5 November 2008

ACT Light Rail Meeting - Thursday 6 November

| ACT Light Rail
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The next public meeting of ACT Light Rail will be held this Thursday 6th November 2008, 18:30 at the Belconnen Community Centre (Swanson Court, Belconnen)

The main focus of this meeting will be discussion on ensuring the Greens and the ALP maintain their pre-election committments. A video of the ALP and Greens outlining their support for light rail can be found at: www.actlightrail.info.

Other matters to be discussed will be:

  • Update on ACT Light Rail Activities since the “Meet the Candidates Event” (which occurred on 30th September 2008)
  • Update on ACT Government processes towards a bid from Infrastructure Australia. For funding of Light Rail
  • Update regarding election final results.
  • General Business from the floor

We look forward to seeing you at the meeting.

Damien Haas

Chair – ACT Light Rail

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Hey Damien, if you read my speel you will realise that I support Light Rail but I am also a realist and there needs to be an objective and unbiased view on improving public transport, including looking at the benefits -v- status quo. A light rail service to Bungendore is stupid as is a light rail service as is using the exising rail down past Hume. Has there been a study on trips and movements (pedestrian and vehicle) between centres in and around Canberra?

ACT Light Rail1:20 pm 06 Nov 08

I should also add that despite being assured that the terms of reference for the Light Rail business case would be made available, to date this has not occurred.

ACT Light Rail has asked the Minister and TAMS for the Terms of Reference. Minister Hargreaves told us that we could have a copy, but when TAMS were asked – they refused to supply a copy. This is being followed up.

Many people would like to know exactly what the terms of reference are.


Damien Haas

ACT Light Rail1:17 pm 06 Nov 08

There are significant areas of Canberra where density will support mass transit public transport. If you think that quarter acre blocks are the norm in Canberra, you are 20 years late.

What many people also overlook in this ‘density’ argument is that the aim of attractive, comfortable and frequent public transport is to get more people onto it – motivating them to use public transport instead of their car for their primary commute. The ABS figures from last year indicate that the ACT has a big challenge in attracting people onto public transport from anywhere except the inner Canberra area. By building a light rail network, public transport will be able to quickly bring passengers from outer areas of Canberra to where they need to go. This has many social, economic and personal benefits.

The maps on the ACT Light Rail website are clearly stated as ‘indicative’ only. I am aware that the business case being prepared for TAMS is looking at routes.


Damien Haas

Tada da!

Probably not.

Economic crises makes future funding priorities changes. NSW is bankrupt. Private rail networks need massive public funding bail-outs: even Portland has been recently rocked with scandals.

But Molonglo could be a good place to initiate a true public transport experiment.

As much as this is a good idea, I don’t think there is a snowflakes chance in hell of implementing the idea.

Mary Whitehouse8:35 am 06 Nov 08

Canberrans are about to be slugged by a plastic bag tax thanks to the Labor-Green coalition (and despite the Productivity Commission inquiry findings that such a tax would not reduce litter). How much more will they have to be slugged to pay for this ridiculous pipe-dream? Light rail makes plenty of sense in crowded urban environments. Canberra is not one of these.

I totally support the thought of light rail. Two stumbling blocks I see with any such setup in Canberra.

Firstly, the very low population density of Canberra in terms of area given the ‘green belts’ and the majority free-standing 1/4-acre block bungalow-style housing. The bush capital has its benefits with beauty but downfall with high infrastructure costs. It has to be accepted by govt etc etc that light rail is infrastructure and not a utility that wil recover costs and overheads. Treat light rail like schools and hospitals where it won’t directly make money but indirectly improve the community and social standard of living.

Secondly, the way for light rail to work is to channel where the traffic (ie. journeys) start and end. For commuting the problem is that Canberra is very distributed with numerous key commercial, business, education, and retail corridors, far more than most other cities the size of Canberra. My opinion is the light rail corridors must serve Tuggers, Woden, Barton/Parkes, Russell, City, Belco, Northbourne Av, Gungahlin, Bruce, and ANU. To achieve this the map on the lightrail website needs a rethink. Light rail won’t work in stages unless the first stage is to connect Tuggers to Belco via Woden and City at the miniumum then expand from there.

Oh well enough ranting.

Drum roll please.

Good to hear that the Greens being sensible about the Molonglo Valley and Labor on saying that a full cost analysis and “nett” cost to the ACT will be looked at.

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