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Calling the new City Hill estate The Barracks is not appropriate

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What is in a name? Whilst residential development in Civic continues to be welcome and brings greater life to the city, it seems entirely inappropriate to call the estate planned for the south west sector of City Hill, The Barracks or One City Hill at the Barracks.

The Macquarie dictionary confirms the obvious connotations of barracks as a garrison or fort for soldiers, or a large, plain building. The well known Hyde Park Barracks in the centre of Sydney, now a museum and Francis Greenway masterpiece, was a notorious male convict dormitory during the worst colonial days.

Unfortunate choice of name at City Hill, Civic. Credit:Lannon Harley

There are designated areas in Canberra where the potential lies to display symbolic, inspirational and representational qualities of the national capital.

City Hill is the municipal node of the National Triangle with all its intended significance. At present City Hill Park is neglected, although the National Capital Authority is proposing to amend the National Capital Plan to incorporate a higher City and Gateway Urban Design, including Northbourne Avenue, Civic and City Hill.

Who is responsible for nomenclature in Canberra such as The Barracks on City Hill? There are high level Commonwealth and ACT memorials and place names committees and urban design review panels.

Send your opinions to letters.editor@canberratimes.com.auCredit:The Canberra Times

There is an ACT government architect, the developer and the architects (the latter Sydney-based in this case).

It could well be too late to change this name because the project has been in the planning system for some time, avoiding official and public scrutiny.

Brett Odgers, Swinger Hill

The City Renewal Authority has Professor Ken Maher spruiking their West Basin Development proposal.

This comes hot on the heels of the page on West Basin included in the final City and Gateway report but not present in previous report iterations – a disingenuous move by the planners to imply consultation. It is hoped that the review promoted by Maher will fully involve the public, protect the heritage significance of Lake Burley Griffin and its parklands as a national iconic heritage feature, recognised internationally.

There is not 40km of natural lakeshore remaining as stated by Maher but West Basin has the longest strip of natural lakeshore within the three basin complex and the longest strip of beach in the entire lake.

It is hoped that the review will consider West Basin as publicly owned landscape space (with great landscape potential) that now with climate extremes and excessive city apartment living, is needed more than ever – not infilling the lake bed, not blocking significant vistas, not chopping out over 100 hundred trees, and not covering the West Basin lakeshore with heat generating concrete.

Calling Stage 2 the extension of the Stage 1 boardwalk notes the intention to destroy the beaches and riparian wildlife habitat with a mind numbing concrete boardwalk while removing possibilities for a diverse walking route sensitive to wildlife habitats that now include platypus.

Yes, improve the crossing of Parkes Way but make West Basin a state-of-the art example of a landscape area with ample social recreation uses for all ages within its inherited space rather than packing the area with apartments to create a dollar trough for the ACT government.

Juliet Ramsay, Burra, NSW

The ACT has a very dark history in management of brumbies in the Namadgi National Park.

Around 30 years ago the entire Namadgi brumby population, descended from the horses of early settlers in the area, was destroyed by ACT government authorities through a cruel aerial cull which involved lingering deaths for many horses, including foals.

Some would call this an effective cull – many others, for whom the small original brumby population had value,........

© Canberra Times