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National Trust ‘at risk’ list extends to ACT eyesores

National Trust ‘at risk’ list extends to ACT eyesores

SOME of the ACT’s most spectacular views sit alongside places more often seen as eyesores on the ACT National Trust’s annual list of historically significant sites at risk, a Sunday Canberra Times exclusive ‘‘sneak peek’’ reveals.

Topping the list, to be formally announced tomorrow, are the Lake Burley Griffin foreshores, a central element of Canberra’s design and planning also featured on last year’s list.

ACT National Trust president Eric Martin fears development could jeopardise lines of sight between landmark buildings, while lack of management is also causing problems.

Controversial Canberra ‘‘eyesore’’ – the Dickson and Lyneham flat complexes on Northbourne Avenue – has also made the list.

Built during rapid expansion of the national capital in 1959, the functionalist flats mark the beginning of public housing in the ACT and were originally seen as a ‘‘gateway to Canberra’’.

One ‘‘at risk’’ heritage item is not a building or a particular place – it’s a register of more than 13,000 natural, Aboriginal and historical places considered worthy of preservation, the Register of the National Estate compiled by the Commonwealth’s independent adviser.

No new sites have been added to the register since 2007 and the register will lose statutory status in 2012, putting several sites on Commonwealth land at risk of development.

The Majura Valley makes the list, while some of Canberra’s first homes are included in the Reid Housing precinct, listed because the ACT Government’s lack of a conservation management plan for the suburb allows residents to renovate, alter and demolish significant homes.

Historic sites lacking fire protection are also included, while the Yarralumla Brickworks conclude the ‘‘at risk’’ sites.


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