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Beware light rail cost blow-outs

By Marcus Paul 26 October 2015 181

lightrail

Well, what a debacle that mess in the ACTON Tunnel was. It’s hard to imagine in this city of ours how much of a headache an over-height truck can cause. However, due to the unfathomable use uf ‘asbestos’ tiles on the roof of this decades old structure it did indeed cause a headache. What this writer hopes, in the impending investigation, authorities perhaps consider the removal of these tiles so as to avoid lengthy disruptions in the future should another truck smash into this infrastructure.

What was surprising, in my view, was the suggestion the Capital Metro Light Rail could have avoided some of the traffic chaos and disruption. Really? I read with a wry grin comments such as “one could just imagine people whizzing by on a tram peering down on the bumper to bumper action below”. Last time I checked the Capital Metro was running from Civic to Gungahlin, and most of the traffic nightmare was centred on the inner and south of the city, while the north was spared. Sure, things were also slow along Northbourne Ave but again this was mostly in a southbound direction.

Today however, comes the announcement the ACT Government plans to extend the light rail through The Parliamentary Triangle, into Woden, Fyshwick and onto Canberra Airport. They’re calling it the 25 year ‘master plan’ and it highlights the current government’s plans to use this type of infrastructure to attract development.

In theory, this all sounds fine. After all, the G-Link on the Gold Coast is going extremely well, and there is little doubt this major regional Australian city is benefitting from light rail. Indeed, the Queensland Government is also in the planning and approval stages of their network extending toward the hinterland via the suburbs with support from the Federal Government announced last week. The ACT government will be hoping to attract similar Federal support for the second stage of its project.

What we do know here in the ACT is the first ‘controversial’ stage of Capital Metro will run via Northbourne from Civic to Gungahlin. It’s expected to cost in the vicinity of $780 million and should be operational within four years. Again, the Government will put this before the public and ask for commentary and consultation, and this is the right course of action. However, will Andrew Barr and the out-going Simon Corbell actually listen? Depending on which survey you believe (and there are many out there), Canberrans either want or do not want this infrastructure by a slim margin.

There are many factors to consider here. First and foremost from a rate payers perspective it’s almost horrifying to think of the costs involved. It goes without saying cost blowouts in major infrastructure and developments are almost inevitable. The big question remains – and may well be answered at next years ACT Election – will Canberran’s support this vision or not?


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Beware light rail cost blow-outs
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rommeldog56 11:02 pm 29 Dec 15

rubaiyat said :

How can you SO miss the point I have repeated ad nauseum?

LEAVE the open land of the “Garden City” alone.

STOP covering it with more malodorous bitumen, hot concrete and ugly fat buildings for ugly fat people in ugly fat cars.

Oh – I think I’ve got it now. Of course we should “leave the open land of the garden city alone” – just so the Light Rail can densify said open land and the ACT Gov’t can salt and pepper public housing onto the rest of it. Makes sense.

rommeldog56 10:54 pm 29 Dec 15

rubaiyat said :

How can YOU so consistently miss the point that the entire Molonglo Township, soon to be West Belconnen, Majura Parkway and Ikea go right over what were rural leases but are now going to be hectares of bitumen, concrete and Macmansions.

In NSW Googong and Jerrabombera have done the same. All making money for a few individuals and problems in perpetuity.

How can u, in your never ending quest to demonise cars, trucks, roads, car parks & Macmansions, miss the point that the rural land is leasehold from the ACT Govt and reasonably unproductive in terms of farming anyway.

If u want to complain about loss of productive farmland, how about turning your attention/comments to the loss of Australia’s prime agricultural land to overseas based companies & superannuation funds, whilst successive Federal & State Govt’s do little about it. The future loss of that primary produce is of far, far greater long term concern than the loss of produce from building a few suburbs or roads in Canberra.

carriew 6:28 pm 24 Dec 15

Personally I feel the cost of losing 860 viable trees, underwriting the Risk of running the LR for 20 years to the management company and the pathetic way this thing has been project managed is far too much of a cost for this community to bear in view of the fact that it will only be servicing the needs of so few and charged expensively to so many

Someone needs to get a new job and someone or some others need to take control of really looking at what are the needs and wants of Canberrans in terms of transport. How do we cater for working families, how to provide affordable efficient transport for a relatively small population. Better to spend the time in proper planning by a few at a modest price and then implement that plan in viable stages.

rommeldog56 10:59 pm 07 Dec 15

bj_ACT said :

it’s a bit like the Ashley Drive Extension which ACT Labor have proudly been announcing and re-announcing for about 8 years but have never actually started any work on.

