Infrastructure’s role in propelling the ACT forward

From rail to urban renewal, building developments to utility improvements, the Australian Capital Territory has a host of varying infrastructure projects under its sleeve.

Each project is large scale and possesses strong potential to positively alter its sense of sustainability and progress – economically, environmentally and socially speaking.

With its population set to increase significantly, how to best ensure that these projects are and continue to be living up to their potential?

On 28-29 August in Canberra, the 2018 ACT Major Projects Conference will return to address these concerns.

A number of major infrastructure projects will be showcased and key updates provided.

For project heads attending as either speakers or delegates, the conference may lead to professional connections that can efficiently propel their projects forward and enable them to live up to their transformative potential.

Canberra’s complex Light Rail Network is one such project poised to transform the ACT and, more specifically, the way that locals commute throughout the territory.

Once Stage 1 of the network is complete, expected by the end of 2018, high-capacity trains will enable residents and visitors to travel swiftly through the city and nearby areas of  Gungahlin, Dickson, Mitchell and Braddon.

With Canberra’s heavy vehicular presence, a light rail network will be a step towards reducing road congestion and its associated environmental impacts, while simultaneously providing ease of access around the locale.

Located directly along the light rail will stand the $300 million precinct Constitution Place. The multi-building precinct is slated for completion in mid-2020 and currently being delivered by the high profile owner of Canberra Airport, Capital Property Group.

Constitution Place is located opposite the ACT Legislative Assembly, and its buildings will house a number of public and private sector organisations, including law firm Minter Ellison.

The two buildings will be linked by a Melbourne-style laneway scattered with cafes and retail stores, encouraging those across the road and inhabiting the buildings above to step out of their offices or hotel rooms to explore what is available to them and to connect with fellow Canberrans – work colleagues, businesses, tourists or otherwise.

An increased sense of engagement with the city may well bring with it a positive impact not only on locals and tourists, but on Canberra businesses and consequently, the city and territory’s economy.

Renewing Canberra’s public spaces is another way to transform the ACT.

Providing quality public infrastructure and safe, easily accessible spaces encourages and even boosts wellness, social engagement and connection with the city.

The heritage-listed Haig Park, well-known by Canberrans for its lined trees, is set to experience a revamp that aims to enhance its enjoyability and sense of safety. The ACT Government’s City Renewal Authority is tasked with renewing Canberra’s central areas, including the park.  

Often criticised for being poorly lit and dangerous, with hardly any room for sitting, walking or biking, and possessing a lack of drinking fountain fixtures, the Authority is consulting substantially with the community to improve the park for future use.

Planned improvements will also provide the impetus for city festivals and other events to draw Canberrans to the park and engage with their wider community.

Short-term ‘experiments’ at the park will be monitored for feedback, with successful experiments made permanent.

In a country where sexual violence against women and men rose to 1.8 per cent in 2016, public safety regardless of gender or age has been pushed to the forefront of society’s consciousness, Haig Park’s  restoration has come at an important time.

And in an age increasingly focused on wellness and self-improvement achieved by exercise, the renewal of Haig Park will provide Canberra residents with plenty of open space to be active and attend engaging, ACT-focused events.

The implementation of Light Rail Stage 1, Constitution Place, and the City Renewal Authority’s many planned projects – Haig Park included – suggests that developing ACT infrastructure is leading the territory to a positive future.

Each of these projects will each be explored in depth at the 3rd ACT Major Projects Conference, held on 28-29 August 2018 at Hyatt Hotel Canberra.

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