ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr has told the Commonwealth it must pay for a Barton Highway flyover and duplication of William Slim Drive upfront or it will be billed.
Mr Barr met federal Territories Minister Fiona Nash at the end of May, where the pair discussed the CSIRO's sale of its land on the Barton Highway for residential development.
He told her that the Barton Highway flyover and the William Slim Drive duplication would have to be funded by the project one way or another. If the Commonwealth did not fund it upfront a part of the subdivision, the ACT would charge an infrastructure levy on the properties.
"They are going to have to build a flyover," he said. "They recognise that they can't just dump all this housing and think that it won't have implications. But we also have the backstop here of charging an infrastructure levy on the land as it comes into ACT title ...
"What I've said to the federal minister is our preference is to deal with this upfront at the estate development stage, rather than deal with it on individual land titles.
"But if we have to then we have to, because we can't allow all that development to occur without augmenting the infrastructure."
Mr Barr said his meeting with Senator Nash had been "very productive".
The CSIRO field station site earmarked for a new suburb, bordered by the Barton Highway, William Slim Drive, Owen Dixon Drive and Kuringa Drive.
With Labor and Liberal locked in tit-for-tat roads announcements in the lead-up to last year's election, both promised to duplicate William Slim Drive, costing about $37 million.
Labor promised to spend $17 million on the project in 2018-19, and $20 million in 2019-20.
The Liberals also promised a flyover at the intersection of the Barton Highway and William Slim Drive, which the party said would cost about $35 million. Labor installed traffic lights at the roundabout instead, but Mr Barr said a flyover would be needed eventually.
The ACT is also determined to ensure residents of North Belconnen had their say about a buffer zone between their homes and the new suburbs.
Mr Barr said it was a "massive piece of land" and the ACT was keen to hear from Belconnen residents.
The National Capital Authority has rezoned the 701 hectare block west of the Barton Highway and opposite the Gold Creek village. The site, which the CSIRO has used as its Ginninderra Field Station, is to be developed for as many as 15,000 homes, with construction to start in 2019 and people living there by about 2021.
The ACT is less than happy at the news, which will put a big hole the money it makes from land release, which it effectively controls other than for the CSIRO site. The ACT has its own joint venture development in West Belconnen, for which land sales began recently, and where it plans as many as 11,500 homes over 30-40 years.
In 2015, a Concerned CSIRO Neighbours group was set up, and last year, Mr Barr warned the Commonwealth that it should expect significant community backlash, given the speed at which it was moving to develop the site.
Just before delivering his budget last week, Mr Barr said the ACT could not dramatically step up its own land release program given the CSIRO's plans. In fact, the ACT has scaled back its residential land release for 2017-18 to 4120 blocks, 300 fewer than it had been planning a year ago.
Mr Barr said the CSIRO was motivated by needing the money, so he expected the Commonwealth to push ahead as quickly as it could.
- The CSIRO has since said it plans 5500-7500 dwellings over 20 years, not 15,000 as suggested by Mr Barr.