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Corbell to help steer move to zero-emissions bus system

Ian Bushnell 19 November 2019 6
Simon Corbell

Simon Corbell is now Chief Adviser for Energy Estate, an advisory business providing strategic consulting, transaction advisory and project development services to the global energy sector. Photo: File.

Former ACT Minister for Climate Change and Transport Simon Corbell has been named alongside high-profile transport academics on the ACT Government’s new steering committee to oversee the development of Transport Canberra’s zero-emissions bus transition plan.

The Territory is committed to converting the current fleet of diesel and CNG buses to a zero-emission bus fleet by 2040.

Mr Corbell will join Dr Lachlan Blackhall from the Australian National University and Professor Peter Newman from Curtin University, as well as John Stewart from the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union who will represent diesel mechanics.

Transport Minister Chris Steel made the announcement at the Bus Industry Confederation National Conference at the National Convention Centre, where he also announced the ACT had acquired 40 new low-emission diesel buses for $21 million that will go into service this month.

Mr Corbell is now Chief Adviser for Energy Estate, an advisory business providing strategic consulting, transaction advisory and project development services to the global energy sector.

Mr Steel said the US non-profit organisation, the Center for Transportation and Environment, which has been working on similar transition plans in there, will also be involved.

He said the plan would enable the Territory to move from its current fleet of diesel and CNG buses to a zero-emission bus fleet by 2040.

The Steering Committee, which will hold its first meeting before the end of the year, would provide strategic direction and leadership to Transport Canberra in developing the transition plan.

“This will enable our Government to make informed decisions on how to transition our bus fleet to zero-emissions – including the technology, timing, risks, costs, benefits, financing and funding options,” Mr Steel said.

The plan, to be finalised by the middle of next year, would consider infrastructure, fleet, policy, service principles and workforce skills.

Mr Steel said that the 40 new Scania/Bustech Euro VI buses would play a crucial role in modernising the existing fleet which has 74 buses over 25 years of age, and maintain services during the transition period.

“As well as lowering harmful emissions and being more reliable, the new buses will be air-conditioned and, importantly, meet disability access requirements. It means we will achieve the required legislated target of a 100 per cent accessible bus fleet well before 31 December 2022,” he said.

The Government would also be spending $44.51 million on a further 84 buses to replace ageing vehicles and grow the fleet over the next four years, including the first procurement of zero-emissions buses.

Route buses generally have a life of about 15 years.

Last week a 12-month trial began of a new electric bus, the Chinese Yutong E12, that Mr Steel said would provide the Government with valuable operational experience.


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6 Responses to Corbell to help steer move to zero-emissions bus system
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A Nonny Mouse A Nonny Mouse 10:33 pm 22 Nov 19

“… a further 84 buses…including the first procurement of zero-emissions buses…” Does this mean we will still be buying yet more diesel buses?! This is not acceptable. We need all fossil fuel burning gone over the next two decades. Lots of other places have found perfectly acceptable electric buses. Why not just get the same?

MERC600 MERC600 4:50 pm 20 Nov 19

“…high-profile transport academics on the ACT Government’s new steering committee”

I couldn’t find any reference to how much the rate payers are paying to these ‘high profile’ types.

I suspect Transport Minister Chris Steel just forgot. Understandable of course , easily done when it’s not your own money being splashed about. I’d probably do the same.

michael quirk michael quirk 12:30 pm 20 Nov 19

The Committee should also be used to advise on whether high capacity electric buses rather than light rail should be the preferred technology of the inter-town public transport route.

Mr Corbell, given his role in the development of the Civic to Gungahlin light rail, despite a poor business case, may need review his light rail preference. He could do worse than heed the advise of Keynes -“when the facts change, I change my mind, what do you do”?

The Committee has time to consider the issue, as there is no urgency for the extension of light rail to Woden as the existing bus service is well used and provides and excellent service in terms of journey length and frequency.

    steveu steveu 4:43 pm 20 Nov 19

    Pretty much this. It’s hard to not think there is a bit of influence from the TWU is in this as well.
    I will be dead by 2040, so I will never see it happen.

bj_ACT bj_ACT 10:15 am 20 Nov 19

I note that the ACT Government has already made a great start to their Zero emissions public transport strategy by removing buses from many parts of Tuggeranong and Belconnen.

Just another job for the Labor old boys.

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