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Comprehensive review of Canberra's open space system available

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National Capital Development Commission

Press, information



The National Capital Development Commission today-

released for public information and comment, one of

the most comprehensive reports yet prepared on

Canberra's open space system. . - (

The R e p o r t , entitled "An Open Space System for

C a n b e r r a " , released as Technical Paper N o . 23, is

an independent policy review of the role of Canberra's

open space system. It was prepared for the NCDC by

Professor George Seddon,- Director of the Centre for

Environmental S t u d i e s , University of Melbourne.

The Report is one of a number of studies 'being

undertaken to assist the NCDC and the Department of

the Capital Territory to arrive at planning and

management proposals for the National Capital open

space system. · · .." . . . · '

The Report examines the justification, importance

and special role that open space plays in the ACT and

relates planning for the open space in the Territory

to changing recreational patterns and attitudes towards

landscape conservation. It outlines areas where

recreation pressures are being felt and changes are

occurring and suggests certain planning and management


aspects which should be examined further. It also .

points o u t .the need for environmental protection with

its potential for conflicts with certain recreation

development. .

The Report highlights the need for an integrated open

spade system which is the key reason for the National

Capital open space study.

The major conclusion to the Report is that Canberra

"needs, deserves and can afford a generous open space

system, and that it should reserve open space now for ?

the .future needs of a major metropolis".

. It goes on to make further points :

. The use of the open space system should be

monitored to assist in future planning;

. Changes in recreational behaviour, including

declining participation in organised sport, . ·

. "suggest that the major need is for regional

parks on the urban periphery;

• ' * - \ -

. · Special a t t e n t i o n should be g iven to the. needs

of p r e se nt and f u t u r e "residents north of the

M o lo ng lo beca us e of in equities in the d is tr i b u t i o n

of natural resources for recreation;

. The d e v e l op me nt of additional r es ources for

recreation, needs an effective p ar t n e r s h i p

be tw ee n public and pri vate e n t e r p r i s e ;

. There is reason to think t h a t 'some u r b a n parks

are u n d e r - u t i l i s e d - and u n r e w a r d i n g l y e xp ensive

1 to maintain; . .

. Within the present urban framework, there is

a need to improve access to "Griffin's Canberra"

by increasing viewpoints;

. The "keep off the grass" imagine of Canberra must

, be broken down; ^ .

. There should be places to eat and drink around

Lake Burley Griffin and more accessible car


■ ' · ■ f

. The "cordon sanitaire" that has been thrown

around Lake Burley Griffin should be broken with

limited but decisive hard edge waterfront

development in one or two places;

. Some key areas in the ACT should be zoned "rural"

in a positive sense.

The Report consists of .72 pages of text and numerous

photographs and drawings printed both in colour and

black and white. It is available from the NCDC Offices,

220 Northbourne Avenue, the Centre for'Environmental

Studies, University of Melbourne or the Australian

Government Publishing Service Bookshops priced at .

$6.75 per copy. ·

26 January 1978