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Light rail to cross the lake to Woden next: Greens, ALP

By Charlotte Harper - 2 September 2016 102

Shane Rattenbury and Andrew Barr

Canberra’s light rail network will be extended by 11km from Civic to Parliament House and along Adelaide Avenue to Woden if Labor or a Labor-Greens coalition is re-elected next month.

Both Labor and the Greens have announced today that they will sign contracts during the next term of Government to extend the line, already slated to run from Gungahlin to Civic, to Woden in the key Legislative Assembly electorate of Murrumbidgee.

Neither Labor nor the Greens have a sitting member among their candidates for Murrumbidgee, though former Greens MLA Caroline Le Couteur is running for the seat. The anti-light rail Canberra Liberals Leader Jeremy Hanson and his colleague Giulia Jones are the only sitting MLAs running in the electorate.

The other options previously under consideration for Stage two, Russell and the Canberra Airport, Civic to Belconnen, and Civic to a Parliamentary Triangle loop, remain in the works for the future.

Is Woden via Parliament and Adelaide Ave the right choice for Stage 2 of light rail?

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Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the route to Woden created “a north-south spine” for public transport in the ACT and was one of five priority stages of the planned light rail network, with Gungahlin to the city under construction and extensions to Belconnen, Canberra Airport and further into the Parliamentary Triangle to be built next.

He noted that stage two got the light rail project “across the lake”.

“Buses, bikes, and walking routes and later stages of light rail will feed into this spine, making it even easier for Canberrans to get where they need to go,” Mr Barr said.

Light rail Stage 2 to Woden

Mr Barr said announced recently that almost all ACT public servants working in health-related areas, some 1000 workers, would move to the Woden Town Centre given its proximity to The Canberra Hospital. The Federal Department of Health and Ageing’s central office is also in Woden, along with IP Australia and several smaller Federal agencies.

ACT Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury said the second stage to Woden would create a spine that connected the city’s north and south in line with the Greens’ commitment to deliver light rail right across the Territory.

“The Greens are already looking forward to future stages, including actively considering an extension into Mawson.

“There are great benefits in bringing light rail to the south of Canberra, including fantastic opportunities to revitalise the Woden town centre with vibrant urban development that comes with light rail.

“By 2040 we expect thousands more people travelling from Woden towards the City in the morning peak and employment in the Parliamentary Triangle is expected to dramatically increase between now and 2041. The Greens believe that every Canberran should be able to travel to and from work easily, affordably and without having to sit in traffic for hours.

Mr Rattenbury said light rail was about making life in Canberra better so that people didn’t end up stuck in traffic every day, and setting the growing city up for the future.

“The ACT Greens have campaigned for light rail for over ten years, and I am pleased that the Labor Party recognises the benefits that a Canberra-wide light rail network. And who knows, twenty years down the track the Liberals might just come out in support of it too,” the Greens Leader said.

Canberra Liberals transport spokesman Alistair Coe said the announcement today was “further proof” that Mr Barr and the rest of the ACT Labor government were out of touch with the priorities of Canberrans.

“Just like the current proposed route from Gungahlin to the City, this extension to Woden is the wrong direction for Canberra on so many fronts and will continue to drive rates through the roof,” Mr Coe said.

The Shadow Transport Minister noted the extension was “completely uncosted” and said “significant problems getting a tram over Commonwealth Avenue Bridge” were likely to blow out costs.

“Given Canberrans will have to pay $1.78 billion for stage one if ACT Labor is elected, this extension will further push the ACT into dangerous, unchartered financial waters. On a stroke of the pen by Andrew Barr, light rail costs could blow out by billions of dollars and residents will foot the bill,” Mr Coe said.

Pictured are Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury and Labor Leader and Chief Minister Andrew Barr at Majura Solar Farm last week and a map that shows Stage 2, and below, an earlier map showing the contenders for stage two and future potential extensions of the light rail network.

Light rail future

What’s Your opinion?


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102 Responses to
Light rail to cross the lake to Woden next: Greens, ALP
1
rommeldog56 7:33 am
02 Sep 16
#

OMG. How desperate are ACT Labor/Greens. They look and sound desperate.

I thought stage 2 was to go to the Airport via Russell and the Parliamentary Triangle loop and that Woden wasn’t slated for many years down the track (excuse the pun). So much for embracing tourism coming in via the now International Airport.

