John and Bobbie Beale walk Charlie-Brown through Bowen Park on their way home to Barton. Photo: Rohan Thomson
A scarcity of planning resources is tarnishing Canberra's jewel, Lake Burley Griffin, say long-time residents and an advocacy group.
Commercial boat operators have been waiting nearly a decade for a permanent slipway site to repair and maintain their boats.
But the Walter Burley Griffin Society says the proposed new site on Black Mountain Peninsula is inappropriate and adds to management blunders at the lake, ranging from Scrivener Dam's dodgy floodgates, recurring pollution and contentious proposals for an immigration bridge and war memorials.
Society president James Weirick said the stretched National Capital Authority could no longer manage the Commonwealth's planning interests around the lake and across the national capital.
He said the authority board had been reduced from five to three members, which included the acting chief executive and chief planner Andrew Smith.
Two board vacancies remain unfilled since Professor Don Aitkin's term finished in 2011, and Christine Storry's appointment finished in January this year.
Professor Weirick said a funding injection of nearly $12 million last year, with the proviso the authority resolved confusion about its planning role with the ACT's planning, had not amounted to much accept a few amendments to the National Capital Plan.
A spokeswoman said the NCA was working on a review of the plan with the ACT government.
Emeritus professor of political science at the Australian National University John Warhurst said long-time Canberrans who had involved themselves in planning thought the NCA was under-resourced.
He said that view also arose at a symposium on self-government and politics, attended by about 100 people at the University of the Third Age on Monday.
Professor Weirick said allowing a slipway and boat repairs at Black Mountain Peninsula would set a precedent for intensifying development around Lake Burley Griffin. ''We are not opposed to bringing activity to the lake edge, but the way in which it is done is the important issue.''
A commercial boat operator believes the ACT government has picked the right place for the slipway.
Jim Paterson said the original location of Kingston Harbour was unsuitable. ''People now are paying large sums of money for a roof over their head. They don't want a working harbour on their doorstep.
''You can work carefully, but you are going to make noise and generate dust from time to time.''
Mr Paterson runs two all-electric vessels boats and cleans them with water blasting and environmentally safe de-greasers and detergents.
He said the slipway would get a month and a half use each year.
Four commercial operators who operate seven boats will use the slipway. Boats range from electric launches to the diesel-powered catamaran MV Southern Cross and the National Museum of Australia's 1870s paddle steamer Enterprise.
Professor James Weirick said good design could make a slipway compatible with Kingston Harbour. ''Substantial infrastructure works have to happen in the next phase of Kingston development, they have to shift the Causeway switch station and power lines above and below ground.
''The Eastlake redevelopment is restarting, requiring remediation and draining, and in all that they should be able to put a slipway in there.''