A Canberra Times Insider poll asked ‘Should the Australian War Memorial be allowed more land at the base of Mount Ainslie for eventual use as carparking?’ The results were printed in today’s paper: Yes: 34 per cent; No: 54 per cent; Unsure: 12 per cent.
The Insider poll asks questions of a panel of readers and the results are published each week. This question referred to the suggestion made by War Memorial Director Nelson at Senate Estimates that land would be needed for buildings associated with the proposed extensions to the Memorial. The land could be used later for 118 permanent car parking spots.
The land in question is currently part of the Remembrance Nature Park, which has been in existence for 40 years. The proposal to use the Remembrance Park land had been opposed by the Canberra Times in an editorial. See also our previous post.
The Estimates proof Hansard (p. 103) has the Director exuding confidence that the land will be made available:
Dr Nelson: The land that is immediately behind Treloar Crescent, behind the existing Anzac Hall, just across the road, we need to acquire that land. We don’t anticipate that will be a problem. The ACT government has been very supportive with this project. We want to acquire that land and build the facilities for the construction teams that will be coming in next year to work on the project.
Senator MOORE: So that would be site management in that location?
Dr Nelson: Exactly. The other thing is that in the longer term there will be 118 new car parks that will be built on that land across the road, on Treloar Crescent behind Anzac Hall.
Senator MOORE: Post construction that will still be your property and you will use it as a car park?
Dr Nelson: Yes.
Watch this space.
2 March 2019
The area in question is part of the area within the red line, although the extent of the grab has not yet been disclosed (ACT Archives background on the history of the Remembrance Nature Park)