Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Opinion

Buying or selling?
Get the right advice

Chic Henry and the tram to nowhere?

Mike Jeffreys 19 April 2016 110

light rail artist impression

I’ve had a couple of long conversations with Summernats’ Chic Henry, who is tossing up whether to run in the 2016 ACT election.

He told me that the Liberals want him to stand but one of the reasons he hasn’t yet committed is his age. If he were fifteen years younger he’d have no hesitation, but as it is he’s unsure.

He will make a decision by September or October to leave himself time to do what’s needed, including grass roots pre-election work like knocking on doors.

Chic has quite a lot to say about the light rail plan and the possible closure of EPIC:

“There is more value in promoting the very notion of electric cars, trucks and buses in Canberra to support the clean future.

It was moving along for a while and stalled and as usual, unless people of some consequence drive it, it dies. The late Chris Peters had that vision.

A tram to the airport is wasted effort. There is not likely to be enough housing to support it and as for increased tourist visits, the sun may rise in the west before that time.

Canberra airport has great value as a freight hub especially if a VFT is to ever come to us. On another subject, the MAGLEV Consortium had the best plan, as it was to go towards the Snowy Mountains as a route to Melbourne. Good value in that.

If the proposed light rail for Canberra is to be built, the Community deserves to be shown the extent of the network, especially the proposed corridors. Without doubt, we can expect that Civic will be the hub from which all lines will radiate, with connections to Woden and the Valley, Belconnen and Gungahlin of course.

Consideration must be given to the Parliamentary Triangle, Russell, the Airport, Fyshwick and maybe even Queanbeyan.

These corridors and the supporting bus networks must be presented if we are to believe that the Canberra Community could realistically catch the light rail instead of using their cars.

Such corridors will naturally include bridges, overpasses and possible a tunnel somewhere as well as the resumption of specific real estate.

For example, a line through or close by to the Triangle going towards the Tuggeranong Valley will face two major obstacles, the first being our precious lake and the second, the hill on which Parliament House is built.

Let’s consider the bridge, the cost, the land and the public outcry. Right now we are hearing that the cost of Stage 1 is $800 mil or thereabouts.

Guaranteed it will go north of that and it’s on relatively flat ground.

Imagine what the next stage/s will cost.

We are hearing that EPIC may close and the land dedicated to housing. It is without doubt, valuable real estate but where will EPIC be then located?

What might be the cost of such relocation plus the cost of a suitable patch of ground?

Seriously, it is inconceivable that Canberra does not have a showground, especially one as amazingly multi-purpose as EPIC.

We are led to believe that we, as a community, have above average intelligence.

It is immensely important to visualise the future for town planners, so why not give us the big planning picture with reasonable costing and a time frame.

Just maybe, we might get it. Sadly though, we must suffer the political games that parties play.

The late Martin Luther King once said, ‘I have a dream’.

Chic Henry, proud Canberra resident, says ‘I have a fear. A fear that Capital Metro Stage 1 may be the tram to nowhere as the only stage ever built’”.


What's Your Opinion?


Please login to post your comments, or connect with
110 Responses to Chic Henry and the tram to nowhere?
Filter
Order
« Previous 1 4 5 6
rubaiyat rubaiyat 8:47 am 16 Aug 15

The electric driverless car of course will be the hackable electric driverless car that can be controlled by anyone anywhere in the world, as shown this week in California.

rubaiyat rubaiyat 7:37 am 16 Aug 15

MarkE said :

The Canberra Trams proposal is a 18th century solution to a 21st century problem. This Canberra tram project will be obsolete before it is complete.

There are new technologies that we know are on the cusp of being commercialised that the ACT Government is ignoring. We have driverless cars technology almost ready for market. There have been major advances in battery technology and almost everyone has a smart phone. Put the three of them together and people can use a smart phone application to summons an electric driverless car to take them to their destination quickly, cheaply, safely and without parking or drink driving problems. Once this fleet is large enough there will be little incentive for anyone to own a car.

