In a media release from the Chief Minister today:
“The ACT Government has listed a light rail system for the ACT as one of the major infrastructure projects it believes worthy of consideration for Commonwealth funding under the $20 billion Building Australia Fund.
In response to a request from the Rudd Federal Government for suggested major infrastructure projects, the ACT Government has proposed a light rail system linking Civic to the Airport, Parliamentary Triangle and major town centres — a project that could cost around $1 billion to achieve.”
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Damien Haas, Convener of the ACT Light Rail group spoke briefly to the Chief Minister this afternoon at the Legislative Assembly and reiterated that ACT Light Rail would like to see more detail than a simple press release. Regardless it appears that the consistent lobbying by ACT Light Rail is now starting to pay dividends.
There is no point in the Government putting the cart before the horse and just saying that a light rail network will be built – if the government has good quality information it can make informed decisions.
ACT Light Rail still contends that next step forward is a unbiased feasibility study which must include a proper cost benefit analysis. (i.e. showing government revenue increases complemented by associated cost decreases – e.g.: additional rates collected through increased population densities along light rail corridors, vs. reduced outlay on new road construction).
Finally ACT Light Rail will be holding a major debate regarding light rail in September (date and venue to be determined). We are looking for speakers who will be prepared to speak for and against Light Rail… we are sure that RiotACT would be fertile ground to solicit speakers both for an against.