Kingston and Barton Residents Group Public Meeting to discuss the current status and stakeholder and community views on the recently announced ACT Government decision on the Kingston Foreshore Arts Precinct.

 Day and Date:   Thursday 16 March

Time:               7.15 to 8.30 pm

Venue:            Crema Room, East Hotel, corner of Canberra Avenue and Giles Street Kingston

Speakers:        Adam Stankevicius, Director, Cultural Canberra | Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate and

Nick Holt, Director, Urban Projects & City to the Lake | Land Development Agency | Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate

Chairperson: Gary Kent, Chair, Inner South Canberra Community Council

The Kingston Foreshore Arts Precinct proposal has from the outset been perceived as a major visionary project with high aspirations and potential implications for our local area, for the future development of the arts in the Territory and for Canberra as the nation’s capital. The precinct is seen as a design showcase and a future, major crucible for Australia’s artistic endeavour.

Unfortunately as the Kingston Foreshore developed with the loss of most of the lake sight lines, building crowding and excesses and the loss of much of the initial grand, elegant vision for the development, community concerns have grown for the prospects of the Arts Precinct.

The present situation is that the Government has announced the successful tenderer but claimed “Commercial in Confidence” about almost all the detail of the proposal. This is unacceptable to the community. What we need now is:

  1. A comprehensive, frank and unhurried consultation process involving full provision of development plans, where the views of the arts bodies, the Canberra community and others is sought, understood and respected
  2. Various major foreshadowed matters of concern must be addressed and resolved before anything proceeds. Examples of such matters include:
  • The availability and location of adequate and appropriate parking to service the many existing needs for parking in the area and to handle the extra specialised needs of the Arts Precinct
  • The preservation and productive and sensitive repurposing of all the heritage buildings in the precinct. Heritage buildings must not be demolished for a carpark
  • The retention of all the existing buildings in public hands to ensure that the existing arts infrastructure and bodies are preserved and can prosper
  • The establishment of significant, complimentary outdoor spaces for public artistic pursuits and events
  • High architectural, landscaping and building standards are integrated throughout, reflecting the unique nature and objectives of the precinct and
  • Full consideration is given to the needs of the various arts bodies and organisations which will be encouraged to transfer from existing premises into the Precinct

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