Mum won’t need to spend hours a day driving around town as a taxi service when there is a fleet of driverless cars doing it. There will be a reduction on traffic volumes as half mum’s trips are with a car empty of children. There won’t be Canberra’s constant fleet of empty busses. There will probably be a case for a fleet of articulated busses to run the major trunk roots between town centres but not much more.

The electric driverless cars could even act as storage for the electricity grid at night to smooth out the irregular power production of renewables like solar and wind.

Our Labour/Green ACT Government is so ideologically driven and economically illiterate that they won’t even head their own reports on how marginal this trams project is against current technology let alone emerging technology.

Regards,

Mark Ellis

🙂
Phone: 0412 252588
President
ACT Liberal Democrats

None of that will be necessary as we will build a super fast and cheap wireless NBN and we will all work from home…

…oh that one has gone to Neverland?

Now I read about how we would soon be able to apply fairy dust so we can all fly to work…

rommeldog56 rommeldog56 7:56 pm 15 Aug 15

MarkE said :

The Canberra Trams proposal is a 18th century solution to a 21st century problem. This Canberra tram project will be obsolete before it is complete.

There are new technologies that we know are on the cusp of being commercialised that the ACT Government is ignoring. We have driverless cars technology almost ready for market. There have been major advances in battery technology and almost everyone has a smart phone. Put the three of them together and people can use a smart phone application to summons an electric driverless car to take them to their destination quickly, cheaply, safely and without parking or drink driving problems. Once this fleet is large enough there will be little incentive for anyone to own a car.

Mum won’t need to spend hours a day driving around town as a taxi service when there is a fleet of driverless cars doing it. There will be a reduction on traffic volumes as half mum’s trips are with a car empty of children. There won’t be Canberra’s constant fleet of empty busses. There will probably be a case for a fleet of articulated busses to run the major trunk roots between town centres but not much more.

The electric driverless cars could even act as storage for the electricity grid at night to smooth out the irregular power production of renewables like solar and wind.

Our Labour/Green ACT Government is so ideologically driven and economically illiterate that they won’t even head their own reports on how marginal this trams project is against current technology let alone emerging technology.

Regards,

Mark Ellis

🙂
Phone: 0412 252588
President
ACT Liberal Democrats

There is obviously an election coming up !

Queus right : Tram lovers, those who think the Tram as mystical transforational powers to make Canberra “grow up”, those who hate cars/car parking spaces & roads, those who can afford the avg.10%pa increase in Annual Rates forever to help pay for the tram, those who believe ACT Gov’t pro tram spin, those who think the population of Canberra is near that of the Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide so we actually need & can afford the tram, those who seriously believe that the tram project will “create” 3,500 jobs, etc. Did I miss anyone ????

MarkE MarkE 4:25 pm 15 Aug 15

The Canberra Trams proposal is a 18th century solution to a 21st century problem. This Canberra tram project will be obsolete before it is complete.

There are new technologies that we know are on the cusp of being commercialised that the ACT Government is ignoring. We have driverless cars technology almost ready for market. There have been major advances in battery technology and almost everyone has a smart phone. Put the three of them together and people can use a smart phone application to summons an electric driverless car to take them to their destination quickly, cheaply, safely and without parking or drink driving problems. Once this fleet is large enough there will be little incentive for anyone to own a car.

Mum won’t need to spend hours a day driving around town as a taxi service when there is a fleet of driverless cars doing it. There will be a reduction on traffic volumes as half mum’s trips are with a car empty of children. There won’t be Canberra’s constant fleet of empty busses. There will probably be a case for a fleet of articulated busses to run the major trunk roots between town centres but not much more.

The electric driverless cars could even act as storage for the electricity grid at night to smooth out the irregular power production of renewables like solar and wind.

Our Labour/Green ACT Government is so ideologically driven and economically illiterate that they won’t even head their own reports on how marginal this trams project is against current technology let alone emerging technology.

