You may have seen that Molonglo Group submitted an application to further develop the site at Dairy Flat, best known as the site of the Capital Brewery, to add a mix of residential and retail developments.
From a transport perspective, the site is challenging, to say the least. It’s an isolated enclave, currently only accessible via the Monaro Highway. There’s no public transport. We’ve seen in the past how quickly traffic can jam up when there’s a major event at Dairy Flat. Without a strong transport solution, a residential development there could quickly turn into a traffic mess
Molonglo Group’s development application tries to deal with this in a few ways. First, it proposes to extend the route 56 bus into the area. It’s nice that the area would be served by public transport, but the 56 is a Hellish Bus of the Damned, serving Kingston, Red Hill, Griffith, Narrabundah and Fyshwick on one of the most convoluted and unpopular routes in town.
More usefully, the proposal also plans to build a walking path to connect to the frequent R2 on Canberra Ave. Which will be nice, but won’t serve everyone.
Whether the DA is approved over these concerns is a matter for the ACT Government. But if it is to go ahead, we think there are a number of ways it can be improved. This is a large part of PTCBR’s approach to advocacy: if there’s going to be a decision, we want to be part of the process. It is also a platform to separately lobby the ACT Government for better transport outcomes.
- First, if the 56 is going to detour into the site, then it may as well actually loop around the development to properly serve the people who live there and can’t walk to the R2. Which is why we suggested an additional loop to the routing (see the top pic). Ideally, the 56 would be split into two routes in future. There also need to be timetable improvements to better accommodate people who live and work there.
- Next, we’re calling on the ACT Government to commit to other pedestrian improvements in the area, to make sure that the connection to the R2 is not just greenwash.
- Finally, there’s frequently talk in the community about putting light rail along the old heavy rail corridor there. If that were the case, this would be an ideal place to capitalise (pun intended!) on that development.
Ideally, the development would be linked to the broader Eastlake development (which may or may not happen). While there was talk of that in the past (see the below document from 2010), we understand the potential flooding along Jerrabomberra Creek might make that less likely to go ahead.