John Gorton Building Car Park Upgrade

PLEASE NOTE: Additional works have been incorporated into this project since April 2016 (see JGB Basement Waterproof Membrane Replacement and Associated Works section below).

In May 2015, the National Capital Authority (NCA) advised the public that it would upgrade the John Gorton Building southern car park, located in the Parliamentary Zone, Parkes, ACT. The project is enhancing safety and amenity for all car park user groups. This notice serves as an update of the project's progress and provides further details regarding the proposed works.


The NCA is responsible for the management of a range of car parks located on National Land throughout Canberra’s Central National Area.

As part of the introduction of pay parking on National Land, the NCA is undertaking a suite of works to upgrade motorist and pedestrian safety to parking areas. Works are being scheduled based on prioritisation assessment.

John Gorton Building Car Park Upgrade: November 2015 – May 2017

The John Gorton Building Car Park Upgrade (the Upgrade) has primarily affected the car park area and roadways located between the south of the John Gorton Building and King George Terrace. Parking in Dorothy Tangney Place, Parkes Place East and the car park located between the John Gorton Building and Kings Avenue has been affected by the Upgrade.

Key works for the Upgrade in progress include:

  • improved access and lighting for car parking in accordance with Australian standards;
  • improved motorcycle, bicycle and accessible parking arrangements;
  • improved egress to and from the car park including replacement footpaths and new raised crossings;
  • on and off street lighting and drainage improvements;
  • replacement car park surfaces and line markings; and
  • complementary soft landscaping including replacement trees.

To maintain public safety during construction, temporary fencing will be placed around the car park precinct including parts of Dorothy Tangney Place.

Vehicle access to the basement from the southern side of the John Gorton Building will be temporarily restricted to enable the adjoining roadway to be reconstructed. Staging and temporary parking arrangements in adjoining streets and car parks are helping to minimise inconvenience to building users during the Upgrade.

JGB Basement Waterproof Membrane Replacement and Associated Works

As part of undertaking the Upgrade, the NCA has been asked by the Department of Finance, manager of the John Gorton Building, to incorporate additional works. The proposed additional works primarily include waterproof membrane replacement works to part of the JGB Basement. The new works are located largely within the NCA’s car park upgrade work site but extend northwards into the southern forecourt located adjacent the Department of Environment and Energy’s main entry.

The JGB Basement membrane replacement and associated works are planned to be undertaken concurrent with the NCA’s current scope of car park works to help minimise future inconvenience to building users. However, the additional works in conjunction with the NCA’s car park works, will require extended closure of the Service Road immediately south of the JGB, in whole or in part, until May 2017 to accommodate additional upgrade works.

The reduction in access via the Service Road to the JGB has resulted in the following key temporary arrangements being put in place:

  • Main JGB entry for the Department of the Environment and Energy has been relocated and can be accessed from the Dorothy Tangney Place (eastern) side of the building;
  • Alternate parking arrangements made available at Dorothy Tangney Place, Parkes Place East and adjacent car parks;
  • Changed fire egress arrangements from the JGB southern façade;
  • Restricted cycling access to the JGB basement;
  • No vehicular or pedestrian access to the JGB basement (via car park ramps) or loading dock;
  • Alternate waste removal arrangements.

The above temporary arrangements have been summarised on the map below:

Due to additional upgrade work requirements, the NCA’s original car park replacement works program is anticipated to now be completed by May 2017.

Main John Gorton Building Car Park Reopening 

The new JGB main car park area was reopened from 11 April 2016. This has helped address much of the current car parking displacement being experienced as a result of the Upgrade. Minor works, including soft landscaping and tree planting, has continued in and around the main JGB car park since reopening. All car park users are encouraged to proceed with care if using the area and observe all Temporary Traffic Management and pedestrian redirection signage.

The new JGB main car park is a pay parking area and all parking restrictions, including permit parking areas, temporary or otherwise are signposted and must be observed. 

John Gorton Building Carpark Upgrade artist's aerial view

John Gorton Building Carpark Upgrade artists aerial view”

John Gorton Building Car Park Upgrade general arrangement plan without trees

John Gorton Building Carpark Upgrade general arrangement plan without trees

John Gorton Building Car Park Upgrade general arrangement plan showing all trees

John Gorton Building Carpark Upgrade general arrangement plan showing all trees

Commencement of the Upgrade

John Gorton Building Car Park Upgrade works commenced site establishment on 16 November 2015 including complementary temporary parking arrangements.

From 25 November 2015, a large portion of the main car park and the southern end of Dorothy Tangney Place was temporarily closed to accommodate the Upgrade.

Replacement Trees

The first stage of the Upgrade included the removal of 55 mature trees from within the car park. Many of these trees were in poor condition or had been adversely impacted by previous car park configurations.

When completed, the Upgrade will include 36 replacement trees. Replacement tree species include plane, oak and pear trees, carefully selected for their appropriateness to the existing Parliamentary Zone landscape structure. The replacement trees are being planted in improved soil conditions to promote healthy growth and be located in areas which offer better shade over time.

As part of the tree replacement works, seven Quercus faginea (Lusitanian Oak) trees will be planted to match the predominant oak species originally planted in the car park.  These new oaks will line the southern edge of the JGB ‘Campus Square’; the new landscape precinct being created in conjunction with the Upgrade, to enhance amenity and safety in the area.

Lusitanian Oak is believed to be an extremely rare tree species in the ACT. Given the rarity of the species, the replacement trees are being propagated from acorns gathered prior to the Upgrade commencing from existing mature Lusitanian Oak trees arranged generally along the southern boundary of the JGB car park.  These oak trees were part of the original plantings in the car park dating back to circa 1925–27, or possibly were planted as replacements soon after.  Many of the Lusitanian Oak plantings were retained when the JGB car park was redeveloped circa 1957–60.

Replacement oak tree plantings are scheduled to occur in Autumn 2017.

Temporary parking arrangements

Please refer to the Road Closure Notices webpage for updates on closures pertaining to the Upgrade and waterproof membrane replacement and associated works. 

Car parking will be temporarily displaced and rearranged around the John Gorton Building during the works. Local alternate parking is available, for example, in the car park located between Dorothy Tangney Place and Kings Avenue. Motorists are encouraged to use alternate parking areas, where necessary, but may choose to park elsewhere. There are other neighbouring parking areas in the Parliamentary Zone and Barton, which are within short walking distance should additional parking in the area be required.

Current accessible and permit parking spaces made unavailable during the Upgrade will be temporarily relocated. Some of these spaces will be provided in Parkes Place East, some in Dorothy Tangney Place and the remainder will be provided in the car park located between Dorothy Tangney Place and Kings Avenue.

The NCA will continuously monitor parking in the area throughout the Upgrade and make further operational adjustments to minimise inconvenience, if necessary. 

Further Details

Cleah Consulting has been engaged by the NCA to project manage the Upgrade. Should you have any queries or comments regarding the proposed works please feel free to contact the following:

Mr Christian Leah, Tel: 0417 409 291, Email:

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