How will they cross the Lake ? Will it still be by closing a lane each way on Commonwealth Avenue bridge ? Impact on traffic ? Declare that now. Its not even mentioned in the article.

Another aprox. b$1.7 added to the bill to be met by ACT Ratepayers !

2
wildturkeycanoe 8:15 am
02 Sep 16
#

A vote enticing election promise? Trying to appease the masses on the south side? Does the government even have a costing for this promise or are ratepayers again going to be screwed over with an undisclosed debt we can’t afford?
Again we see the wonderful spin language such as “revitalise” and “vibrant urban development”. Can they get a thesaurus please, these words are getting so overused and have lost their impact.
Although they say contracts will be signed next term of government, construction wouldn’t commence till 2020 or when the first leg is finished, so there is still the possibility that a future change in leadership would can this line anyway. Labor and the Greens have some big dreams, but we shouldn’t be supporting them with the burden falling onto residents whose rates and utility bills are skyrocketing so much that “bill shock” is becoming a commonplace occurrence.

3
reddy84 9:30 am
02 Sep 16
#

I would have given the Airport a greater priority, followed by Belconnen only because I live there. I guess Adelaide Avenue does offer greater development opportunity.

4
gooterz 9:35 am
02 Sep 16
#

They just figured out that stage 1 won’t work without it.
What happened to its npt a transport solution its a driver for increasing development.

It makes slightly more sense perhaps they should do stage 2 before stage 1. Given that if they can’t cross the lake the whole project is doomed

5
aussie2 9:41 am
02 Sep 16
#

This is pork barrelling but more importantly is a bad decision. Labor needs to go! With 2million visitors to Canberra annually, many will come by air, yet there is no public transport from the airport to the city like other capital cities. Additionally light rail is touted as being a rapid form of transport. Whilst the Griffins may have envisaged transport corridors, such as those proposed by Labor today, they do little to create DIRECT routes to our main population centres. If congestion is to be such a major headache, why light rail and not Skyrail at a quarter of the cost? Surely a Skyrail track (see Melbourne, Dusseldorf, Dortmund, Wuppertal, Shanghai examples) to Belconnen or Tuggeranong – our largest population centres, would be of the utmost use to the travelling public and encourage high levels of patronage

6
gooterz 10:15 am
02 Sep 16
#

Light rail needs to be fast, light rail with stops every 500 metres wont work as a north south spine.

7
chewy14 10:18 am
02 Sep 16
#

This is laughable.

If stage one is barely break even on a cost benefit analysis when you incorporate the urban intensification along Northbourne/Flemington, then this leg is way behind.

The only way possible that this could work is by building high density apartments along Adelaide Avenue and Athllon drive to Mawson. Considering that the first stage will utilise almost all demand for those types of dwellings for the next few decades, this stage won’t be viable for 50 odd years, if ever.

This is pure political spin to try and buy votes in the upcoming election. If they actually try to build it, it places our finances in an even poorer position than we’re in now. A position that will be extremely hard to recover from.

8
dungfungus 10:33 am
02 Sep 16
#

You all know my opinion on the proposed ACT Light Fail and I will add comment on this latest “brain explosion” that the ACT Labor/Green minority government has just announced.

Something else has caught my eye with that photo of Mr Barr and Mr Rattenbury.

They appear to be at the site of a solar farm surrounded by pine trees. I am assuming this is the Williamsdale or Royalla project.

The implications for siting solar PV farms near pollen and dust sources depletes their efficiency and adds to maintenance costs. Note that (expensive) tap water must be used to clean them.

Dust is also a problem so the siting of the one under construction next to the Mugga Lane land fill was not a very bright idea.

I got this off the internet:

In the past, the phenomenon of dust deposition on the glass cover of photovoltaic modules has been studied mainly in the Middle East, but little is known about the phenomenon in Central Europe. This paper focuses on the magnitude of the problem in Belgium
A variety of measurements were performed to determine the effect of dust settlement on the power output of photovoltaic modules. The physical properties of the collected dust were examined using a scanning electron microscope (SEM). A potential solution for the phenomenon, namely the usage of special coatings on the cover glass, was investigated.

