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ACT Government now considers Light Rail a priority

By ACT Light Rail - 10 July 2008 47

ACT Light Rail logoIn a media release from the Chief Minister today:

Stanhope lists light rail as ACT priority for Commonwealth infrastructure funding

“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.”

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.

What’s Your opinion?

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47 Responses to
ACT Government now considers Light Rail a priority
Thumper 11:36 am 10 Jul 08

But kiddies who live in safe electorates only get coal, no matter who’s in power.

To the poolroom for you my pretty…

PM 11:22 am 10 Jul 08

1. The Stanhope govt is on the record as saying light rail isn’t for Canberra.
2. The submission to the Rudd govt won’t include proper costing.
3. If they were serious, they’d consider the future possibility of light rail in all their current planning proposals for the Belco town centre.
4. It’s an election year.

Do the math.

FredJ 11:13 am 10 Jul 08

If it does link the major urban centres with civic and the airport, is linked to park and ride, SAFE bicycle parking or the ability to easily carry bicycles on it, then I would use it a lot.

tylersmayhem 11:08 am 10 Jul 08

But what I’m seeing is not just doubt that it will happen, but comments suggesting that it’s a waste of money, electric cars would be better etc. I can understand people being sceptical about it ever actually eventuating – I am. But I don’t understand the bagging of the idea?!

caf 10:10 am 10 Jul 08

It’s not even a promise, it’s a “we’ve asked Santa for this”. But kiddies who live in safe electorates only get coal, no matter who’s in power.

LG 10:03 am 10 Jul 08

I like it Thumper

Thumper 9:56 am 10 Jul 08

I’d like to see an election promises thread so we can keep tabs on all parties in the run up to the election.

So far we have seen light rail proposal and free buses from Stanhope and cutting of stamp duty for new house buyers by Zed (I can’t spell his last name.

I’ll post a new thread about it later in the day if people are amenable to the idea.

che 9:53 am 10 Jul 08

its called an election year promise, believe it when you see it and not before

tylersmayhem 9:43 am 10 Jul 08

Can someone enlighten me…I really don’t see why everyone is so opposed to a light rail system. I think it’s a brilliant idea!

neanderthalsis 9:23 am 10 Jul 08

Oh ye of little faith Pandy.

If they are sensible about the proposal, link the major suburban centres Belco, Gunners, Tuggers, Woden) to Civic and the airport; support it with a Park & Ride series of FREE carparks and set the fares at a reasonable price people will use it.

If you build it, they will come…

Mind you, I’m never one to accuse the Stanhope Government with making commonsense decisions that will benefit the general populace.

LG 9:23 am 10 Jul 08

I’m quite cynical, it being an election year and all, that this is just a headline grab since if it fails to progress it will be because of the Commonwealth Gov.

But either way, I’d love to see a proper feasibility study done. I for one would definitely use light rail to get from Belconnen to Civic for work (either park & ride at Belconnen or use a fast feeder bus service), since if I don’t get to Civic before 8am I have park on the opposite side of town to where I work because there is such a shortage of carparks…. my monthly pre-paid government parking ticket is quickly becoming useless…. since I often have to pay for parking in a non-government carpark.

flying doormat 9:17 am 10 Jul 08

I would rather see more money spent on buses – as Aurelius mentioned buses are a lot more flexible than the proposed light rail system would ever be. Total waste of money

Aurelius 9:14 am 10 Jul 08

If the government here can’t run a bus system (which is much more flexible than a rail system) what makes anyone think this will work any better?

Hugo 8:46 am 10 Jul 08

Light rail? Too late! Let us have a system of public electric cars. You register on the Internet and for a fee use the internet to find the nearest parked vacant car which you take to the drop off point nearest to where you are going, this could be outside your house or outside your office. Admittedly such a system works better in a crowded CBD, but heck, isn’t that where we are trying to reduce pollution? And eventually the outer suburb livers will buy their own and recharge at the parking points. With a little ingenuity electric cars will also be able to take us to the coast, Sydney etc. (and why not Kakadu?)in comfort and reasonable speeds.

Insurance, liability etc. are not insurmountable. We do this already with hire car companies,

Pandy 7:33 am 10 Jul 08

At last the ACT Government is asking someone else to pay for light rail ($1 billion) rather than ACT taxpayers. If the ACT payed for it the majority of residents will see absolutely no benefit from this proposal but will be paying through via increased taxes.

The best thing about the proposal will be that after having spent $1 billion of Federal money, the system will be seen as a disaster as poor patronage from the pollies and workers in Snowtown shun the system because:
it does not go where they want to go
system is too infrequent
they have to interchange in Civic
the pollies have to share the tram with the lower classes

Now for the route: A triangle between Civic, Parliament House, National Gallery, Kingston, Fyshwick, Snowtown, Russell, back to Civic.

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