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Do the good citizens of Tuggeranong want to pay ~$150 million for a Civic to Gungahlin tram line?

By 21 July 2013 105

Alistair Coe is playing the outer suburban spite card quite nicely as he keeps up his fusilade on the light rail plans:

ACT Shadow Minister for Transport Alistair Coe has revealed that every household in Canberra will pay $4,419 for the construction of the Green/Labor light rail project.

Based on Australian Bureau of Statistics census data and the ACT Government’s figure of $614 million for the construction of light rail, each area of Canberra will pay the following:

– Belconnen: $163,240,533

– Gungahlin: $77,475,401

– Inner North: $95,358,418

– Inner South: $52,314,565

– Weston Creek: $42,451,730

– Woden: $38,717,816

– Tuggeranong: $144,893,538

“The cost of the project is an extraordinary amount, especially given most Canberrans will not use the service,” Mr Coe said today.

“The Government’s own patronage projections show that only 4,500 people will use light rail in the morning peak.

“I question the Government’s integrity for signing up to such a big infrastructure project when not even Shane Rattenbury, a member of the Light Rail Sub-Committee of Cabinet, has seen the cost benefit analysis.

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105 Responses to Do the good citizens of Tuggeranong want to pay ~$150 million for a Civic to Gungahlin tram line?
#1
gasman12:52 pm, 21 Jul 13

I would re-phrase the title of the post as “Can we afford to NOT put in a light rail system?”

Cars cost individuals and society money. A conservative estimate is about $5000 per car per year (purchase cost/depreciation, rego, insurance, interest, fuel, repairs etc). If we factor in health costs (injuries, obesity, heart disease) or the environmental impact and costs of car use, that amount doubles. Assuming Canberra has 100,000 cars, that equates to over $1 billion cost to society each year.

Putting in a light rail system is a big one-off cost, followed by a small annual cost.

If we as a city and society bring in a comprehensive sustainable transport system, we could conceivably halve the number of cars and car use in Canberra, ultimately saving money, time, carbon and making the city a more pleasant place to live.

#2
Diggety1:10 pm, 21 Jul 13

gasman said :

I would re-phrase the title of the post as “Can we afford to NOT put in a light rail system?”

Cars cost individuals and society money. A conservative estimate is about $5000 per car per year (purchase cost/depreciation, rego, insurance, interest, fuel, repairs etc). If we factor in health costs (injuries, obesity, heart disease) or the environmental impact and costs of car use, that amount doubles. Assuming Canberra has 100,000 cars, that equates to over $1 billion cost to society each year.

Putting in a light rail system is a big one-off cost, followed by a small annual cost.

If we as a city and society bring in a comprehensive sustainable transport system, we could conceivably halve the number of cars and car use in Canberra, ultimately saving money, time, carbon and making the city a more pleasant place to live.

I hope you’re not suggesting that the light rail proposed is a substitute to all private vehicles in Canberra.

#3
Blen_Carmichael1:18 pm, 21 Jul 13

“Everybody pays for light rail whether you use it or not.”

Myopic to say the least.

#4
bundah1:33 pm, 21 Jul 13

I consider that Coe’s fusillade has merit for as i’ve said previously Canberra does not have the population density,nor is it likely too in the foreseeable future,to justify this project!

#5
cheryanne1:35 pm, 21 Jul 13

Why not improve the existing bus services for the rest of us? I live in Kambah where we only get 3 morning and 3 evening buses that go to all the way to civic and at least one of those a week is canceled.

Why is everything about Gungahlin – NBN, light rail?

What about a bullet train to Sydney and Melbourne?
Something that we could all benefit from – quicker, cheaper access to other major cities for concerts etc.

#6
Ben_Dover1:50 pm, 21 Jul 13

This “project” gets more and more laughable each day. We voted the most of the greens out, but due to them getting Rattenbury in by the skin of his teeth we now have to put up with unwanted green vanity projects.

#7
banco1:52 pm, 21 Jul 13

gasman said :

I would re-phrase the title of the post as “Can we afford to NOT put in a light rail system?”

