Federal Government urged to overturn Monash Drive decision

The National Capital Authority has refused to remove Monash Drive from the National Capital Plan, Minister for Roads Chris Steel announced today. The ACT Government has committed to never build the road.T

he planned road would run along a 4km along the western foothills of Mount Majura and Mount Ainslie, from Antill Street to the North and Fairbairn Avenue to the South, and was envisioned to act as a bypass around inner Canberra.

The road is no longer required due to other major road corridors being constructed, and would impact on the surrounding nature reserves.

Mr Steel said that the ACT Government wrote to the NCA last year requesting an amendment of the National Capital Plan to reflect the corridor as a key environmental and active travel corridor. The NCA recently wrote to refuse to amend the Plan.

“I call on the Federal Government to overturn this decision and protect the bush capital,” Minister Steel said.

“This is an environmentally damaging, unnecessary, and expensive road and it should never be built.”

“While we are in Government we will never build Monash Drive and we want to prevent future Territory and Federal Governments from doing so by removing this fictitious road from the map.”

Monash Drive could have a significant environmental impact on sensitive ecological elements, including Yellow Box / Red Gum Grassy Woodland and threatened species like the little eagle and superb parrot. There are also numerous Indigenous heritage sites along the proposed corridor which could be impacted.

Local Member for Kurrajong Rachel Stephen-Smith said that inner north residents wanted certainty that this road would no longer be built in the nature reserve behind them.

“The residents of Watson, Hackett, Ainslie, Campbell, and Reid have a strong connection to Mount Majura and Mount Ainslie and value the bush right on their doorstep,” Minister Stephen-Smith said.

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“Those who live near the proposed corridor have also expressed concern about noise and extra traffic causing disruption to many suburbs.

“Rather than an unnecessary major road, a future shared path for walking and cycling along the corridor makes sense, and wouldn’t substantially impact on the nature reserve.”

Canberra is a growing city, and the ACT Government has made significant investments to build a better transport and road network to keep Canberrans connected.

“With the completion of the $300m investment in the Majura Parkway, the upcoming completion of Stage 1 light rail on Northbourne Avenue and the full duplication of Gungahlin Drive, plans for Monash Drive are no longer needed,” Minister Steel said.

/Public Release. View in full here.