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Raiders' cut price offer for prime site

The Braddon Club.

The Braddon Club. Photo: Melissa Adams

The Canberra Raiders want to demolish the Braddon Club and build a multimillion-dollar retail and apartment complex on the site.

The rugby league outfit has offered the ACT government just $320,000 for full control of the prime development site on the edge of Civic.

The Raiders want to knock down the club and build a mixed-use development - apartments, office, shops and restaurants - at the site.

No plans have been lodged for the next-door Braddon Oval and details of the planned development at the site were scarce, with club officials not responding on Friday to requests for an interview.

According to documents lodged to the planning authority ACTPLA, the poker machines at the club would be moved to the Raiders' other gaming venues around Canberra.

The Raiders group is easily the region's biggest operator of poker machines with more than 830 pokies in seven clubs across the ACT and Queanbeyan but it is increasingly diversifying into its growing property empire, citing the uncertainty surrounding the poker machine business.

A report prepared for the club by private sector consultants says the demolition of the 30-year-old Braddon club and the relocation of its 46 poker machines would have little impact on the venue's membership, very few of whom lived in the immediate neighbourhood. ''Membership is not restricted by geographic area but a majority of patronage is drawn from the commercial precincts of City and Braddon, as well as from local residents,'' the consultants wrote. ''Only about 1300 members live within three kilometres of the Braddon Club.

''As most patronage and membership comes from the City and Braddon workforce, and there are multiple venues of a similar kind in close proximity … it is not considered that the loss of this facility will have any significant impact on the overall licensed club industry.''

But the first hurdle the Raiders must clear is a decision of Planning Minister Simon Corbell that it is ''in the public interest'' for the ACTPLA to even consider changing the land's title from present ''concessional'' status, which stipulates it be used for a community club.

If the proposal is ultimately successful, the club must pay the government an amount calculated to reflect the site's present value.

As part of its application for a new lease and after a professional valuation, the Raiders have offered $320,000 as a ''payout'' amount.

The Raiders are also arguing that their proposal for the site, on the junction of Donaldson Street, Cooyong Street and Torrens Street, is in keeping with government objectives for greater commercial development and higher housing densities in the city centre.

An ACTPLA spokesman said the ball was in the minister's court.

''The Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development must first make a decision to determine whether or not it is in the public interest for the application to be further considered by the planning and land authority,'' she said on Friday. ''If the application to de-concessionalise the lease is approved by the planning and land authority then the proponent is required to pay the payout amount.

''In determining the payout amount, the planning and land authority would seek an independent valuation.''


  • I wish the Raiders luck but they're being a bit optimistic with their "valuation" aren't they? $320 000.00 for prime land right next-door to Civic? A new housing block can cost more.

    Date and time
    December 31, 2012, 10:10AM
    • I will pay the ACT government $750,000 within seven days for full control of the site. I would pay more but can not come up with the money. Please ask the ACT government to contact me through the Canberra times.
      Alternatively as this land is for community use if the community group the raiders no longer want it then give it up and let another community group use it.

      payout amount
      Date and time
      December 31, 2012, 10:13AM
      • I'll give the ACT $500,000 for the land, they should sell it to me instead.

        or better yet, the ACT should just give the raiders $320,000 and then turn it into a park.

        Date and time
        December 31, 2012, 10:21AM
        • So Furner and Fagan are on the same path. Get something cheap because it is for the 'community' then get the land use title changed so they can sell it and make money to keep their overpaid players and coaches!!! Seriously .... When will the ACT planning department work out they are being used!!

          Date and time
          December 31, 2012, 11:14AM
          • Unlike the Brumbies, the Raiders are actually offering the ACT Government some money for the land.

            The Brumbies want the land in Griffith for free and then make a substantial windfall from its development. This would also increase traffic congestion there and last I saw, there was little benefit, but a lot of inconvenience, to locals.

            The Braddon Club is a dump compared to other clubs in the Raiders Group. If development plans include a replacement club, then so much the better. At the moment, the locals will still have access to the nearby Rugby League Park.

            I wouldn't be surprised if the Raiders have a long-term plan here. They know the Government is looking for a location for a new rectangular field stadium near Civic.

            Let's see the Raiders sweeten the offer with that in mind and the Brumbies actually hand over some money. You'd think the leather elbow patch brigade would have enough corporate connections to to ensure the community isn't dudded by them.

            Isabella Plains
            Date and time
            December 31, 2012, 12:01PM
        • Maybe I misunderstood but it seems to me they are not buying the land. They are paying 320k to have zoning conditions changed on the next lease, which I imagine will attract a separate fee. Do people realistically think they are offering 320k for that land?

          Date and time
          December 31, 2012, 12:49PM
          • Rory,
            You are absolutely correct that all the raiders are doing is paying the money so that they can have a change of use for land that they currently lease. I agree totally with them being able to do this. As the article says they will then 'build a mixed-use development - apartments, office, shops and restaurants'.
            As you say they only lease the land so then the government, with no cost to themselves will be able to cancell the lease and get all the new buildings back at no cost for the government.
            After all, that is how leasehold works in Canberra.
            Just in the same way that I only lease the land that my house in on from the government and of course when the lease expires (in fifty-five years time) the local government is just going to cancell my lease and get my house for nothing. Dream on.

            You are absolutely correct.
            Date and time
            December 31, 2012, 5:00PM
        • First, will the raiders have control of the ovals and second how will retention of the oval for sporting use be assured eg new residents may object eventually to oval use despite order of occupancy. Why not require a community facility or new club as part of the development.

          Date and time
          December 31, 2012, 3:55PM
          • Across the street at St Patricks Church the proposal is for the currant owners of the land (ACT Gov.) to de-concessionalise the property and then spend up to $10 million buying back their own property. The ACT Gov has passed laws that make this action legal. When is this legal embezzlement of the public purse going to stop These properties must be put up for auction in a transparent manner and not be made a windfall for a select group that paid "nothing " for the property in the first place.

            Date and time
            December 31, 2012, 6:08PM
            • Dallas are you a Brumbies fan mate ? LOL , The Raiders have a legal long term lease on the site anyway plus complete control of the adjacent ovals behind the club. Why would they just " give it up " for auction, I mean .. please. The 320K is as people have said in here , not to buy the land as the car park land alone would be worth ten times that amount , but to pay for the re zoning of THEIR LAND so it can be re-developed & used properly. At the moment its dead land completely under utilised & a residential development there would be ideal. Its the ovals behind the club , which are not for public use anyway that are out of place & these Rugby League fields can be re located elsewhere. A Gold Mine the Raiders are sitting on & good luck to them in their endeavours to develop this site.
              As someone said at least they're reaching into their pockets & forking out their own money , unlike the Brumbies who just get all of us to pay for their projects.

              Date and time
              January 01, 2013, 11:45AM
              Comments are now closed

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