Project status: Closed

How you had YourSay:

In 2019-20, the ACT Government sought feedback from stakeholders and the community about the draft City Renewal Authority and Suburban Land Agency Amendment Bill 2020. The Amendment was endorsed by the Legislative Assembly on 3 March 2021 and is now in force. This Amendment sets out the process for revitalising the Sydney and Melbourne buildings and, under clause 36B, states that the minister ‘may ask the City Renewal Authority to prepare a draft Revitalisation Plan’.

Since early 2020, the City Renewal Authority has been meeting with owners of the Sydney and Melbourne Buildings to draft a Revitalisation Plan and update the Sydney and Melbourne Buildings Conservation Management Plan. The Revitalisation Plan sets out the timeframe and implementation program options for the revitalisation works. More information about the Revitalisation Plan and its role in the amended legislation can be found on page 4 of the City Renewal Authority and Suburban Land Agency Amendment Act 2020.

The consultation on the draft amendment to City Renewal Authority and Suburban Land Agency Amendment Bill 2019 is now closed. Thanks for your input.

The City Renewal Authority have reviewed the feedback and the listening report has been provided to the ACT Government for review and consideration of the amendment.

The draft legislation 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.

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

  • update the current conservation management plan which outlines the history and heritage features of the buildings that are to be kept
  • develop a revitalisation plan that will outline the work needed to the public facing parts of the building.

To stay up to date with the revitalisation of the Sydney and Melbourne buildings please email

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 owners, each responsible for their own property, including their own section of the façade and walkway. While some of the buildings are managed by strata manager, there is no single body responsible for maintaining the buildings. It is the responsibility of each building’s owner to maintain their appearance.

The 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.