Regards,

Mark Ellis 🙂
Phone: 0412 252588
President
ACT Liberal Democrats

BlowMeDown BlowMeDown 8:55 am 12 Mar 15

Most commenters seem to have missed the very first point that Chic made: there is more value in the future for electric cars, trucks, etc. He didn’t mention that those vehicles will soon be driverless, which will lead to a massive increase in the number of shared vehicles, driverless taxis, etc. They will: be much smaller; be more efficient; be less accident-prone; require no parking space and, above all, provide a door-to-door and overall much faster commute (unlike light rail).

But, really, why are we still talking about commuting to work and back home again? We should have a first-class NBN and work from home wherever that is possible, which would include just about everyone who works now behind a desk.

I can also recommend moving and living closer to where you work, so that you can walk (as I did and do) or ride, or drive if you prefer. And if you drive, it’s the number of car-kilometers that matter, not simply the number of cars on the road. Reduce the car-kilometers.

rubaiyat rubaiyat 12:49 pm 10 Mar 15

wildturkeycanoe said :

rommeldog56 said :

OpenYourMind said :

Is everyone feeling a little more confident that this project won’t go over budget after seeing the $11,000 cardboard tram just unveiled?

Yeah.

I wish they could use some of the $11K and instead cut the blasted grass near me once in a while – I thought thats what my Annual Rates, which are increasing by 10% average pa for the next 20 years – is supposed to be paying for ! Not cardboard trams. The incompetence of this ACT Labor/Greens Government, their poor fiscal priority setting and their arrogance, is astounding.

OMG!!! I hadn’t heard of this ridiculous spending mistake until I read this post. Seriously, $11K for a cardboard children’s toy that got used for what, 4 weeks? I’ve always been a Laborvoter but this just made me jump ship. The sooner we get the “Order of Jedi Knights” into power, the sooner our tax money will be properly spent on the community rather than on the fat pigs currently in office. Totally disgusted!

“…I’ve always been a Nobel Peace Laureate but…” 😀

signed Disgusted of Warramanga

wildturkeycanoe wildturkeycanoe 7:15 am 08 Mar 15

rommeldog56 said :

OpenYourMind said :

Is everyone feeling a little more confident that this project won’t go over budget after seeing the $11,000 cardboard tram just unveiled?

Yeah.

I wish they could use some of the $11K and instead cut the blasted grass near me once in a while – I thought thats what my Annual Rates, which are increasing by 10% average pa for the next 20 years – is supposed to be paying for ! Not cardboard trams. The incompetence of this ACT Labor/Greens Government, their poor fiscal priority setting and their arrogance, is astounding.

OMG!!! I hadn’t heard of this ridiculous spending mistake until I read this post. Seriously, $11K for a cardboard children’s toy that got used for what, 4 weeks? I’ve always been a Laborvoter but this just made me jump ship. The sooner we get the “Order of Jedi Knights” into power, the sooner our tax money will be properly spent on the community rather than on the fat pigs currently in office. Totally disgusted!

rommeldog56 rommeldog56 5:06 pm 06 Mar 15

OpenYourMind said :

Is everyone feeling a little more confident that this project won’t go over budget after seeing the $11,000 cardboard tram just unveiled?

Yeah. I wish they could use some of the $11K and instead cut the blasted grass near me once in a while – I thought thats what my Annual Rates, which are increasing by 10% average pa for the next 20 years – is supposed to be paying for ! Not cardboard trams. The incompetence of this ACT Labor/Greens Government, their poor fiscal priority setting and their arrogance, is astounding.

dungfungus dungfungus 12:31 pm 06 Mar 15

rosscoact said :

dungfungus said :

rosscoact said :

dungfungus said :

rosscoact said :

dungfungus said :

dlenihan said :

switch said :

rubaiyat said :

$27 million didn’t even pay for that one intersection at Russell.

Given the rates we pay the ACT government can certainly do some public transport for our money.

Public transport that isn’t a total financial loss like the roads.

