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Fyshwick's newly incorporated business association is calling on the ACT government to consider moving Canberra's passenger railway station from Kingston to Fyshwick.
But the owner of a site which would be implicated in the move says the pitch is utopian, and the association's president, Rob Evans, is trying to be the next Walter Burley Griffin.
In a submission to the territory's 2020-21 budget consultation, the 50-member-strong Fyshwick Business Association argued the station would be ideally located in the once primarily industrial suburb.
Fyshwick Business Association president Rob Evans, who says Canberra's passenger railway station should be moved from Kingston to 16 Ipswich Street (the site pictured). Picture: Dion Georgopoulos
"Recent developments in Fyshwick have led to our precinct becoming a key destination to tourists, particularly those heading between Sydney and the snowy mountains," the submission said.
"[It] is the second largest business hub in the ACT with an estimated worth of $2.3 billion."
Mr Evans, who also heads Fyshwick auction house Allbids, said a new passenger railway station should be built on 16 Ipswich Street, which is currently owned by Capital Recycling Solutions.
The recycling firm intends to build a controversial rail freight terminal on the site, which has been approved, and an additional waste facility, which an Environmental Impact Statement has been lodged for.
Another large-scale waste and recycling plant is planned for land off Tennant Street, just east of Fyshwick's Domayne and Bunnings outlet. The land's owner, Hi-Quality Group, are doing a scoping study on their proposal.
The plant would receive up to one million tonnes of materials a year.
Mr Evans said the ACT government should do a trade with both companies for land in Hume, which is more suited for waste management. The old rail line on the NSW and ACT border could be reactivated for the transfer of waste, with freight generating more development opportunities for the area.
"The idea of waste recycling is a good one and it has our full support, however, it is a 'dirty' enterprise that has no place in a modern and evolving Fyshwick," Mr Evans said.
"It would [also] be a win for the waste facilities that would not be squeezing waste and hundreds of heavy truck movements down some of Canberra's busiest commercial streets."
Getting rid of the existing Kingston railway station would also free up that parcel of land for the government, which could be worth some $400 million to develop, Mr Evans said.
Director of Capital Recycling Solutions, Adam Perry, said the Fyshwick land was correctly zoned for its proposals. Whether they went ahead was a matter for government under planning law.
"[If the pitch for a land swap went ahead], it would set a dangerous precedent that a business group [could] dictate where other private enterprises should be located," Mr Perry said.
In a response to the business association, Planning Minister Mick Gentleman said he would consider Capital Recycling Solution's Environmental Impact Statement before making comments its pitch for a waste facility.
This article first appeared on www.canberratimes.com.au
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