Cars cost individuals and society money. A conservative estimate is about $5000 per car per year (purchase cost/depreciation, rego, insurance, interest, fuel, repairs etc). If we factor in health costs (injuries, obesity, heart disease) or the environmental impact and costs of car use, that amount doubles. Assuming Canberra has 100,000 cars, that equates to over $1 billion cost to society each year.

Putting in a light rail system is a big one-off cost, followed by a small annual cost.

If we as a city and society bring in a comprehensive sustainable transport system, we could conceivably halve the number of cars and car use in Canberra, ultimately saving money, time, carbon and making the city a more pleasant place to live.

You must be one of those greens voters who can’t do basic maths. Firstly the annual cost could not be said to be small in the context of the Canberra budget. We have zero chance of reducing car use in Canberra by 25% let alone 50% given the layout of Canberra.

#8
JC2:07 pm, 21 Jul 13

cheryanne said :

Why is everything about Gungahlin – NBN, light rail?

Ever stopped to think the reason is because Gungahlin is the growth area of Canberra? They need new infrastructure. I recall when growing up in Belconnen in the 80′s that a place called Tuggeranong was getting all the new roads, the new schools, the new shopping centres for exactly the same reason, simply at the time it was the growth area of Canberra.

As for the NBN again the reason they need it first is because it is new Telstra put in a wonderful ‘new technology’ phone system in whereby rather than having a central exchange the exchanges were in the street. They call them RIM’s. This meant they could use fibre optic back to the main exchange rather than copper. Of course this was done before broadband and to an extent before dial-up internet and this in turn has limited their access to the same level of broadband as the rest of old Canberra that does have copper to the exchange has. The reason being when you have a RIM you need your ADSL equipment in the street, so only Telstra has bothered whereas in the rest of Canberra (except for a few small pockets such as Dunlop where I live) all the other ISP’s with their own networks install in the main Telstra exchange.

Also don’t forget that Gungahlin, large parts of Tuggernanong and elsewhere in Canberra (again Dunlop) were ‘denied’ access to Transact due to the fact that services were underground and Transact only went to places with poles. So it’s not like they get everything.

#9
JC2:20 pm, 21 Jul 13

Mr Coe is quite clearly playing this them and us card with his campaign against lightrail.

So Mr Coe if you are reading this can you please tell me how much as a resident of Belconnen that I paid to have all the roads, schools and infrastructure put into Tuggeranong and Gungahlin? Using the same argument you are using against light rail I should be up in arms that I paid for something that I don’t use. Now yes I can use those roads and infrastructure if I venture out that way, just like I will be able to use light rail if I wanted to go from the City to Dickson, the showground (provided of course they don’t move it) or Gungahlin.

Likewise I have no doubt those in the inner north, inner south, Woden and Weston Creek should be up in arms that they paid to build Gininderra Drive, Belconnen Way, William Hovell Drive, and of course the school that I went to. Afater all they didn’t gain any direct benefit out of that either did they?

As for now why am I paying part of the cost of the Majura Parkway, again I won’t use it. Now using your rubbery figures if my Belconnen household is paying over $4k for a $600m+ project then that means I am paying over $1000 for the Majura Parkway. (based on cost to the territory of $144m, being half the total cost as the Feds are picking up the rest). Now that’s not fair how about spending my $1000 worth in Belconnen.

Is my post stupid, yes it is, but so too is the argument that something shouldn’t be buillt because it doesn’t DIRECTLY benefit the whole of the ACT. Now note I did use the word directly, because even someone in the depths of Tuggeranong, or West Belconnen such as myself will see an indirect benifit from this project.

Also if the government broke their promise to the electorate and decided not to build it would you call them liars that cannot be trusted? I reckon you would.

Ok end of rant, but let me give you fair warning Mr Coe, like I said before the last election if you want me to vote for your lot, please spend the next 3 years in opposition proving to me WHY I should vote for YOU, not why you think I shouldn’t vote Labor. And whinging about stuff like this isn’t the way to win my vote, quite the opposite in fact as I don’t believe you have any better solutions or vision.

#10
JC2:23 pm, 21 Jul 13

banco said :

You must be one of those greens voters who can’t do basic maths. Firstly the annual cost could not be said to be small in the context of the Canberra budget. We have zero chance of reducing car use in Canberra by 25% let alone 50% given the layout of Canberra.