Just be thankful that there is an election late next year – or they may still not have kicked that project off. Still, work is to commence in 2016 I think to duplicate most of Ashley drive, except for the last 150 metres or so at the Calwell end. It beggers belief.

rubaiyat 7:01 pm 07 Dec 15

chewy14 said :

rubaiyat said :

chewy14 said :

rubaiyat said :

What a total surprise, we’ve blown $300 million on the still unfinished Majura Parkway and much more on the remote greenfields big box developments in Majura Park, both burying good agricultural land.

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/farmers-blast-nca-and-act-governments-neglect-of-rural-land-20151125-gl7lq2.html

The line out to Ikea this weekend trailed all the way back to ADFA. Who could have predicted that!

To quote Forrest Gump, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

So hobby “farmers” complain that they won’t be able to have their city amenities with rural charm?

Shock me.

Allowing this type of landuse in these locations will only ever be temporary and it’s ridiculous to expect to be able to utilise it for this on anything but a short term basis. The land is worth far more from a city, social and economic standpoint than it ever will be producing small scale agricultural use.

I don’t know how someone who supports the light rail concept could also support extreme low density living like this so close to our growing city centre.

As for the line out to Ikea, it’s almost like the airport precinct can do whatever they want with that land, bypassing any good planning practices or dealing with transport issues. I’m truly shocked that the ACT government has let them get away with it……

How can you SO miss the point I have repeated ad nauseum?

LEAVE the open land of the “Garden City” alone.

STOP covering it with more malodorous bitumen, hot concrete and ugly fat buildings for ugly fat people in ugly fat cars.

The ACT government and their roads department are entirely responsible for the enormously expensive and ultimately ineffectual surrounds to the Airport.

Wait,
Miss the point?

You linked to an article discussing rural leases? Garden city on rural leases, is that a joke?

How can you so consistently post links that either are irrelevant to the point you are trying to make or actively refute your own arguments?

How can YOU so consistently miss the point that the entire Molonglo Township, soon to be West Belconnen, Majura Parkway and Ikea go right over what were rural leases but are now going to be hectares of bitumen, concrete and Macmansions.

In NSW Googong and Jerrabombera have done the same. All making money for a few individuals and problems in perpetuity.

dungfungus 4:22 pm 07 Dec 15

bj_ACT said :

dungfungus said :

In the latest ACT Government’s “Our Canberra” (Tuggeranong Edition), there is a section devoted to “Transport Canberra – One Ticket, One Fare, One Network” which claims that from mid 2016 the light rail and bus network will be run by a single ACT Government agency called Transport Canberra.
Hello? – the light rail (if indeed it proceeds) is not planned to become operational until 2020.
In attempting to kid us even further, they have even added an artist’s impression of a tram with the destination “TUGGERANONG” on the front even though there is no plan to extend the “network” anywhere else at this stage.
It will be interesting to see if the other localised editions of this propaganda publication have trams with “WESTON”, “BELCONNEN” etc. on the tram picture.
And if that isn’t enough there is a promise that “More than a million bus kilometres will be freed up and redistributed when the first stage of the light rail begins running”.

That makes the George Bush Iraq “Mission Accomplished” sign seem quiet reasonable. At least they had started the mission.

If I was any good with Photoshop I would have the train image with TUGGERANONG side by side to the same image with Mission Accomplished.

it’s a bit like the Ashley Drive Extension which ACT Labor have proudly been announcing and re-announcing for about 8 years but have never actually started any work on.

Fair comment. We will have to wait a long time to see both those signs together.
I have reviewed the two previous posts I made and it appears I neglected to actually point clearly out that the online newsletters all show “CITY” as the destination but the printed newsletters delivered to our mailboxes (at great cost, no doubt) show “TUGGERANONG” in that delivery area and as far as I know, WODEN, BELCONNEN etc. in the others. I say “as far as I know” because everyone in the other areas I know didn’t look at the Our Canberra.
The comments are almost unanimously “I throw anything from the ACT Government like that in the garbage”.

bj_ACT 1:50 pm 07 Dec 15

dungfungus said :

In the latest ACT Government’s “Our Canberra” (Tuggeranong Edition), there is a section devoted to “Transport Canberra – One Ticket, One Fare, One Network” which claims that from mid 2016 the light rail and bus network will be run by a single ACT Government agency called Transport Canberra.
Hello? – the light rail (if indeed it proceeds) is not planned to become operational until 2020.
In attempting to kid us even further, they have even added an artist’s impression of a tram with the destination “TUGGERANONG” on the front even though there is no plan to extend the “network” anywhere else at this stage.
It will be interesting to see if the other localised editions of this propaganda publication have trams with “WESTON”, “BELCONNEN” etc. on the tram picture.
And if that isn’t enough there is a promise that “More than a million bus kilometres will be freed up and redistributed when the first stage of the light rail begins running”.

