Chamber supports road bid
THE Top End’s peak body for businesses has backed plans to construct Barneson Blvd and inject nearly $40 million into the Darwin economy.
The controversial project was a major discussion point during the City of Darwin council election campaign.
The Chamber of Commerce NT CEO Greg Bicknell said the project would deliver a jobs boost to the city.
“The business and employment opportunities flowing from the $39.53 million project are welcomed by the Chamber of Commerce and its members,” he said.
“The development of an iconic entry point to the Darwin CBD along Barneson Blvd has been on the drawing boards for a long time, with the current road reserve declared 21 years ago.
“This type of forward planning has been the hallmark of Darwin’s development as a tropical city, with well laid-out infrastructure providing the city with an advantage over other jurisdictions.”
The chamber represents 1200 Territory businesses.
Mr Bicknell said the new entry route would create a shaded boulevard.
“We welcomed the level of consultation undertaken over a three-month period earlier this year and look forward to the commencement of works as soon as feasible,” he said.
The backing comes a day after the Stop Barneson Boulevard at Frog Hollow group staged a protest against the development in the Darwin CBD.
About 80 people protested the planned road, saying it would destroy the amenity of the park and the history of the old Darwin primary school site. Stop Barneson Blvd cochair Heather Ferguson said she opposed the entire road.
“What we should be investing in the future is ways of moving people into the city, not cars,” she said. “It certainly shouldn’t go through Frog Hollow, it’s a sacrilege.”
According to the Department of Infrastructure Planning and Logistics, the project will provide motorists with a new entry point into the city.
Once constructed, Barneson Blvd would complete the duplication of Tiger Brennan Dr from Dinah Beach Rd to McMinn St. The department believes the landmark project will help unlock the potential of the city’s eastern end.
The project will go to tender in November and is expected to be done by the end of 2019.
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