Reopening the revolving restaurant on Black Mountain would be a welcome outcome for the future of Canberra's famed tower, Chief Minister Andrew Barr says.
The Chief Minister scheduled a meeting with Telstra executives this week after the closure of Canberra's iconic tower earlier on July 10. Its closure followed criticism from the ACT's peak tourism body that the neglected landmark had been left to deteriorate.
Mr Barr said Telstra Tower had the opportunity to once again be a great Canberra attraction. If a suitable hospitality operator was interested in seizing the opportunity to reopen the restaurant, he'd support it.
"It could be used as function or event space or used for educational purposes such as visiting school groups, or even to showcase innovation," Mr Barr said.
"The venue is currently closed and in need of urgent repair, however, there is no doubt the site represents untapped potential."
The public remained unable to access the tower while work was undertaken on its fire safety system, for a second week, this week.
A spokesman for Telstra said he could not give a date on when it might reopen.
The spokesman confirmed the telecommunications provider had no immediate plans to sell or develop the tower.
"We will continue to engage openly with the community and government where appropriate to assess any future proposals and work," the spokesman said.
The 195-metre tower first opened in 1980 following almost a decade of controversy over its build.
In 2013, its famous revolving restaurant closed after a bitter legal dispute over safety and maintenance concerns.
Canberra Region Tourism Leaders Forum David Marshall told the ABC recently it was "an absolute disgrace" that it had been neglected.
''It's so disappointing, it's an icon, it's on a lot of the marketing that Visit Canberra do, and it's been let go, to the point where it's an absolute disgrace and an embarrassment, quite frankly, to Canberra and to Telstra,'' Mr Marshall said.
Telstra did not provide a response to Mr Marshall's criticism.
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