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TOOT! TOOT! Even the All Blacks are laughing at the tram

By 11 June 2014 24

From:

http://i.stuff.co.nz/business/opinion-analysis/10140917/Light-rail-off-Capital-agenda-for-now

“Second, the project is to be funded by a special land levy, charged on those properties that were judged by planners to receive an uplift in value from the installation of light rail. This quickly drew criticism from the Property Council of Australia who labelled it as yet another tax on an already strained sector.

Adding the final insult to injury, even before the first sod had been turned (due in 2016), the project is already expected to see costs blow out significantly, as engineers will have to reposition underground wires and pipes along the route. This comes as ACT battles to rein in A$100m budget shortfall (without the cost impact of light rail).

All in all, there are numerous warning signs suggesting Canberra’s light rail vision is going to end in taxpayer tears.”

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24 Responses to
TOOT! TOOT! Even the All Blacks are laughing at the tram
dungfungus 2:01 pm
11 Jun 14
#1

It’s the same story eall over the world where these not so light rail projects are flavour of the month.
This one about the capital of NZ shelving their proposed light rail is a good primer for what could happen here in Canberra.
I say “could” because the stakes are a bit higher in Canberra due to the ironclad deal made with The Green.
Then again, what is The Green going to do if the ACT Labor minority government renege? He is hardly going to switch his allegiance to the Liberals is he?
The ironclad agreement must be getting some rust patches on it now.
This is better than waiting for the next episode of Fargo.

astrojax 4:24 pm
11 Jun 14
#2

dungfungus said :

This is better than waiting for the next episode of Fargo.

this is just an amusing debacle – waiting for fargo is excruciating…

damien haas 4:48 pm
11 Jun 14
#3

I am not sure what the relevance to the ACT is by linking to a NZ article about a fundamentally different transport project (I guess all light rail projects are the same right?), but i will just clarify that there will be no levy to build Capital Metro.

Read the ACT Light Rail article here: http://www.actlightrail.info/2014/06/treasurer-rules-out-levy-to-pay-for.html

Also, the costs to move infrastructure underneath Northbourne have been factored in already.

I hope the new owners of RiotACT do a bit of due diligence on the bona fides of the posters putting articles up. Some people with specific agendas were banned by previous operators of the site for good reason. There is nothing wrong with debate, but when one party resorts to lying, is it a debate?

HiddenDragon 5:50 pm
11 Jun 14
#4

Well may they laugh.

The recently reported decision/pronouncement (whatever it was) from the Chief Minister, which was presumably intended to allay some concerns about costs, is not so soothing when you look at the wording (as reported) – fairly conditional, and with quite a bit of wiggle-room built in.

Anyway, what’s six or seven hundred million, when you say it quickly – and look over yonder, it’s a vision!

John Moulis 7:36 pm
11 Jun 14
#5

Coming from the same people who abolished the trolley buses in Auckland in 1982 and Wellington in 1989, a huge folly on par with the abolition of trams in Sydney in the early 1960s, a network which the NSW government is now scrambling to rebuild.

bikhet 7:36 pm
11 Jun 14
#6

damien haas said :

I am not sure what the relevance to the ACT is by linking to a NZ article about a fundamentally different transport project (I guess all light rail projects are the same right?), but i will just clarify that there will be no levy to build Capital Metro.

Did you read the complete article? While the first four paragraphs are about a “fundamentally different transport project” the following eight paragraphs are about the proposed ACT Metro.

Pandy 8:01 pm
11 Jun 14
#7

damien haas said :

I am not sure what the relevance to the ACT is by linking to a NZ article about a fundamentally different transport project (I guess all light rail projects are the same right?), but i will just clarify that there will be no levy to build Capital Metro.

Read the ACT Light Rail article here: http://www.actlightrail.info/2014/06/treasurer-rules-out-levy-to-pay-for.html

Also, the costs to move infrastructure underneath Northbourne have been factored in already.

I hope the new owners of RiotACT do a bit of due diligence on the bona fides of the posters putting articles up. Some people with specific agendas were banned by previous operators of the site for good reason. There is nothing wrong with debate, but when one party resorts to lying, is it a debate?