That makes the George Bush Iraq “Mission Accomplished” sign seem quiet reasonable. At least they had started the mission.

If I was any good with Photoshop I would have the train image with TUGGERANONG side by side to the same image with Mission Accomplished.

it’s a bit like the Ashley Drive Extension which ACT Labor have proudly been announcing and re-announcing for about 8 years but have never actually started any work on.

dungfungus 11:09 am 05 Dec 15

dungfungus said :

In the latest ACT Government’s “Our Canberra” (Tuggeranong Edition), there is a section devoted to “Transport Canberra – One Ticket, One Fare, One Network” which claims that from mid 2016 the light rail and bus network will be run by a single ACT Government agency called Transport Canberra.
Hello? – the light rail (if indeed it proceeds) is not planned to become operational until 2020.
In attempting to kid us even further, they have even added an artist’s impression of a tram with the destination “TUGGERANONG” on the front even though there is no plan to extend the “network” anywhere else at this stage.
It will be interesting to see if the other localised editions of this propaganda publication have trams with “WESTON”, “BELCONNEN” etc. on the tram picture.
And if that isn’t enough there is a promise that “More than a million bus kilometres will be freed up and redistributed when the first stage of the light rail begins running”.

As I suspected, the Woden, Weston Creek, Molonglo version has “CITY” emblazoned on the tram destination sign.
http://www.act.gov.au/our-canberra/december2015/transport-canberra-one-ticket,-one-network,-one-agency

dungfungus 10:41 am 05 Dec 15

In the latest ACT Government’s “Our Canberra” (Tuggeranong Edition), there is a section devoted to “Transport Canberra – One Ticket, One Fare, One Network” which claims that from mid 2016 the light rail and bus network will be run by a single ACT Government agency called Transport Canberra.
Hello? – the light rail (if indeed it proceeds) is not planned to become operational until 2020.
In attempting to kid us even further, they have even added an artist’s impression of a tram with the destination “TUGGERANONG” on the front even though there is no plan to extend the “network” anywhere else at this stage.
It will be interesting to see if the other localised editions of this propaganda publication have trams with “WESTON”, “BELCONNEN” etc. on the tram picture.
And if that isn’t enough there is a promise that “More than a million bus kilometres will be freed up and redistributed when the first stage of the light rail begins running”.

wildturkeycanoe 11:57 pm 01 Dec 15

Sorry for another quick post but an article in the news caught my attention and this bit about the new Uber X…
“Uber also said their Canberra “driver-partners” had the highest average rating of any throughout the country and average arrival times in Canberra were also quicker than the national average, with cars turning up in just 3.1 minutes. This could also be put down to the lack of other cars on Canberra’s wide and airy boulevards.” http://www.news.com.au/technology/innovation/motoring/canberra-now-ubers-fastest-growing-city-following-ridesharing-services-legalisation/news-story/02b464df1c3a624cc4ab3d5c47440060
So contrary to popular belief, we don’t have traffic problems in Canberra thanks to our beautiful road networks and fewer vehicles. It’s in the national news, it can’t be wrong can it? Why do we need a tram that shows up at the platform only every 5 to 7 minutes when a car comes to your door in just over 3 and takes you directly to where you want?

chewy14 10:20 pm 01 Dec 15

rubaiyat said :

chewy14 said :

rubaiyat said :

What a total surprise, we’ve blown $300 million on the still unfinished Majura Parkway and much more on the remote greenfields big box developments in Majura Park, both burying good agricultural land.

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/farmers-blast-nca-and-act-governments-neglect-of-rural-land-20151125-gl7lq2.html

The line out to Ikea this weekend trailed all the way back to ADFA. Who could have predicted that!

To quote Forrest Gump, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

So hobby “farmers” complain that they won’t be able to have their city amenities with rural charm?

Shock me.

Allowing this type of landuse in these locations will only ever be temporary and it’s ridiculous to expect to be able to utilise it for this on anything but a short term basis. The land is worth far more from a city, social and economic standpoint than it ever will be producing small scale agricultural use.

I don’t know how someone who supports the light rail concept could also support extreme low density living like this so close to our growing city centre.

