Block 17 Section 1 Phillip

The ACT Government has commenced demolition of buildings on Block 17 Section 1 Phillip, the site of the old Woden High School and more recently, the CIT Woden campus. See map below.

Demolition works commenced in March 2020 and measures have been put in place to limit any impact on residents, including defined working hours, management of dust, restricting all contractor parking to the site, and managing truck movement routes.

Map showing the location of Block 17 Section 1 Phillip at the corner of Hindmarsh Drive and Ainsworth Street, and it's proximity to Woden Town Centre, Woden Cemetery and The Canberra Hospital.

As part of CIT’s Campus Modernisation Strategy, the Woden campus is now surplus to operational requirements.  During demolition, the car park on the eastern side of the site will continue to be used for parking.

What is happening?

The Woden CIT is being demolished to clear the land for future development. Following demolition, the ACT Government will work with the community and stakeholder groups to identify appropriate future uses.

Why are the buildings being demolished?

In 2018, a Hazardous Materials Survey of the site identified loose-fill friable asbestos in all but one of the original buildings.

The ACT Government considered several options to keep the buildings intact and found that the safest option and lowest cost to taxpayers, was to demolish the buildings and remediate the site to a stable condition. This would allow for new facilities to be built on the site which could better meet community needs into the future.

When will the demolition happen?

The demolition works have already commenced. At this stage, demolition, remediation and soil validation on the site is expected to be complete by October 2020.

Will the car parks on the site remain open?

The majority of carparks on the site have been closed and will remain shut for the duration of the demolition. The carpark accessible from Albermarle Place will remain open throughout the demolition for the exclusive use of Canberra Hospital staff.

What will be developed on the site?

The ACT Government is committed to ensuring that the site will remain zoned for community use. Whilst a long term future use for the site has not yet been identified, in the short term the remediated site will be utilised for temporary parking. More than 1100 parking spaces will be available at the new carpark for hospital staff, visitors and construction workers to use from 2021 while the ACT Government works to deliver modernisation projects across the campus such as the SPIRE Project, a new world-class emergency, surgical and critical healthcare facility.

Following the completion of the SPIRE Project, the ACT Government will work to identify a future use for the site and will keep the community informed and update this page as we progress.

How will demolition be conducted?

The contractor will oversee the demolition, removal and disposal of all infrastructure, waste material and vegetation on the site.

Friable asbestos and other hazardous substances (such as refrigerant, PCBs, lead etc.) will be removed from each building and its surrounding footprint, in accordance with the site’s Asbestos Removal Control Plan. Each building will be enclosed (with plastic sheeting) to facilitate the safe removal of asbestos. Decontamination units, vacuum cleaning of contaminated surfaces and air quality monitoring will also be employed.

Following the removal of asbestos, the contractor will then commence the sequential demolition and disposal of buildings and redundant underground services. Existing car park areas will not be demolished as part of this contract.

Some trees will need to be removed to make demolition safer and to allow access. The removal of these trees has been approved as per the demolition development application.

How will asbestos on the site be handled? How will community be kept safe during the removal and remediation process?

Hazardous materials surveys have identified this site as containing friable asbestos. All suitable precautions will be taken throughout the demolition and remediation process to ensure the safety of workers, nearby residents and the community.

The project’s contractor has been selected for their proven track record when it comes to handling asbestos and other hazardous materials. They are required to submit an Asbestos Removal Control Plan to the relevant authorities and then work closely with ACT Government representatives, including Worksafe, throughout the demolition process. Only suitably qualified professionals will be allowed to remove asbestos on the site, while all necessary safety measures—including dust suppression, air quality monitoring and waste management procedures—will be employed to ensure safety.

Further information about asbestos and its safe disposal can be found at www.asbestos.act.gov.au.

How will the site be kept safe during demolition?

The safety of workers and the community is paramount throughout the demolition. As well as the safe removal of friable asbestos and other hazardous substances (see above for more information on asbestos removal), the Contractor is required to comply with an approved WHS Management Plan and will be communicating closely with ACT Government representatives  to ensure general safety on and around the site. Amongst other key safety measures, you can expect to see new security fencing, security patrols, trucks with covered loads and traffic management procedures as the project progresses. Upon the project’s completion, the site will be left in a level, safe and stable condition.

What materials will be recycled?

Only materials that are not contaminated with asbestos will be recycled including concrete paths and steel covered walkways between the buildings.  The demolition does seek to recycle materials where possible.

Will the site be rezoned?

No - there is no intention to rezone the site. The site is currently zoned CFZ for community facility use and both the Woden Town Centre Master Plan and the Precinct Plan maintain community use zoning for this site.

How can I get involved in identifying a future use for the site?

The first step in preparing the site for redevelopment is to demolish the existing buildings.

The ACT Government will continue to update the community about the site demolition and future uses through this page and other relevant channels.

How and when will I receive more information?

We will be updating this page regularly as the project progresses. For further information, contact urbanprojects@act.gov.au