Well I have never been banned LOL! Nor am I lying by merely quoting a NZ article that takes an amusing take from one national capital to another. It does not take much research to show that light rail (fundamentally the same) for Wellington has been canned. Oh if you want to see what they said and see pretty pictures of trams including economic and social modelling, go no further than at the start from:

http://www.gw.govt.nz/assets/Transport/Regional-transport/PT-Spine-Study/PTSS-Final-Reports-2013/FINAL-PTSS-Summary-Brochure-Low-res.pdf

Giggle

gooterz 1:09 am
12 Jun 14
#8

damien haas said :

I am not sure what the relevance to the ACT is by linking to a NZ article about a fundamentally different transport project (I guess all light rail projects are the same right?), but i will just clarify that there will be no levy to build Capital Metro.

Read the ACT Light Rail article here: http://www.actlightrail.info/2014/06/treasurer-rules-out-levy-to-pay-for.html

Also, the costs to move infrastructure underneath Northbourne have been factored in already.

I hope the new owners of RiotACT do a bit of due diligence on the bona fides of the posters putting articles up. Some people with specific agendas were banned by previous operators of the site for good reason. There is nothing wrong with debate, but when one party resorts to lying, is it adebate?

I take it they are going to find money when they dig up northbourne? It has to be paid one way or another, a reduction in services is just as bad as a levy.

I take it you must live in walking distance of the route?

wildturkeycanoe 8:08 am
12 Jun 14
#9

damien haas said :

I hope the new owners of RiotACT do a bit of due diligence on the bona fides of the posters putting articles up. Some people with specific agendas were banned by previous operators of the site for good reason. There is nothing wrong with debate, but when one party resorts to lying, is it a debate?

And because the government has “evidence” and “studies” they aren’t lying? Quite obviously most Canberrans are opposed and will not accept the arguments the government id putting forward as honest or indeed convincing.
As another post on RA recently showed, it only takes around 660 people to respond to a survey to reflect the opinion of all constituents. I’d say we have pretty close to those figures in the articles debated here about light rail, showing a trend that strongly opposes this ridiculous idea.

rommeldog56 8:37 am
12 Jun 14
#10

I hear today that the ACT Libs have commissioned a report that shows that the Light Rail will cost about M$915, not the M$416 still regularly touted by the ACT Gov’t – a figure that is by Katy Gallaghers own admission, 3 odd years old now.

Whilst you have to take both figures with a grain of salt, the capital cost is astounding.

Given that the current ACT Gov’t is a minority Gov’t IMHO it would have severe difficulty claiming a “mandate” to implement Light Rail. Given the controversity and potential cost to all Canberra residents/Ratepayers, should not this issue go back to the people for decision/vote – either as a stand alone issue or at the next ACT election ?

davo101 9:19 am
12 Jun 14
#11

damien haas said :

but i will just clarify that there will be no levy to build Capital Metro.

Wait, what? Was there a coup last night and Mr Barr has been replaced as the Territory treasurer?

damien haas said :

there is nothing wrong with debate, but when one party resorts to lying, is it a debate?

That’s a bit harsh. I wouldn’t call it lying, I would suggest that it’s rather more being economical with the release of information. I agree that the ACT Government should stop slapping “commercially sensitive” on everything and release all of the information on the plan so we can start to have a proper debate.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 9:22 am
12 Jun 14
#12

davo101 9:49 am
12 Jun 14
#13

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Not economically viable.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-11/light-rail-in-canberra-not-economically-viable/5516970?&section=news

So are the Liberals going to show us their working?

dungfungus 10:00 am
12 Jun 14
#14

davo101 said :

damien haas said :

but i will just clarify that there will be no levy to build Capital Metro.

Wait, what? Was there a coup last night and Mr Barr has been replaced as the Territory treasurer?

damien haas said :

there is nothing wrong with debate, but when one party resorts to lying, is it a debate?

That’s a bit harsh. I wouldn’t call it lying, I would suggest that it’s rather more being economical with the release of information. I agree that the ACT Government should stop slapping “commercially sensitive” on everything and release all of the information on the plan so we can start to have a proper debate.

The “what’s under Northbourne Avenue audit” that was commissioned last year hasn’t been heard of since.
I understand there are lots of asbestos cement water pipes and fibro ducts there which will require excavation and re-location if they choose to build railway or a busway up the median strip.
Even a monorail would require some foundations for pylons.
Very Light Rail wouldn’t require excavation more that 200mm which wouldn’t disurb any existing services but the Euro Tram cartel doesn’t have this product.

