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Greens say dump Monash Drive to protect our environment for the future

Shane Rattenbury MLA 4 April 2019 59

The NCA remains attached to the Monash Drive “ghost road”. Image: Supplied

It’s no surprise to many of us that Canberra has just been named the most liveable city in the country for the third year in a row.

There’s no doubt that our city is changing. We have the second-fastest population growth rate in the country. Light rail stage one is only weeks away.

The Greens have spent a decade in the balance of power working to improve sustainable transport options. We’ve achieved the realisation of a high-quality public transport option in the first stage of light rail, as well as significant improvement in walking and cycling.

We know that if we make the right decisions today, the Canberra of the future will continue to be highly liveable. It will be smart and efficient, and a zero net emissions city that leads by example in addressing the global challenge of climate change.

To do this, we must protect our natural environment—protecting our parks and waterways, our green spaces, our biodiversity, our wildlife and our nature reserves.

But not everyone is committed to this vision. A few weeks ago, we learned that the National Capital refuses to let go of the idea that we might one day build a motorway through our nature reserves in Canberra’s north. The ‘Monash Drive’ corridor would wreak havoc on the natural environment around Mount Ainslie, cutting behind Hackett, Ainslie and Campbell.

If Monash Drive is built, protected woodlands and beloved walking and cycling tracks would have to be bulldozed. Not to mention the increased noise, congestion, and pollution that would come with more cars in the suburbs.

Despite being a relic of the last century, the NCA is refusing to remove this ghost road from their blueprint for our city, saying that the bypass may be needed in the future. This is completely out of step with Canberra’s increasingly sustainable future.

The ACT is on a journey towards zero greenhouse gas emissions, and part of that is transitioning to sustainable modes of transport. Building more and more roads just continues the endless cycle of car dependency. Not only is this a problem contributing to global warming, it inevitably erodes the liveability of our city and leads to congestion, pollution and inconvenience.

Smart cities around the world, like Canberra, are transitioning away from car-dominated planning, and instead creating highly-liveable, environmentally-friendly cities. That is why the Greens required Labor to abandon this road through our 2008 Parliamentary Agreement. We removed it from the Territory Plan and have been pushing for the National Capital Authority to erase it from the National Capital Plan.

In fact, Canberra residents would be served much better if we instead built a high-quality cycling and walking route on the general alignment proposed for Monash Drive. We need to keep planning and building for the Canberra of the future—new motorways through our nature reserves definitely should not be part of it.

Shane Rattenbury MLA, ACT Greens Member for Kurrajong.


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59 Responses to
Greens say dump Monash Drive to protect our environment for the future
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bj_ACT 2:46 pm 07 Apr 19

This proposed road reminds me a bit of Sulwood drive behind Kambah and Wanniassa.

Hard to tell whether Sulwood drive has had a good or bad impact on the environment around Mt Taylor.

In some ways it opens up quick and easy access for Canberrans to enjoy their nearby trails and walks. But on the negative side, it has eaten into the land border by about 40 meters.

1:22 pm 07 Apr 19

Good. It's not needed and now that trail is popular with walkers and other outdoor enthusiasts. It has become a local treasure.

Lucy Baker 7:31 am 07 Apr 19

Wasn’t light rail going to solve the Northbourne Avenue congestion?

Futureproof 12:01 pm 06 Apr 19

Rattenbury believes in a family of four riding bikes to do the shopping, going to work, going to school, going to sports/ballet/doctors. It’s fine when you’re an overpaid pollie, supplied with a taxpayer funded car and fuel card. Meanwhile, as Canberra grows, the sprawl increases. The Greens have no plans except more people, more congestion

    Maya123 3:42 pm 06 Apr 19

    As a child I attended five different schools (country towns and city). I rode my bike or walked to every one of those schools, as did most of my class mates, unless they came to school on a school bus from way out in the country. Except for a few months in one town when I was boarded out on a farm, so I too caught the bus for that time.
    As an adult I rode my bike to work for over thirty years.

    This idea (in urban areas) where children must be driven to school is a modern one.

8:04 pm 05 Apr 19

I will support the development of this road if the business case prepared using triple bottom line principles says it is justified. Waiting, waiting...

    1:20 pm 06 Apr 19

    I too would support any business case that has demonstrated triple bottom line measures and benefits. Unfortunately the ACT Governments Triple Bottom Line Assessment Framework is not applied consistently to funded projects and from what I have heard (from a good source) they are not completed to a high enough quality and to a properly implemented evidenced based standard. Good in theory, bad in ACT Government practice where politics override evidence. But I agree with your point.

    1:26 pm 06 Apr 19

    Actually to see how it has gone, check out the Triple Bottom Line website the ACT Government introduced to monitor the progress of their work in the space https://twitter.com/abarrmla/status/497526374689562624

    4:39 pm 06 Apr 19

    Jeff Smith yes, my long standing gripe is that there is a delivery gap in most projects they announce between what is promised and what is actually delivered. The project managers then seek to defend delivering a donkey, when a stallion was promised.

10:32 am 05 Apr 19

Of course it all depends after the election.....then we will see how much power these Greens will have to voice such an idea....

6:51 am 05 Apr 19

I sat for 15 minutes trying to get across Northbourne down MacArthur Ave. I’m not sure where all these cars are from but there’s definitely more of them.

