Over the past few years, Yowani Country club has been planning redevelopment of the eastern edge of its 8.6-ha site, and has recently submitted a new mixed-use development application towards this project.
The club, established in 1954, is aiming to diversify its revenue base as well as meet the needs of the community, as it looks to shore up its future.
Yowani Country Club has also taken advantage of the ACT Government’s commitment to reduce poker machines through the Gaming Machine Authorisation Surrender Incentive, which offers a bonus of $5000 per licence if a club retires all of its licences. Yowani Country Club had 21 licences and is now ‘pokies-free’.
Minister for Gaming, Shane Rattenbury, acknowledged the club’s achievement.
“Providing a financial incentive to clubs and hotels to reduce the number of poker machines they operate, the program supports ACT community clubs such as Yowani to pursue new revenue streams which meet an emerging community need, without exposure to gaming machines,” Minister Rattenbury said.
Instead, the development aims to include a residential precinct to house up to 5,000; a commercial space, and recreational amenities including a sports club bar and facilities.
Yowani aims to make the development good for both the environment and the neighbourhood by focusing on sustainability and creative design.
While the golf course will stay, there are plans for a new clubhouse as well as plans to ‘naturalise’ the existing green space, especially around Sullivan’s Creek, which runs through the golf course.
The focus is to be sensitive to the environment, integrating the development into the landscape and ensuring the well-being of the green space.
While there has been community consultation, the site is surrounded by sporting facilities, meaning engagement has been minimal. Some local residents are keen to see more detailed plans for the entire site rather than piece by piece.
Australian Institute of Architects’ Shannon Battinson believes that given the location, this development is a golden opportunity for creating what could be a signature building for Canberra.
“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity to look at how well we can actually do that development within an existing suburb.”