Reprobate 10:14 am
12 Jun 14
#15

Yesterday Canberra was reported as an investment market to be treated with caution: “Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth already have major surpluses of inner-city apartments, and Sydney, Canberra and Darwin are heading in that direction.” Source: http://www.news.com.au/finance/real-estate/where-should-you-avoid-investing-in-property/story-fncq3era-1226950583016

Given the local apartment market is already seen as reaching saturation point. plans to turn over large areas of Northbourne Ave and Flemington Road (including all of the area currently occupied by the Thoroughbred park horse racing track) into high density housing to service the line just magnifies the madness of this glorified Green Tram scheme.

Ben_Dover 11:37 am
12 Jun 14
#16

Has the “we don’t want the bloody thing” factor been “factored in” yet?

The fact that the only Greenie on the town council got in by the skin of his teeth should have been a bloody big hint that we do not.

Could this be the largest and costliest financial and political suicide note in Australian political history?

dungfungus 12:12 pm
12 Jun 14
#17

Ben_Dover said :

Has the “we don’t want the bloody thing” factor been “factored in” yet?

The fact that the only Greenie on the town council got in by the skin of his teeth should have been a bloody big hint that we do not.

Could this be the largest and costliest financial and political suicide note in Australian political history?

The proposed lakeside convention centre could edge it out in a photo finish.

Pandy 4:23 pm
30 Jun 14
#18

damien haas said :

I am not sure what the relevance to the ACT is by linking to a NZ article about a fundamentally different transport project (I guess all light rail projects are the same right?), but i will just clarify that there will be no levy to build Capital Metro.

Read the ACT Light Rail article here: http://www.actlightrail.info/2014/06/treasurer-rules-out-levy-to-pay-for.html

Also, the costs to move infrastructure underneath Northbourne have been factored in already.

I hope the new owners of RiotACT do a bit of due diligence on the bona fides of the posters putting articles up. Some people with specific agendas were banned by previous operators of the site for good reason. There is nothing wrong with debate, but when one party resorts to lying, is it a debate?

Well will you look at the lengths one had to go to respond to this article!!!!!!!:

http://www.actlightrail.info/2014/06/a-piece-of-krupp-indeed-anti-light-rail.html

JC 12:44 am
01 Jul 14
#19

rommeldog56 said :

I hear today that the ACT Libs have commissioned a report that shows that the Light Rail will cost about M$915, not the M$416 still regularly touted by the ACT Gov’t – a figure that is by Katy Gallaghers own admission, 3 odd years old now.

Whilst you have to take both figures with a grain of salt, the capital cost is astounding.

Given that the current ACT Gov’t is a minority Gov’t IMHO it would have severe difficulty claiming a “mandate” to implement Light Rail.

Firstly don’t think the government is claiming a mandate, however before the election both they and the Greens went to the electorate with a light rail plan. Labors was to investigate before next election, the Greens to start building.

On the cost the Government has made it clear that the costs will be higher due to inflation etc. Quite a common issue for long term projects.

As for the cost, yep $500m-$1b sounds a lot, but I am guessing you have no great issue with the $250m cost of the Majura Parkway, which will only be of benefit to those in Eastern Tuggeranong heading to the Fedral highway or Gungahlin and some Gungahlin residents.

davo101 9:28 am
01 Jul 14
#20

JC said :

As for the cost, yep $500m-$1b sounds a lot, but I am guessing you have no great issue with the $250m cost of the Majura Parkway, which will only be of benefit to those in Eastern Tuggeranong heading to the Federal highway or Gungahlin and some Gungahlin residents.

Good to see some Rattenbury logic going on there. Some basic facts:

Majura Parkway:
Cost to ACT $144 million
Net present value of project $480 million

Tram Plan:
Cost to ACT $615 million
Net present value of project $10 million

If you can’t see the difference between those two projects then you really should not be making infrastructure investment decisions.

dungfungus 9:33 am
01 Jul 14
#21

JC said :

rommeldog56 said :

I hear today that the ACT Libs have commissioned a report that shows that the Light Rail will cost about M$915, not the M$416 still regularly touted by the ACT Gov’t – a figure that is by Katy Gallaghers own admission, 3 odd years old now.