    7:14 am 05 Apr 19

    Liz Hampton people are changing the way they get around the city area which is why there are more on roads like this. Not helped in by the 3 or is it now 4 week closure of Ipima street which has also put extra pressure on Girrahween Street.

    My biggest criticism of light rail construction is how slow the work takes on these roads. Take Ipima Street for the first week of closure not one bit of work was done on the eastern side yet the road was blocked.

1:31 am 05 Apr 19

Bout time the Greens went

1:22 am 05 Apr 19

I think it is required. Gungahlin is a growing town centre, increasing in population and density. Unfortunately majority of people in Gungahlin won’t be able to catch the tram to work. And with the proposed plan to reduce the speed on Northbourne, it will become increasingly frustrating for people. I think if the so called Ghost Road became a reality, many of Shane’s voters would be happy. Even if they drove a Prius.

    7:10 am 05 Apr 19

    Michael Fardell btw there is no PLAN to reduce the speed on Northborne. That was a brain fart/wish from the pedestrian council.

    Also the function this road performs has been catered for by the Majura Parkway. Though to be useful as a means of Gungahlin people getting to the city the road up through Campbell needs improving.

    10:52 am 05 Apr 19

    Ashley Wright 👍

    3:49 pm 05 Apr 19

    Well no, Majura Parkway was always going to be built to connect the Monaro and Federal. Monash is intended to relieve traffic pressure on the city. Tram or no tram, Monash Drive's time is coming.

    6:45 am 06 Apr 19

    Michael Fardell well no, Monash Drive was intended as a city bypass, it was added to the territory plan in the 1960’s. The road was to join Fairbain Ave near the road that heads up mount Ainslie. (Many think it would run onto Ainslie Ave but not so). That function is well and truely provided by the Majura Parkway.

    The Majura Parkway has been on “the map” since the late 70’s and was intended as an alternative to the Monash Drive not in addition to.

    And I am sure both sides of local politics have said the Monash drive won’t be built in the future, the only debate is the NCA keeping it on the territory plan despite no party wanting it and the chances of it passing muster in this day and ago very low.

10:32 pm 04 Apr 19

I think this road could be the solution to the northbourne mess...

    3:51 pm 05 Apr 19

    … as it was always intended to be. The tram highlights the value of Monash Drive.

9:25 pm 04 Apr 19

Hypocrisy, no problem with bulldozing the natural environment in NSW for houses though

9:23 pm 04 Apr 19

Green oppose everything. Except recycled toilet paper... . it's getting ridiculous really...

David J Whittem 9:08 pm 04 Apr 19

Monash drive has been on the plan for North Canberra for decades, with the likelihood of Northbourne Avenue becoming a 40kph zone and further gridlock it should be built, however if not it is commuters in North Canberra who will be most disadvantaged.

chewy14 9:08 pm 04 Apr 19

The Greens wouldn’t want that road built because it would negatively affect property prices in parts of the inner north and that just wouldn’t do.

8:50 pm 04 Apr 19

Playing to his audience. Typical north Canberra NIMBY

8:48 pm 04 Apr 19

Everything in Canberra these days is out of step with a sustainable future. I saw a bird nesting on a street light last season because there wasn't a single mature tree within coo-eee

7:12 pm 04 Apr 19

The only people opposed to this road are the ones who own property near its gazetted position. Everyone in Canberra - including those land owners - have always known that road is supposed to be built. Don't give in to noisy rentseekers.

    7:59 pm 04 Apr 19

    I'm opposed to it and have no north side property interests so there goes that thesis... It is a beautiful bit of Canberra that would be ruined by another road. We don't need this road as we built Majura Rd instead and, while I'm not a big fan of light rail, the light rail should take some traffic off Northbourne.

    10:01 pm 04 Apr 19

    Rod Katz fair enough. I hope you are right about light rail.

    3:52 pm 05 Apr 19

    Rod Katz Irrelevant argument.

6:35 pm 04 Apr 19

It’s a fragment of urban bushland which should be preserved. It’s used by cyclists & walkers not to mention the wildlife that lives there. We shouldn’t be demolishing more endangered habitats & the lungs of the city to build more roads.

6:35 pm 04 Apr 19

If the Greens are opposed to it, it must be an awesome idea !

    11:44 pm 04 Apr 19

    Here is a short list of other things the Greens oppose:

    - exorbitant parliamentary pensions

    - tax-payer subsidies for mining companies

    - treating drug addiction as a crime, rather than the medical problem it is

    - live animal exports

    - the Medicare rebate freeze

    - companies donating to (bribing) political parties

    - coal ships going thru the Great Barrier Reef

    - increasing wealth inequality

    You think these are all awesome ideas Ann Chaplin?

    10:42 am 05 Apr 19

    everything except the live animal exports is fine by me.

    11:15 pm 05 Apr 19

    Robert Lang No mining companies are subsidised.

    6:45 am 06 Apr 19

    Ann Chaplin all 3 parties oppose the plan.

    8:41 am 06 Apr 19

    Ashley Wright typical of ACT politics.

    1:23 pm 07 Apr 19

    I can't stand the Greens and their rampant socialism but when they remember the environment from time to time, I support them.

6:25 pm 04 Apr 19

Build it and ease the congestion on northbourne. I currently use the rat runs to get to Watson.

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