Heritage advocates lash government decision to ditch public housing museum

Canberra heritage advocates have lashed an ACT government decision to quietly ditch plans for a museum preserving units at the Northbourne Flats, saying they were not told about the backdown.

National Trust ACT spokesman Eric Martin said he had understood the government was still considering a new “house museum” in the precinct to showcase the capital’s recent architecture, and only read in The Canberra Times on Wednesday that this was not the case.

The ACT government denied it had committed to the plan, describing it as “an idea floated early on in our discussions on the renewal of the Northbourne corridor”, while the ACT Heritage Council said it was unaware a site had ever been selected.

In June 2015, during a row over plans to demolish the Northbourne Avenue public housing buildings for private ones, Chief Minister Andrew Barr said it was “envisaged that the ground floor of the Lyneham Tower will be converted to a heritage museum in the future.”

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