John Gorton Carpark: this ain’t it, chief

HomeNewsBlogJohn Gorton Carpark: this ain’t it, chief

You may have seen the recent proposal from the Department of Finance to build a 1,074 space multistory car park next to the John Gorton Building in the Parliamentary Triangle.

PTCBR is under no illusions that the project won’t be approved. The National Capital Authority wrote to the Department back in 2021 saying it supported the project.

But it’s very important for community orgs like PTCBR to let decision makers know that if we want better cities, they need to actually do things to implement that, and this car park ain’t it. It’s pretty disappointing that both the NCA and the Department appear to be cementing the Parliamentary Triangle as a “car-first” destination, with little thought given to a holistic transport solution for the area.

The National Capital Plan talks a big game about converting avenues like Commonwealth and Kings Avenues to “multi-use boulevard providing corridors of higher-density mixed-use development, public transport, broad tree-lined footpaths with potential for outdoor dining and street parking”, but this is a big step away from that.

Frankly, it’s a bit rich for the NCA to be so concerned about the impact of light rail in the Triangle, and to seemingly wave this one through.

Enough chat, what did PTCBR say?

That said, we offered some constructive views for the NCA to work with as well.

The project is undercooked: the traffic assessment was either not done or missing from the docs. Similarly, the project plans to relocate the Kings Avenue bus stop opposite Edmund Barton Building, but doesn’t say where. Both these things need to happen before the project can be approved.

We also think it would be much better if traffic entered via a side street, rather than immediately off Kings Ave, so as to not interrupt pedestrian and active travel flows.

We’ll let you know if we hear anything further about this, and keep you posted.