Why do people struggle with simple comparisons?

Is it the maths? Having to add up anything bigger than the cost of a bus fare?

It isn’t public transport per se, it is the fact that busses could do what the tram is offering for about half the price. A report that came out last year shows that, along with common sense.

That’s what annoys me so much. It will most likely cost 1 billion in the end to replicate a service the busses already provide.

Imagine if this money was used to upgrade the entire bus net ACT-wide, more bus lanes. dedicated flyovers, etc. rather than a tram which seems to be more about the upgrade of Northborne Ave by stealth than a realistic transport option or the city.

It’s great to see so many new tram sceptics on this thread.
Alas, all to late I fear.

Aww, come on, don’t give up. Surely you are going to lead a march on the Assembly, have Alistair Coe address the throng, placards, banners insulting MLAs, effigies burning?

I am disappointed.

“…. placards, banners insulting MLAs, effigies burning…..”
No, I leave that sort of behaviour to the loony-left and their mates in the militant trade unions.

Ah, I see. That whole ‘Burn the witch’ thing didn’t happen then? You have to own the good and the bad if you’re going to play the man not the ball.

Please try and be accurate.
There were two signs erected behind Tony Abbott after he started a speech outside Parliament house before he won the election and became PM.
One said “ditch the witch” the other said “Bob Browns (sic) witch”. There was no “burn the witch” sign.

My apologies, I wasn’t there. Did you enjoy the event?

No, I had another engagement which was trying to buy a Clementine Ford “F— Abbott” T-shirt, which I saw being promoted in The Age.

dungfungus dungfungus 10:13 am 06 Mar 15

OpenYourMind said :

Is everyone feeling a little more confident that this project won’t go over budget after seeing the $11,000 cardboard tram just unveiled?

Another box ticked in Corbell’s plan for a totally renewable and sustainable Canberra.
Trams for Capital Metro will be constructed out of cardboard and re-cycled.

dungfungus dungfungus 8:20 am 06 Mar 15

HiddenDragon said :

watto23 said :

HiddenDragon said :

No reflection on Chic Henry, but by next October, there’ll be plenty of Canberrans ready to vote for the proverbial drover’s dog if he, she or it promised to stop the trams.

Why didn’t they vote against them at the previous election then. The Labor party took this policy to an election.

Could it possibly be the case that some of the people who didn’t vote against it did so because they didn’t really think that such epic idiocy could get beyond the “planning” and “feasibility stage” – a bit like the people who swallowed the “don’t you worry about that” reassurances on the rates/stamp duty tradeoff….

Having come back to this thread after a couple of days absence, I am fascinated to learn that we apparently don’t have, and never have had, dedicated bus lanes anywhere in the ACT, and that planning is a shambles, and that we have weird, windy roads that go nowhere etc. etc. If only we had some outfit to co-ordinate such matters…..like, oh, I don’t know, maybe a National Capital Development Commission (but that would be inconsistent with the wondrous flowering of democracy, which we all love very dearly).

While it may be true that we don’t have any dedicated bus lanes we should give credit to Simon Corbell for trying to build one from Belconnen Town Centre to Canberra City about 10 years ago.
He was howled down by every self-interest group in Canberra.
With the vision of hindsight, we should have let him proceed with it.
He is now exacting his revenge.

OpenYourMind OpenYourMind 7:14 am 06 Mar 15

Is everyone feeling a little more confident that this project won’t go over budget after seeing the $11,000 cardboard tram just unveiled?

gazket gazket 11:21 pm 05 Mar 15

ACT Labor/Greens have been re programing traffic lights the last 2/3 years to make it seem there is more road congestion in Canberra.

William Hovell Dr and Coulter Dr traffic lights were reprogrammed a few months back and now cars are backed all the way Higgins on William Hovell Dr in the Mornings.

gazket gazket 11:15 pm 05 Mar 15

rubaiyat said :

dungfungus said :

Those three road projects you nominated were actually needed.
A light rail anywhere in Canberra isn’t needed.

