“We see it [Acton Waterfront] being a fabulous new destination not only for locals but of course visitors, because waterfronts are very attractive places for tourists and visitors as well,” City Renewal Authority chief executive Malcolm Snow told ABC Radio Canberra this morning.

The wet filling technique is being used for the land reclamation works due to the filling being below the lake’s water level.

A wet fill technique involves tipping granular material into the lake to displace the water and create a landform.

As the rock will be up to 5m under water, it will not be possible to compact during construction until it reaches the final level. The reclaimed area of land will be monitored for settlement.

The application advises “further construction should not proceed until settlement has been assessed to have significantly completed, a period expected to be approximately two years”.

Mr Snow said the area will remain off limits to pedestrians and others for the full two-year period to allow the reclaimed land to settle.

He said any lakeside development is subject to NCA oversight, which will see very strict demands made of any future development in the precinct.

“The maximum height of development will be no more than approximately six to seven storeys, and it’ll step down to the lake edge, but be substantially set back from the water’s edge.

“Right through this project, there will be close scrutiny by the NCA and, of course, the committee through the consultation process,” he said.

To unencumber the reclaimed land for future development, a stormwater diversion is planned along Parkes Way to intercept the large diameter pipes discharging into the filled area.

Design for the diversion has been completed and is awaiting information from the proposed light rail extension prior to being completed.

Approximately 124 parking spaces will be lost at West Basin while construction is undertaken, all of which will be made available again once works have been completed.

Canberrans are invited to have their input on the application via the NCA’s website before the consultation deadline of 22 May.

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