The Property Council of Australia has warned of skewed priorities following the announcement of two major infrastructure projects by the ACT Government.
“Without a doubt, it’s a visionary and exciting project,” the council’s ACT executive officer Catherine Carter said.
“However, I think this plan and realisation of this vision is a long way off. We need the Civic Master Plan first… This is wonderful, but it’s come the wrong way around.”
Ms Carter said projects such as the Kingston Foreshore were not yet completed, while plans for developments such as light rail investment were being pushed.
“It’s questionable if all of these projects can go ahead at the same time,” she said.
“It’s commendable, it’s visionary… but there are other infrastructure priorities. It’d better to get some of the other big projects right before spreading effort across all these projects.”
Paul Powderly from Colliers International said it was important to maintain the balance between supply and demand for the residential developments outlined in the projects, but said it oversupply shouldn’t be a concern.
“The current cycle of supply will be past and most of the supply at the moment is not the city area,” he said.
“This will be the next wave following on from the Kingston Foreshore and Braddon. I don’t see them competing.”
Mr Powderly said the projects would also provide density where it was needed.
“I think the critical issue is we’ve gone as far out as we can in Canberra,” he said.
“The inner city and the basins, that’s where you want your density and that’s where these projects will focus density.”
Mr Powderly said the project would help a heart for the city, something he was “definitely in favour of”.
The plans were also welcomed by the ACT branch of the Australian Institute of Architects, whose president Tony Trobe said it was fantastic to see moves towards big picture thinking for the city centre.
“It’s great they can move in one direction,” he said.