As for the line out to Ikea, it’s almost like the airport precinct can do whatever they want with that land, bypassing any good planning practices or dealing with transport issues. I’m truly shocked that the ACT government has let them get away with it……

How can you SO miss the point I have repeated ad nauseum?

LEAVE the open land of the “Garden City” alone.

STOP covering it with more malodorous bitumen, hot concrete and ugly fat buildings for ugly fat people in ugly fat cars.

The ACT government and their roads department are entirely responsible for the enormously expensive and ultimately ineffectual surrounds to the Airport.

Wait,
Miss the point?

You linked to an article discussing rural leases? Garden city on rural leases, is that a joke?

How can you so consistently post links that either are irrelevant to the point you are trying to make or actively refute your own arguments?

OpenYourMind 8:21 pm 01 Dec 15

rubaiyat said :

OpenYourMind said :

BTW, how do you get to your Ski Lodge, Rubaiyat??

Sold it.

Can’t quite put my finger on exactly why, but we are down to a few short weeks of mostly wet snow a year.

When I bought the lodge we had a good 3 months skiing a year.

Maybe you haven’t been paying attention:

http://www.25zero.com

Autonomous cars do nothing about cars on roads being a waste of energy and space, as well as still being noisy and dividing our cities with 60’s style freeways and parents too afraid to let their overweight kids out on the roads.

Cars are getting slower, older and even more patently ridiculous, and you still don’t get it.

But not to worry we’ll be “soon” driving them on Clean Coal and desperate Fracking of our landscape.

Tell me, since you SO get it, since autonomous cars are practically here and will solve everything, why exactly are we still spending billions of dollars on roads?

Burying good land under concrete and bitumen freeways?

I don’t think anyone was advocating ski lodge ownership. Just when you boasted of having owned one, you instantly smacked of the kind of tram advocate (possibly on the payroll) we see. Public transport is great for everyone…except me. I and others don’t know your personal circumstances, but you have declared ski lodge ownership and kids at grammar…that doesn’t sound like your average tram commuter to me!

We are still spending on roads because the vast majority of our tax and ratepayers use roads. Even those who don’t drive a car still rely on roads for delivery of goods, ambulance services, fire services. A tram aint gonna solve any of that, we will still need roads. An autonomous car (very likely to be completely silent btw), just makes much, much better use of roads and doesn’t need parking closer to major employment sites etc. The car can take itself off to recharge in a nice environmentally powered hole somewhere out of harm’s way.

As for cars being slower and noisier, well they’ve actually gotten faster and more quiet. Most journeys in Canberra now and in the forseeable future are incredibly rapid in Canberra. This will be the case even if we doubled the population. Electric cars will be completely silent and will wash away any wrongly perceived enviro value of trams.

Take a look at the announcement about uber today. It’s already taken off and hasn’t needed tram money or tram time to be successful.

Time is one thing trams don’t have. Time will be very unkind to trams.

wildturkeycanoe 3:01 pm 01 Dec 15

rubaiyat said :

Burying good land under concrete and bitumen freeways?

What do you expect the tram is going to run on, fields of clover? It will need concrete and gravel underneath even in the green areas to support the weight. The tram won’t eliminate the need for roads or make any existing roads redundant. Buses will still be needed, so will cars. Instead of nice gum trees lining Northbourne we will have power lines and stanchions. Your aesthetic “green”, anti asphalt argument just doesn’t have any real evidence to back it up. The tram corridor will make Canberra more like Sydney and less bush than it is now. How is that sustainable? High density housing looks worse than leafy suburbs, probably with more impact on nature too.

chewy14 1:55 pm 01 Dec 15

rubaiyat said :

What I don’t get is with all the falling population, employment and impending new technology of autonomous hoverboards and Psychic WiFi, why isn’t everyone here up in arms over the billions wasted on freeways and road works?

It’s a mystery, it’s a mystery!

Yeah, it is strange.

Maybe they simply want to have something, anything over actually assessing what the best outcome would be?

rubaiyat 10:22 am 01 Dec 15

dungfungus said :

rubaiyat said :

dungfungus said :

rubaiyat said :

dungfungus said :

There is no way Canberra can grow to a population of 500,000 at anytime.

“There is no way Canberra can grow to a population of 385,000 at anytime.”

You should get those eyes checked for rear vision stigmatism.

There is no growth left in the public service and tertiary education has peaked so tell me where are the extra jobs going to come from? The only “export industry” we have is the reclaimed paper, plastic, glass, computers and metal that we ship to recycling facilities in Asia.
Canberra is a nice place to live because it is different and doesn’t have to morph into big cities like Sydney and Shanghai with the constraints of living standards that go with them.

