The ACT Government has sent a strong message to the anti-light rail lobby today by announcing it will lodge a development application for the optional extension to Russell together with that for the initial Civic to Gungahlin line within weeks.
A statement from Minister for Capital Metro, Simon Corbell, said the application would cover works required on ACT-managed land along the route should government approve the proposed Russell extension.
ACT managed land along the proposed extension consists of a stretch of London Circuit (excluding Ainslie Place) between Northbourne Avenue and Constitution Avenue, the remainder of the extension will require NCA works approval.
“It is a prudent measure for the government to use the existing work done as part of the analysis of the Russell extension option to prepare a London Circuit DA,” Corbell said.
“It will be lodged in the coming weeks at the same time as the DA for stage one.”
“If the ACT Government does decide to include Russell as part of Capital Metro stage one, this work will ensure construction activity on the City to Russell alignment is not delayed while the required planning approvals are obtained.”
The two shortlisted consortia have submitted separate bids that include the option to extend stage one of the light rail network to Russell.
“When evaluating the bids to select a preferred consortium, the ACT Government will decide whether including the extension to Russell is a strong investment decision,” Corbell said.
“From Russell we would be perfectly placed to extend to other key parts of our city, including the airport, the parliamentary triangle and other destinations south of the lake.
“The proposed extension to Russell has received strong support from the local business industry and ACT community. It is expected to increase patronage of the light rail service by more than 30 percent and would provide a link to the CBD to thousands of employees working within the Constitution Avenue corridor and around the Defence precinct.”