Project status: Open

How to have YourSay:

We are consulting on proposed new legislation that will help ensure two of Canberra’s most significant buildings, the Sydney and Melbourne Buildings, are celebrated and presented in a way that recognises their importance to Canberra’s history.

We want your feedback and submissions on the consultation draft of the City Renewal Authority and Suburban Land Agency Amendment Bill 2019.

Please read the draft legislation and supporting documents in the Document Library, then complete the survey.

As a part of this project we will also work with building owners to:

  • update the current conversation management plan which outlines the history and heritage features of the building that are to be kept
  • develop a revitalisation plan that will outline what work needs to be done to the public facing parts of the building, by when and by whom.

We will use your views to:

Review and amend the draft City Renewal Authority and Suburban Land Agency Amendment Bill 2019 where appropriate.

About this project

The historic Sydney and Melbourne Buildings have a special place in the hearts of Canberrans. They are landmarks, framing the gateway to Northbourne Avenue and City Hill. Constructed between 1926 and 1946, the buildings were designed as the city’s premier “retail trader’s block”. The buildings defined the early character of Civic and continue to contribute to the experience of Civic today.

The buildings have a unique ownership structure in that they are privately owned by many different owners, each responsible for their own property, including their own section of the façade and walkway. While some of the buildings come under a strata management, there is no single body responsible for maintaining the buildings: it is the responsibility of each building’s owners to maintain their appearance.

Even though most of the building owners are looking after their own property, the complicated ownership structure makes it difficult for the buildings to be maintained consistently. In previous consultations many building owners have explained that this ownership structure has caused problems for many decades and there are no easy solutions.

We want to work collaboratively with building owners to solve the problem of external maintenance. This legislation will empower the City Renewal Authority to step in and take action, if necessary.