You keep saying all this as if it were true.

Just because you haven’t worked in years doesn’t mean we don’t STILL have the lowest unemployment rate in Australia.

So… you are denying the employment, population growth, the Paris trams, the global warming…?

I think I see the where the error is occurring…

When you decide where the error is please also tell me where the jobs are coming from.

The error is obvious enough.

I thought you weren’t into central planning.

I have this book that explains it ALL, any time you want to lend it! 😀

dungfungus 10:17 pm 30 Nov 15

rubaiyat said :

dungfungus said :

rubaiyat said :

dungfungus said :

There is no way Canberra can grow to a population of 500,000 at anytime.

“There is no way Canberra can grow to a population of 385,000 at anytime.”

You should get those eyes checked for rear vision stigmatism.

There is no growth left in the public service and tertiary education has peaked so tell me where are the extra jobs going to come from? The only “export industry” we have is the reclaimed paper, plastic, glass, computers and metal that we ship to recycling facilities in Asia.
Canberra is a nice place to live because it is different and doesn’t have to morph into big cities like Sydney and Shanghai with the constraints of living standards that go with them.

You keep saying all this as if it were true.

Just because you haven’t worked in years doesn’t mean we don’t STILL have the lowest unemployment rate in Australia.

So… you are denying the employment, population growth, the Paris trams, the global warming…?

I think I see the where the error is occurring…

When you decide where the error is please also tell me where the jobs are coming from.

rubaiyat 9:51 pm 30 Nov 15

OpenYourMind said :

BTW, how do you get to your Ski Lodge, Rubaiyat??

Sold it.

Can’t quite put my finger on exactly why, but we are down to a few short weeks of mostly wet snow a year.

When I bought the lodge we had a good 3 months skiing a year.

Maybe you haven’t been paying attention:

http://www.25zero.com

Autonomous cars do nothing about cars on roads being a waste of energy and space, as well as still being noisy and dividing our cities with 60’s style freeways and parents too afraid to let their overweight kids out on the roads.

Cars are getting slower, older and even more patently ridiculous, and you still don’t get it.

But not to worry we’ll be “soon” driving them on Clean Coal and desperate Fracking of our landscape.

Tell me, since you SO get it, since autonomous cars are practically here and will solve everything, why exactly are we still spending billions of dollars on roads?

Burying good land under concrete and bitumen freeways?

gazket 9:23 pm 30 Nov 15

The train is coming weather we like it or not . I t won’t be as successful as the gov says as most traffic will go one way in the morning and one way back in the arvo. Large money will be owed by us, there’s no doubt.

As they said we Canberra doesn’t have 13 million visitors a year. That’s an average 250,000 extra people a week on top of Gold Coasts population . The Gold Coast is also a long strip city Canberra isn’t.

chewy14 9:19 pm 30 Nov 15

dungfungus said :

bj_ACT said :

Whilst I am very sure the proposed Light Rail model is the NOT best option for Canberra. I do agree with with posters that the Canberra Population will get to 500,00 and based on current 1.4% growth rates it will get there in 18 years. So a new plan will be needed.

However, I think this also means that are wider Canberra public transport solution needs to be found. The current proposal for Civic light rail will only meet the needs of about 5% of the population (if that).

So, I ask again, where are all the jobs going to be “created”?
Federally, Australia cannot afford the current level of immigration especially unskilled people.
Do you want Canberra to end up like Western Sydney?

Dungfungus,
The jobs will come from the same place they’ve always come from and I don’t know why you would think otherwise.

We have a service based economy and the idea that major industries like the federal public service or tertiary education sectors won’t grow is completely wrong.

People will come here, have children, go to restaurants, etc, etc, etc. Canberra is a growing city and will remain so for the forseeable future.

bj_ACT 8:27 pm 30 Nov 15

dungfungus said :

bj_ACT said :

Whilst I am very sure the proposed Light Rail model is the NOT best option for Canberra. I do agree with with posters that the Canberra Population will get to 500,00 and based on current 1.4% growth rates it will get there in 18 years. So a new plan will be needed.

However, I think this also means that are wider Canberra public transport solution needs to be found. The current proposal for Civic light rail will only meet the needs of about 5% of the population (if that).

So, I ask again, where are all the jobs going to be “created”?
Federally, Australia cannot afford the current level of immigration especially unskilled people.
Do you want Canberra to end up like Western Sydney?

Happy to try and answer your questions but I need some more context to what you mean and also how it relates to my first post.

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