10 August 2023

Sod turning at Parliamentary Triangle car park marks first step to new national security precinct

| Chris Johnson
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Three people with spades tossing soil.

Finance Minister Katy Gallagher, Barpa chairman Graham Atkinson and Finance Department Secretary Jenny Wilkinson turn the sod on the John Gorton Campus Car Park project. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

It’s just a car park, but as car parks go this one will be impressive, and it signals the start of a whole new precinct for the Parliamentary Triangle.

Finance Minister Katy Gallagher has broken ground and turned the sod on the John Gorton Campus Car Park.

It is the first step in what will be the development of Canberra’s National Security Office Precinct Project at York Park in Barton.

The car park will be constructed adjacent to the John Gorton Building in Parkes, as an enabling project for the security precinct’s development.

It will replace parking where the new precinct will be built in Barton opposite the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s R.G. Casey Building.

The car park will be five levels, providing 1100 parking spaces and include a childcare centre for 170 places, end-of-trip facilities and electric vehicle charging stations.

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In addition to supporting the security precinct, the car park will also service other government agencies and visitors to cultural institutions in the Parliamentary Triangle such as the National Gallery of Australia, the National Portrait Gallery and the future Ngurra Cultural Precinct.

The project includes landscaping plus upgrades to access roads and the Kings Avenue and Blackall Street intersection.

The $80.8 million project is being delivered by Indigenous-owned company Barpa and almost 200 jobs are expected to be created during the construction of the car park.

It is the first major construction to take place in the Parliamentary Triangle since the completion of the National Portrait Gallery in 2008.

Senator Gallagher said the project demonstrates the government’s commitment to investing in critical infrastructure in the national capital.

She described it as a boost for the ACT.

“This is just the first step in a major project for Canberra, the National Security Office Precinct, which will create thousands of jobs over the life of the project,” the Minister said.

“The Albanese Government values the role that Canberra plays as the national capital and is investing in key infrastructure to build a better future for our city.”

Construction on the John Gorton Campus Car Park is expected to be completed in late 2024.

Barpa’s design and tender to construct the car park won a competitive procurement process after environmental approvals and other government conditions were cleared.

Barpa has delivered a range of construction projects across remote, regional and urban areas in Australia.

Its previous projects in the ACT include 27 Scherger Drive, an office building completed last year at Canberra Airport’s new Fairbairn East Gateway precinct and tenanted by the Department of Health and Aged Care.

The Department of Finance is leading the development of the John Gorton Campus Car Park and York Park’s National Security Office Precinct, which is stage two of the project.

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According to the department, that precinct will provide solutions to the critical accommodation and capability requirements of several national security and other Commonwealth agencies.

The existing John Gorton East on-grade car park has closed to allow for the construction of the new John Gorton Campus Car Park to begin.

The York Park site was chosen for the National Security Office Precinct by the Department of Finance in consultation with the National Capital Authority.

The precinct will host a number of public and private tenants and is expected to be utilised by a range of Commonwealth entities, including the Office of National Intelligence and sections of DFAT.

Once complete, the precinct is expected to accommodate up to 5000 workers, and will include hospitality and retail amenities servicing both occupants of the new precinct as well as the wider public.

Work on the precinct is expected to start early in 2025.

Original Article published by Chris Johnson on Riotact.

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