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Chic Henry and the tram to nowhere?

By Mike Jeffreys 2 March 2015 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?


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Chic Henry and the tram to nowhere?
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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.

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