Says who?

That is the nub of the problem. People spend enormous amounts of money buying, housing, parking and running cars then when they sit in traffic jams burning up fossil fuels, working on their personal obessity and listening to yell back radio, they scream at their politicians:

“We NEED more roads!”

Just the traffic lights in sync would be good. It’s a rare thing to make a few sets of lights in Canberra usually you are stopping at every set of lights just as you approach the intersection.

gooterz gooterz 10:05 pm 05 Mar 15

puggy said :

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The whole tram thing has absolutely nothing to do with solving a perceived transport problem. It’s about justifying high density redevelopment of the (lower) Flemington and Northbourne corridor. When the last apartment in the last development is sold, they’ll say “Oops, no money. Bus lanes it is then.”

That would involve a higher level of thinking than we currently have.

There is no magic man behind the curtain, there is no gold mine in Gungahlin, nor is there the certainty that this trolly bus project will ever expand.

Sorry.

puggy puggy 9:34 pm 05 Mar 15

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The whole tram thing has absolutely nothing to do with solving a perceived transport problem. It’s about justifying high density redevelopment of the (lower) Flemington and Northbourne corridor. When the last apartment in the last development is sold, they’ll say “Oops, no money. Bus lanes it is then.”

HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 6:55 pm 05 Mar 15

watto23 said :

HiddenDragon said :

No reflection on Chic Henry, but by next October, there’ll be plenty of Canberrans ready to vote for the proverbial drover’s dog if he, she or it promised to stop the trams.

Why didn’t they vote against them at the previous election then. The Labor party took this policy to an election.

Could it possibly be the case that some of the people who didn’t vote against it did so because they didn’t really think that such epic idiocy could get beyond the “planning” and “feasibility stage” – a bit like the people who swallowed the “don’t you worry about that” reassurances on the rates/stamp duty tradeoff….

Having come back to this thread after a couple of days absence, I am fascinated to learn that we apparently don’t have, and never have had, dedicated bus lanes anywhere in the ACT, and that planning is a shambles, and that we have weird, windy roads that go nowhere etc. etc. If only we had some outfit to co-ordinate such matters…..like, oh, I don’t know, maybe a National Capital Development Commission (but that would be inconsistent with the wondrous flowering of democracy, which we all love very dearly).

rommeldog56 rommeldog56 6:24 pm 05 Mar 15

KentFitch said :

The strange thing about the light-rail proposal is that it doesn’t begin to address the actual problems, such as rubaiyat’s son trying to get from Spence to the Airport.

Or my elderly relative who shouldn’t be driving, but won’t give up her independence, or the people at the Enlighten Night Noodle Markets trying get home on Sunday, or my neighbour’s nephew out on the turps and wondering how to get home, or my partially disabled friend, a single mother trying to juggle getting kids to school, child-care, a part time job and a TAFE course; people like you and me: http://www.projectcomputing.com/resources/cacs/index.html#motivation

Sure, private cars are expensive and wasteful, and current public transport is expensive and inconvenient: people want door-to-door 24×7 on demand mobility. But as Skyring noted, self-driving cars really are just around the corner. Nissan’s CEO recommitted last week to delivering a fully self-driving model by 2020 and most auto-makers are now competing to bring the to market.

A shared fleet of autonomous cars can provide very cheap, effective, universal and egalitarian transport for Canberra, reusing our current road infrastructure much more efficiently. Here’s a simulation you can run yourself: http://www.projectcomputing.com/resources/cacs/index.html
Check out the references for the state of the technology.

I’m not a light-rail hater, but the business case is transparently flawed: http://www.projectcomputing.com/resources/cacs/faq.html#lrbc
We’d be luck to see a benefit-to-cost ratio of 0.4 – it makes no sense for Canberra. Economics is about priorities. You may have seen David Murray talking about the advantages of spending on early-intervention on eating disorders this week: an economic benefit-to-cost ratio of 5: http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2015/s4189924.htm Will our government claim it has no extra money to spend on health and education whilst squandering public assets and future rates on a white elephant?