Whilst you have to take both figures with a grain of salt, the capital cost is astounding.

Given that the current ACT Gov’t is a minority Gov’t IMHO it would have severe difficulty claiming a “mandate” to implement Light Rail.

Firstly don’t think the government is claiming a mandate, however before the election both they and the Greens went to the electorate with a light rail plan. Labors was to investigate before next election, the Greens to start building.

On the cost the Government has made it clear that the costs will be higher due to inflation etc. Quite a common issue for long term projects.

As for the cost, yep $500m-$1b sounds a lot, but I am guessing you have no great issue with the $250m cost of the Majura Parkway, which will only be of benefit to those in Eastern Tuggeranong heading to the Fedral highway or Gungahlin and some Gungahlin residents.

The Majura Parkway balances out the GDE which only benefits those in Western Tuggeranong and some Gungahlin residents.
In today’s costs, the Majura Parkway was built 10 times as fast at a fraction of the cost of the GDE.
The estimated cost of the City to Gungahlin light rail has more than doubled in less that 2 years. It will be deemed unaffordable and abandoned before the 2016 election.

JC 9:49 am
01 Jul 14
#22

davo101 said :

Good to see some Rattenbury logic going on there. Some basic facts:

Majura Parkway:
Cost to ACT $144 million
Net present value of project $480 million

Tram Plan:
Cost to ACT $615 million
Net present value of project $10 million

If you can’t see the difference between those two projects then you really should not be making infrastructure investment decisions.

Good to see some Abbott/Hockey/Hanson logic going on there.

Firstly whilst net cost to the ACT of Majura parkway is indeed $144m, total cost is $288m. Oops I under estimated it. That is the important figure. Of course no doubt that $288m will be high by the end of it all.

Secondly using your light rail figures you say it has a net positive benefit, based on economics alone. So it is viable after all hey? Not a great return, but still positive and viable using your figures.

Now of course none of the figures take into account the social and environmental benefits of both projects hence the Abbott/Hockey/Hanson angle. Looking after the environment and people (except the well to do, who I guess prefer roads to public transport) is secondary to them isn’t it?

dungfungus 10:09 am
01 Jul 14
#23

JC said :

davo101 said :

Good to see some Rattenbury logic going on there. Some basic facts:

Majura Parkway:
Cost to ACT $144 million
Net present value of project $480 million

Tram Plan:
Cost to ACT $615 million
Net present value of project $10 million

If you can’t see the difference between those two projects then you really should not be making infrastructure investment decisions.

Good to see some Abbott/Hockey/Hanson logic going on there.

Firstly whilst net cost to the ACT of Majura parkway is indeed $144m, total cost is $288m. Oops I under estimated it. That is the important figure. Of course no doubt that $288m will be high by the end of it all.

Secondly using your light rail figures you say it has a net positive benefit, based on economics alone. So it is viable after all hey? Not a great return, but still positive and viable using your figures.

Now of course none of the figures take into account the social and environmental benefits of both projects hence the Abbott/Hockey/Hanson angle. Looking after the environment and people (except the well to do, who I guess prefer roads to public transport) is secondary to them isn’t it?

The carbon cost involved with setting up a light rail is enormous. Just because there may be “zero emissions” from the tram doesn’t mean it is “clean and green”.
Looking after the environment my **se!

davo101 10:24 am
01 Jul 14
#24

JC said :

Good to see some Abbott/Hockey/Hanson logic going on there.

It’s actually engineering logic.

JC said :

Secondly using your light rail figures you say it has a net positive benefit, based on economics alone. So it is viable after all hey? Not a great return, but still positive and viable using your figures.

Yeap, it’s viable so long as everything goes exactly to plan. The slightest of headwinds will make that NPV negative. Seriously, would you risk over $600 million to be $10 million better off?

JC said :

Now of course none of the figures take into account the social and environmental benefits of both projects

Err, yes they do. Almost all of the benefits that are valued in these projects are social or environmental (they are things like: reduced travel times, air pollution, noise pollution, traffic accidents, urban separation). The only benefits that aren’t are reduced vehicle operating costs and avoided road damage.

As I said if you can’t tell the difference between these two project then you really shouldn’t be making the call.

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