NICOLE MANISON: Barneson Boulevard is a vital part of our plan to revitalise our city and unlock its potential
I BELIEVE the $40 million Barneson Boulevard project will change the face of Darwin CBD for the better.
Here’s why: Job creation, better traffic flow, 150 extra trees, a new cycle path, activation of the CBD and opportunities for business.
Darwin is a fantastic city and capital of Northern Australia.
It’s a great place to live and work, raise a family, do business and invest in. We are a proud city with a long history and a vibrant, multicultural community.
We need to grow our economy and our population. These two elements are inextricably linked and will help secure our future, to ensure we can provide the services, infrastructure and facilities we need and the lifestyle we love.
There is an enormous amount of work being done by government to revitalise our CBD, including initiatives to cool down and “green” our city, tackle alcohol issues, create art spaces and activate our city.
Making Darwin a more usable, attractive, safe, cool and active city will benefit us all through investment, business growth, tourism and social engagement.
Barneson Boulevard is a vital part of our plan to revitalise our city and unlock its potential.
It’s a “green” infrastructure project for now and the future, creating an iconic, leafy entrance into Darwin.
I understand there are concerns about the project but I want to assure Territorians that Barneson Boulevard is smart, strategic planning for our future.
The Territory’s population growth has slowed in the past few years but we will turn this around.
We must plan and build for our future needs to avoid the costly, disruptive problems that have plagued southern jurisdictions, where they didn’t plan for the future.
From a traffic perspective, Barneson Boulevard will better distribute traffic throughout the city including right into the heart of the CBD. It will reduce commuting times and encour- age cycling through the creation of new bike paths.
It’s also important to understand the greening aspect of Barneson Boulevard is fundamental to the project. For every sapling that is removed during construction, four large shaded trees will be planted.
Of the $40 million budget jointly funded by the Australian and NT Government and the City of Darwin, a significant amount is for greening and landscaping, including planting 200 trees along the boulevard (an increase of 150 trees).
A great deal of work has been undertaken over many years to plan and design the best route, and to limit the impact on Frog Hollow Park and old Darwin Primary School. Upon completion of the project, 85 per cent of the current green space will remain and Barneson Boulevard will reactivate this part of the city and give it new life.
Extensive consultation with the community, including tenants at Frog Hollow art precinct, nearby businesses, commuters and city residents took place over a number of months and involved workshops, Q & A sessions with technical experts, one-on-one briefings and letterbox drops.
There is still more work to be done to make sure we get the landscaping and greening right, and I encourage you to have your say and contribute your ideas to the discussions.