Sadly, our politicians seem to lack the rigour to consider the real problems, the courage to seek solutions not emerging from a forgotten ideology or dictated to them by carpet-baggers, and the vision and administrative skills to develop and implement a coherent plan, but if I’m wrong and such a politician does exist, please make yourself known so that I can vote for you!

Well said KentFitch – a well reasoned and supported article.

So, why this ACT Labor/Greens Gov’t is bulldozing the Light Rail through is dumbfounding – and more probably, totally incompetent. They have clearly lost touch with reality.

Re voting in 2016 : I don’t think that its about who or what party u vote for anymore. To me, its more like NOT voting for Labor/Greens and so send a clear message to any alternative ACT Government/Independent that dfecisions such as this (and others they have made) are unacceptable – and any new ACT Gov’t will also be thrown out if they also make stupid decisions and dont get their fiscal priorities even vaguely right.

If the current ACT Labor/Greens Gov’t isn’t thrown out at the 2016 election, all we are going to get is yet more of the same I’m afraid – for a long, long time too.

pete74au pete74au 4:13 pm 05 Mar 15

I have to agree whole heartedly with Chic. There has been scant planning around the deployment of public transport across the ACT. The Gungahlin tram has to be fed by buses or cars for residents to access the station, the trip to Civic will take considerably longer than a drive and not have the convenience or flexibility of private transport.
The freight hub has been my dream for nearly a decade, but I’ve seen little movement around making it a reality apart from the Majura Parkway (an excellent investment). There are many better investments in infrastructure that would give the ACT a real return on investment and a stake in the future of as a regional centre for for freight and passenger movement.

KentFitch KentFitch 3:35 pm 05 Mar 15

The strange thing about the light-rail proposal is that it doesn’t begin to address the actual problems, such as rubaiyat’s son trying to get from Spence to the Airport.

Or my elderly relative who shouldn’t be driving, but won’t give up her independence, or the people at the Enlighten Night Noodle Markets trying get home on Sunday, or my neighbour’s nephew out on the turps and wondering how to get home, or my partially disabled friend, a single mother trying to juggle getting kids to school, child-care, a part time job and a TAFE course; people like you and me: http://www.projectcomputing.com/resources/cacs/index.html#motivation

Sure, private cars are expensive and wasteful, and current public transport is expensive and inconvenient: people want door-to-door 24×7 on demand mobility. But as Skyring noted, self-driving cars really are just around the corner. Nissan’s CEO recommitted last week to delivering a fully self-driving model by 2020 and most auto-makers are now competing to bring the to market.

A shared fleet of autonomous cars can provide very cheap, effective, universal and egalitarian transport for Canberra, reusing our current road infrastructure much more efficiently. Here’s a simulation you can run yourself: http://www.projectcomputing.com/resources/cacs/index.html
Check out the references for the state of the technology.

I’m not a light-rail hater, but the business case is transparently flawed: http://www.projectcomputing.com/resources/cacs/faq.html#lrbc
We’d be luck to see a benefit-to-cost ratio of 0.4 – it makes no sense for Canberra. Economics is about priorities. You may have seen David Murray talking about the advantages of spending on early-intervention on eating disorders this week: an economic benefit-to-cost ratio of 5: http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2015/s4189924.htm Will our government claim it has no extra money to spend on health and education whilst squandering public assets and future rates on a white elephant?

Sadly, our politicians seem to lack the rigour to consider the real problems, the courage to seek solutions not emerging from a forgotten ideology or dictated to them by carpet-baggers, and the vision and administrative skills to develop and implement a coherent plan, but if I’m wrong and such a politician does exist, please make yourself known so that I can vote for you!

« Previous 1 4 5 6

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2019 Region Group Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
the-riotact.com | aboutregional.com.au | b2bmagazine.com.au | thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site