ABC News: New ASIO HQ branded 'barbed wire city'

ABC News: New ASIO HQ branded 'barbed wire city'

ASIO Building
Artist impression of the entrance to the ASIO New Central Office from Constitution Avenue (Source: ASIO)

The ABC News is reporting that ACT Senator Gary Humphries backs Campbell residents’ concerns about the size and nature of the new ASIO headquarters being built on Constitution Avenue.

ACT Senator Gary Humphries has backed residents’ concerns about the new ASIO headquarters being built in Canberra’s inner north.

The $600 million building on Constitution Avenue near the suburb of Campbell will eventually house 1,800 employees.

The project takes up a complete block and Campbell residents say it is too big for the area.

Senator Humphries says he is not sure it is the right building for an area which planners hope will become a grand boulevard.

“I think with these setbacks that we’re looking at with this ASIO headquarters I just can’t see that this is going to be compatible with the concept of that was designed by Burley Griffin and which has recently been reinforced with the Griffith Legacy concept which has been affirmed by the NCA,” he said.

National planners have dismissed claims the new headquarters will become a ‘barbed wire city’ in the heart of Canberra.

National Capital Authority (NCA) chief executive Gary Rake says it satisfies planning requirements.

“I don’t think barbed wire city is a fair representation of it either, the ASIO website has from the very front page a link to an artists’ impression the view of the building from Constitution Avenue, yes the building is set back but it appears very park-like in the setback,” he said.

“There are, due the nature of the building, some security measures there but they mostly take the form of bollards that would prevent vehicles from getting close to the building.”

  • Information on the new ASIO Central Office is  available for inspection on the ASIO website in their “Public Statements” section.

Note: copyright of the material in this clipping resides with Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Usage permitted in accordance with the Australian Copyright Act 1968, Section 42: Fair dealing for purpose of reporting news. Source: ABC News Online


  1. I am also concerned at the lack of appropriate public consultation on this enormous building on such a sensitive and significant parkand site on Lake Burley Griffin. It is certainly out of proportion with the small lake. “Public consultation” consisted of pasting documents on a government website labelled “Commonwealth new building project 2009/8414”. If you compare this to the amount and type of consultation that occurred over Parliament House, you can see why people are upset. The first most members of the public knew about it was when the enormous blue construction fence went up. It’s a bit like the consultation referred to in Douglas Adams’ Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy (if my memory serves me right) where consultation on construction of the space hyper bypass which would wipe out the Earth, was a notice posted in a locked room in the basement of the town hall!

    Ros Gordon

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