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Centre needs to relocate
the future of
CANBERRA Seniors Centre would
like to see their new 1000-square-
metre home built on the controversial
Braddon Club site.
A feasibility study is under way to
determine where a new centre for the
inner north organisation will be built
and what it will include.
The ACT government allocated
$650,000 for the feasibility study to
investigate the relocation of the centre,
which has outgrown the existing
50-year-old building in Turner.
The study started in late December
and should be completed by the
middle of the year, but will focus on
However, Canberra Seniors Centre
president David Rymer said the
Braddon Club site would be an ideal
location for the organisation and
would like to see the land s lease
Mr Rymer expected the new centre
to be more than double the size of the
current building and hoped it would be
located as close to the city as possible.
"It would be feasible to go to places
like Dickson, but not highly desirable.
For us [the Braddon Club site] would
be almost ideal ... or as close to ideal
as you could get," he said.
"We need to be as close to Civic as
possible so people have access to bus
routes -- it doesn t matter where they
live in Canberra, you can get a single
bus to Civic."
The group s desire to build on the
Braddon Club site follows failed
mediation between the North Canberra
Community Council and the Canberra
Raiders over a decision to de-
concessionalise land to allow for a
proposed $80-million mixed-use
The community challenged the
ACT Planning and Land Authority s
July decision to approve the lease
change and the matter is now with the
ACT Civil and Administrative
Simon Hawkins, Canberra District
Rugby League Football Club chief
executive, said the Raiders Group had
already invested years and money into
the mixed-use development.
The Raiders Group has a crown
lease on that site and has invested
hundreds of thousands of dollars in
design and other things to do a mixed-
use development there, he said.
We haven t gone down that path
on a whim. It s one we ve been
working on for some years now. It
would be ridiculous to change paths
But Inner North Canberra Com-
munity Council deputy chairman Mike
Hettinger said the council supported
the idea of a community group like the
Canberra Seniors Centre moving to the
Braddon Club site instead.
He said a recent community survey
indicated inner north residents would
prefer the area to be developed as a
community facility, urban open space
or a combination of both.
We would be quite happy to see
the Seniors Centre relocate to the
Braddon Club, assuming they can use
it. We d like to see some kind of
community facility, he said.
Canberra Seniors Centre was cre-
ated in the 1950s and moved to its
current site in 1963.
Since then the building has been
extended from about 200 square me-
tres to 460 square metres to service
between 400 and 500 members.
But Mr Rymer said the space was
still not large enough.
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