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ACT should pay for new Lodge: Business Council


Daniel Morrissey

Canberra has a "tired and dirty" look and as part of a fresh coat of paint ACT taxpayers should pay for a new Lodge for the Prime Minister in return for federal help in funding a bigger convention centre.

In a draft policy report to the ACT government, the Canberra Business Council said the nation's capital lacked tourism infrastructure, including facilities for major international conferences.

Affordable accommodation also was a problem, the Cpuncil said in its tourism policy statement.

Entitled "Canberra: Power, Politics and Knowledge", the report said tourists generated more than $1.2 billion a year in economic benefits to the city and kept almost 13,000 people employed.

Next year's Centenary of Canberra should be more than just a series of local community events, and the territory government's plans to rebrand the city would ring hollow unless there was a new convention centre.

"The proposed investment by the ACT government in branding and marketing Canberra as a hub for ideas and innovation will ring hollow if Canberra does not have a conference centre with state-of-the-art facilities, cutting-edge technology and iconic design," the Council said.

The policy statement said an integrated tourism strategy also should include direct international flights, high-speed rail, upscale hotels and an efficient local transport system, including light rail.

On the Prime Minister's official Canberra residence, the Council said the Lodge was not designed for large ceremonial functions and was "well below standard for most" official occasions.

In a key recommendation, it said: "The ACT government (should) offer to build a new Lodge for the federal government in return for a contribution to a new state-of-the-art meeting and convention facility on Canberra."

But there also is a problem with the city's appearance.

"Canberra is beginning to look tired and dirty," the CBC said.

"Grass is not being cut or trimmed regularly, rubbish accumulates in alleyways in shopping precincts, and streetscapes are in need of renewal on the major roads and parkways.

"In endeavouring to change the way Canberra is perceived, and in promoting Canberra as a vibrant tourism destination, there is a need to improve a number of aspects of its look, including entrances to the city, the city centre, and the toilet facilities in and around the city."

22 comments so far

  • Agree on the tired and dirty look but the Lodge is the Federal Governments problem.

    Date and time
    April 12, 2012, 7:50AM
    • It is a federal Government expense, and anyway if Abbott is next PM he will live at Kirribilli House not the lodge. As far as Canberra being a vibrant tourist destination, dream on. Canberra is dull and boring, the only tourists are students who are bussed in like refugees to visit such exciting places as parliament house, i am sure they would rather go to Gold Coast. Perhaps schools are sending the bad students to Canberra as a form of punishment?

      Date and time
      April 12, 2012, 8:26AM
      • Perhaps if they planted higher quality grass rather than the weed ridden chaff that they put in most places, the unmown grass problem would take better care of itself.

        In suburban Franklin and Bonner and Harrison, the unkept verges make these suburbs look like overpriced slums. The terrirory has so many stipulations in the building code around street scape etc, but then allow verges and gardens to be overgrown weed farms. It always makes me laugh to see houses which look amazing nestled amongst shoulder high weeds and muddy, rocky gardens.

        Date and time
        April 12, 2012, 8:33AM
        • If they want more tourism, maybe they should build a theme park or something not a new lodge for the prime minister. I'd much rather put my tax dollars in to something I can go to rather then something I can't. No one gives a shit about politicians and maybe thats why no one comes to Canberra, because thats all were purely known for really, is politics.

          Date and time
          April 12, 2012, 9:01AM
          • The PM can go and buy her own house. Either that or she can move in with the Governor General.

            Both the Lodge and the GG's residence are costing Australian taxpayers a fortune. If Swan and Gillard want to save money (Australian taxpayers' money) then the GG's expenses should be culled, and that goes for the PM's expenses as well.

            Date and time
            April 12, 2012, 9:13AM
            • I have to ask Sharron are you for real or just here to wind people up. My greatest fear is that you are for real and you actually believe what you have written - but just in case it is a wind up count me as caught.

              Date and time
              April 12, 2012, 10:50AM
            • Now there's nothing wrong with the Lodge being used by the current P.M what is wrong is that this sort of TORT gets posted!!!

              Date and time
              April 12, 2012, 1:25PM
            • Its time for a good old Government Fire sale. Sell up Kirribilli house (theres a pretty penny), sell the run down lodge, and use the money to build a new house, hell there's plenty of land on the Governor Generals Mansion grounds. The tax payer would save on security costs and have a few bob left over to go toward the surplus.

              Also no more John Howard episodes, make the PM lodge in Canberra whilst parliament is sitting, no need to maintain more then one public funded lodge. A PM can travel back to their own house during the lengthy breaks (who have better holidays then school children!).

              Enough with the over the top publicly funded perks PLEASE!!!!

              Totally Agree
              Date and time
              April 12, 2012, 4:44PM
          • maybe we might get some more penis statues like the one in the middle of belconnen, sure some work could be done. but we will most likely get pointless visual asthetics rather than the services we really need.

            Date and time
            April 12, 2012, 9:16AM
            • This might sound a little naive AND YES it says the 1.2B is injected into the economy, but to keep 13000 ppl employed would calculate out to $92K on average a year... GEZUZ ... tourism is paying quiet well these days!!

              Date and time
              April 12, 2012, 10:57AM

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