Chief Minister Andrew Barr has reiterated that Lake Burley Griffin's transformed West Basin waterfront will accommodate fewer than 1000 residents, as he hosed down fresh concerns about the scale of future residential development in the precinct.
Heritage group Lake Burley Griffin Guardians have seized on a concept image, included in the partially redacted business case for light rail's second stage, to raise suspicion about the Barr government's plans for the so-called Acton Waterfront precinct.
The concept image shows buildings along the West Basin foreshore, and developments immediately north and south of Parkes Way.
One section of the 185-page business case, which was published in August 2019, stated that "new" development on the Acton Waterfront would "create homes for approximately 15,000 people".
That number has sparked alarm, given Mr Barr's recent declaration that the number of dwellings in the precinct would be "in the hundreds".
Previous iterations of the long-planned development had earmarked up to 2000 homes on the waterfront land. But those ambitions were reigned in after new strict planning rules were introduced for the site, limiting the height, scale and exact location of future residential development.
Asked on Wednesday to explain the 15,000-resident figure included the business case, Mr Barr said that projection included people north of Parkes Way, including in New Acton and the Capital Tower block.
He said the total figure would have factored in future residents of the proposed 1200-unit One City Hill project, which has been shelved since the business case was published.
Mr Barr repeated that the number of homes to be built south of Parkes Way, near the waterfront, would be in the "hundreds", although the exact amount had yet to be determined.
An estate development plan, which would include details on the exact number and location of dwellings, would not be completed until 2021 or 2022, Mr Barr said.
He stressed that houses would not be constructed in the precinct until the middle of the decade. The transformation of the precinct would not be completed until 2035.
"There is no rush ... this is going to happen very, very slowly," Mr Barr said.
Lake Burley Griffin Guardians acting convenor Mike Lawson said he couldn't believe Mr Barr's assurances because of what was illustrated in the business case, which was an government document.
Mr Lawson claimed the ACT government knew how many dwellings it wanted built on the waterfront, information that he said needed to be public immediately.