With the announcement by the incoming Federal Treasurer that he is seriously looking for community input for Budget 2008, if a proposal by ACT Light Rail is successful, a Light Rail feasibility study could be Federally funded. This would mean that the first steps to implementing a Light Rail network in the Territory could actually commence as early as late next year.
“ACT Light Rail will be making a submission to the Federal Treasury for Budget 2008, we believe that a detailed and balanced feasibility study can be achieved for a similar amount that was spent on the on study work for the Belconnen to City busway that never proceeded”, stated ACT Light Rail Convener Mr. Damien Haas.
With the ACT Government belligerently dragging its heels believing that a $400 Million investment in Buses are the only option for the future of public transport in the ACT* and the Federal Government making significant commitments to the Kyoto Protocol and Cooperative Federalism with the states, the implementation of Light Rail in the Capital Region as a primary public transport mode simply makes common sense. Implementation of a Light Rail Network will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and a significant burden of the cost of implementing the initial stages of a pilot network could actually be borne federally. It may even make sense to be the ideal Centenary gift the Federal Government could make to the Territory.
“ACT Light Rail is simply taking a pragmatic approach to get the job done and Light Rail implemented in the Territory. If the ACT Government is currently not interested, we will take our case to the Federal Government to get the initial feasibility studies and potentially a pilot network implemented as a Federal project. So far as we are concerned it doesn’t matter if a cat is black or white, so long as it catches mice”, concluded Mr. Haas.
ACT Light Rail will be holding its last public meeting for the year at 19:30 on Tuesday 11th of December at the Belconnen Community Centre, Swanson Court, Belconnen. Items to be covered at this meeting will include input on the Federal Budget submission as well as presentation of the submissions made to ACTPLA and NCA on the Molonglo and East Lake development proposals.
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Individuals wishing to get further information about the projects, philosophies and work that ACT Light Rail are involved in by perusing our comprehensive website resource at: http://ACTLightRail.info