True light rail won’t reduce car usage for the most part. However light rail coupled with the high density housing that has and is being constructed along the Northborne Ave/Flemmington Road corridor will reduce future demand for existing road space, which in turn leads to an indirect savings in capital investment in roads to cater for the extra demand and of course the added ongoing road maintenance that goes with the capital expenditure.

#11
JC2:24 pm, 21 Jul 13

bundah said :

I consider that Coe’s fusillade has merit for as i’ve said previously Canberra does not have the population density,nor is it likely too in the foreseeable future,to justify this project!

Canberra doesn’t as a whole have the density that is true. But the Northborne Ave and Flemmington Road corridor does. Oh where are they planning light rail, yep down these two very roads.

#12
neanderthalsis2:50 pm, 21 Jul 13

cheryanne said :

Why is everything about Gungahlin – NBN, light rail?

It’s all about the marginals. A quick look at the 2012 election results by polling booth shows that Gungahlin polling booths consistently polled strongly in favour of the Libs. If the Gungers ‘burbs were to sepatate from the “inner urban nirvanaville” (thanks Barnaby) of the inner north, you would probably, based on 2012 returns, see an all Lib electorate.

#13
kakosi2:56 pm, 21 Jul 13

I pay for buses and schools in my taxes which I personally don’t use, so why not a rail system?

We really are backwards in not building for the future – a light rail system was supposed to be part of this city from the start, and we’re supposed to have another dam built by now for the growing population. We don’t have enough hospitals for the population either.

#14
dungfungus3:02 pm, 21 Jul 13

bundah said :

I consider that Coe’s fusillade has merit for as i’ve said previously Canberra does not have the population density,nor is it likely too in the foreseeable future,to justify this project!

So long as the Government views the Capital Metro project as a carbon copy (pun regretted) of the Gold Coast light rail it will always be unviable, unpopular and electorally, suicidal.
The Government isn’t looking at more appropriate rail options which are half the cost to build and to run. Also, total lack of vision on what a light rail could do for Canberra and the region if it were immediately extended across the lake to the Parliamentary Triangle and on to Queanbeyan via Kingston.
All that is going to happen is that the Government will continue to set up of administartions to build it, do more studies etc. until just before the election in 2016 when it will be announced that it is “too expensive” and it will be binned.
Corbell promised to call for “Expressions of Interest” (which may liberate some better options) last November – so far only silence.

#15
c_c™3:31 pm, 21 Jul 13

Would Alistair Coe care to comment on why Tuggeranong residents had to chip in to pay for the GDE? For the matter we’re helping build a new hospital campus on the Northside too.

The Liberal ethos is basically don’t spend anything, plan one news-cycle ahead rather than one generation ahead, and throw mud to fill in the gaps. Really sickens me what a sad bunch the opposition are, because we actually do need a decent opposition.

#16
bundah3:36 pm, 21 Jul 13

Let’s just have a look at the projected population by 2019 for the various urban areas:

Gung 55,000
Inner North 57,000
Belco 95,000
Woden 35,000
Weston 24,000
Tuggers 88,000
Inner South 29,000
Molonglo 10,000

So the ratio northside/southside is approx. the same. When one looks at the population densities north/south they too are similar.

My argument is that generally speaking Canberra’s population density ranges from low to medium regardless of location.Of course there are exceptions to the rule however as far as the corridor from Gungahlin to the City is concerned,judging by those figures,i don’t believe that the number of people living along that route is sufficiently great to warrant light rail.

But I suspect it matters not what I or anyone else here thinks for it would appear that Corbell and Co are determined for the project to go ahead and only time will tell whether they succeed.

#17
Innovation4:10 pm, 21 Jul 13

I have to admit that is a clever way to present the negative side. The Libs could probably do something like that for nearly all location specific or targeted expenditure which would set various population groups against each other nicely. For example, the Libs could take this stance in the unlikely event in our lifetimes that light rail is extended anywhere else in the ACT.

Personally though, I’m still not convinced about light rail vs other transport modes such as multi articulated buses nor do I understand why the cost difference and costs per km are so high for this specific route.

#18
Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd4:37 pm, 21 Jul 13

The real question is, is there such a thing as a *good tuggeranong resident*(lol)?

But seriously, anybody against a light rail here has no brain.

