National design competition to help guide Mount Ainslie’s future

Released 09/12/2015

The ACT Government in partnership with the Commonwealth Government today announced that a national design competition will be held to develop a landscape plan and interpretive strategy to guide the next 10 years of landscape development at Mount Ainslie.

Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Shane Rattenbury, said the Mount Ainslie summit is one of the most significant lookouts in Canberra.

“The Mount Ainslie summit is very popular, attracting tens of thousands of locals and visitors each year. It has several walking tracks and is the seventh most popular site for tourists due to the panoramic views it provides across Canberra, particularly over central Canberra, Red Hill and Black Mountain,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“The current infrastructure at the lookout is both limited and ageing, with the last major upgrade occurring in 1988. Items which might feature in the new plan could be outdoor seating, picnic areas, sun and wind protection and more comprehensive and coordinated interpretive signage.”

Minister for Territories, Local Government and Major Projects Paul Fletcher said “this joint project shows that both the ACT and Commonwealth governments are committed to investing in Canberra assets which are unique to the character of the National Capital”.

“Mount Ainslie represents the northern termination of Canberra’s central land axis – which takes in the Australian War Memorial and Parliament House – and was depicted in Marion Mahony Griffin’s winning entry for the 1912 international design competition,” said Minister Fletcher.

“There is, through this initiative, a contemporary parallel in having a design competition for the summit. We hope some of Australia’s best landscape architects will be attracted to enter. The first stage will see expressions of interest sought, with three firms then shortlisted to participate in a one-week design competition. The winning firm will then prepare a preliminary sketch plan and interpretive strategy, expected in mid-2016.

“As Mount Ainslie is defined as a Designated Area, the National Capital Authority on behalf of the Commonwealth Government will ensure the planning, design and development of the summit aligns with the principles outlined in the National Capital Plan.”

Mr Rattenbury said this initiative ties in with the objectives of the ACT 2020 Tourism Strategy and The Canberra Plan as well as supports the ACT Government’s healthy weight initiative. The expressions of interest will be advertised via  and through the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects.

- Statement ends -

Section: Shane Rattenbury, MLA | Media Releases

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