#19
bundah5:19 pm, 21 Jul 13

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

The real question is, is there such a thing as a *good tuggeranong resident*(lol)?

But seriously, anybody against a light rail here has no brain.

Source?

#20
cranky5:59 pm, 21 Jul 13

Dungfungas @ #14

Good grief. I thoroughly agree with you

#21
wildturkeycanoe6:07 pm, 21 Jul 13

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

The real question is, is there such a thing as a *good tuggeranong resident*(lol)?

But seriously, anybody against a light rail here has no brain.

Me no brain,
Don’t like train,
Pay my tax but get no gain.
Belco growing,
but traffic slow flowing,
This government needs some overthrowin’.

#22
JC6:25 pm, 21 Jul 13

neanderthalsis said :

cheryanne said :

Why is everything about Gungahlin – NBN, light rail?

It’s all about the marginals. A quick look at the 2012 election results by polling booth shows that Gungahlin polling booths consistently polled strongly in favour of the Libs.

If the Gungers ‘burbs were to sepatate from the “inner urban nirvanaville” (thanks Barnaby) of the inner north, you would probably, based on 2012 returns, see an all Lib electorate.

Crap. It is all about spending where it is needed and a growing area needs more money for new infrastructure than established areas. As mentioned above it was all that long ago that Tuggernanong was getting the disproportionate share of spending because it was growing.

#23
JC6:27 pm, 21 Jul 13

Innovation said :

I have to admit that is a clever way to present the negative side. The Libs could probably do something like that for nearly all location specific or targeted expenditure which would set various population groups against each other nicely. For example, the Libs could take this stance in the unlikely event in our lifetimes that light rail is extended anywhere else in the ACT.

Personally though, I’m still not convinced about light rail vs other transport modes such as multi articulated buses nor do I understand why the cost difference and costs per km are so high for this specific route.

Very true, and not just for the libs. Any project you could do something like this to show how others are paying. But that is not the point really, there is absolutely and utterly nothing in terms of infrastructure in this town or planet for that matter that benefits everyone equally. Yet that is what many on this board seem to want. The mentality irks me somewhat as being rather selfish.

#24
Pork Hunt6:27 pm, 21 Jul 13

wildturkeycanoe said :

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

The real question is, is there such a thing as a *good tuggeranong resident*(lol)?

But seriously, anybody against a light rail here has no brain.

Me no brain,
Don’t like train,
Pay my tax but get no gain.
Belco growing,
but traffic slow flowing,
This government needs some overthrowin’.

Nice rap..

#25
Diggety6:29 pm, 21 Jul 13

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

The real question is, is there such a thing as a *good tuggeranong resident*(lol)?

But seriously, anybody against a light rail here has no brain.

Wow.

It appears Nick Cater should write another chapter of his book to accommodate imbaciles in the class equation.

#26
dungfungus6:45 pm, 21 Jul 13

cranky said :

Dungfungas @ #14

Good grief. I thoroughly agree with you

Watch this space.

#27
milkman7:37 pm, 21 Jul 13

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

The real question is, is there such a thing as a *good tuggeranong resident*(lol)?

But seriously, anybody against a light rail here has no brain.

Based on the numbers and the opportunity cost, anybody for light rail in its current form has no brain. It’s an ill-conceived, expensive joke.

#28
bigred7:53 pm, 21 Jul 13

but the good citizens of Tuggers will like the cross subsidisation from Gungahlin folk as the light rail approaches their abodes. Next thing “the boy” will be opposing light rail on environmental grounds. Toot Toot!

#29
HiddenDragon8:18 pm, 21 Jul 13

Even if – and I still think it’s a very big IF – the initial segment of the light rail network actually happens, I fully expect that there will be many compelling reasons (mainly financial) why the rest of Canberra will never see it. The rest of us will go on paying for the initial segment for ever after, and many people in the areas ostensibly serviced by it will still be using cars because (just like rail/tram networks in other cities) it will necessarily be limited and inflexible in its coverage.

#30
Thumper8:37 pm, 21 Jul 13

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

The real question is, is there such a thing as a *good tuggeranong resident*(lol)?

But seriously, anybody against a light rail here has no brain.

Why?

I’m not against it at all, but tell me why?

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