The resultsshow that the problem of dust settlement on photovoltaic modules in Belgium is not as severe as in the Middle East. Nonetheless the problem exists and results in a constant power loss between 3% and 4% for the optimal tilt angle in Belgium which is 35 and with periods of regular rainfall. Please note that these results do not reflect a one year energy loss, further experiments are needed. Rain seems to have little cleaning effect on smaller dust particles (2–10 lm), but on bigger particles (pollen, approx. 60 lm) the cleaning effect is clearly visible.
The use of special coatings on the glass have a potential reduction in power loss caused by dust settlement. However, at this moment, the extra cost associated with these coatings is not justified for photovoltaic modules in Belgium. Cleaning panels should only be done when soft tap water or demineralized water is available.
2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Air pollution; Dust; Energy efficiency; Environmental factors

9
tortfeaser 11:40 am
02 Sep 16
#

Baffling.

Only weeks ago the preferred stage 2 extended to Mawson, not just to Woden. And now, knees jerking, this government abandons its expressed preference.

10
dungfungus 11:42 am
02 Sep 16
#

dungfungus said :

You all know my opinion on the proposed ACT Light Fail and I will add comment on this latest “brain explosion” that the ACT Labor/Green minority government has just announced.

Something else has caught my eye with that photo of Mr Barr and Mr Rattenbury.

They appear to be at the site of a solar farm surrounded by pine trees. I am assuming this is the Williamsdale or Royalla project.

The implications for siting solar PV farms near pollen and dust sources depletes their efficiency and adds to maintenance costs. Note that (expensive) tap water must be used to clean them.

Dust is also a problem so the siting of the one under construction next to the Mugga Lane land fill was not a very bright idea.

I got this off the internet:

In the past, the phenomenon of dust deposition on the glass cover of photovoltaic modules has been studied mainly in the Middle East, but little is known about the phenomenon in Central Europe. This paper focuses on the magnitude of the problem in Belgium
A variety of measurements were performed to determine the effect of dust settlement on the power output of photovoltaic modules. The physical properties of the collected dust were examined using a scanning electron microscope (SEM). A potential solution for the phenomenon, namely the usage of special coatings on the cover glass, was investigated.

The resultsshow that the problem of dust settlement on photovoltaic modules in Belgium is not as severe as in the Middle East. Nonetheless the problem exists and results in a constant power loss between 3% and 4% for the optimal tilt angle in Belgium which is 35 and with periods of regular rainfall. Please note that these results do not reflect a one year energy loss, further experiments are needed. Rain seems to have little cleaning effect on smaller dust particles (2–10 lm), but on bigger particles (pollen, approx. 60 lm) the cleaning effect is clearly visible.
The use of special coatings on the glass have a potential reduction in power loss caused by dust settlement. However, at this moment, the extra cost associated with these coatings is not justified for photovoltaic modules in Belgium. Cleaning panels should only be done when soft tap water or demineralized water is available.
2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Air pollution; Dust; Energy efficiency; Environmental factors

I missed the bit in the OP that the photo was taken at the Majura Solar Farm (which I didn’t know existed) but the same thing applies regarding pollen.

11
Garfield 11:54 am
02 Sep 16
#

I am no fan at all of the 1st stage. It will cost more than the benefits it provides, but at least its running down the median strip leaving the existing lanes available for cars. This 2nd stage is going to have to take over a car lane on the bridge, thus funnelling what the government says will be an increasing number of cars into fewer lanes. Its also going to cost more to get over the lake than building a line on solid ground and it goes past the Lodge etc in areas where intensive development will not be at all welcome. This stage is going to be a bigger disaster than the first one. To have any chance at success, a second stage had to go to the airport. This is all about trying to win 3 Labor/Green seats in Murrumbidgee so as to ensure the Libs can’t get a majority. Another purely political decision to spend large amounts of our money to hang on to power.

12
rommeldog56 12:24 pm
02 Sep 16
#

Garfield said :

This is all about trying to win 3 Labor/Green seats in Murrumbidgee so as to ensure the Libs can’t get a majority. Another purely political decision to spend large amounts of our money to hang on to power.

Well, the bribe worked in Gungahlin so there is every chance it will also work in Woden/Murrumbidgee. Given the rusted on Labor & apathy of ACT voters that is.

13
Masquara 12:28 pm
02 Sep 16
#

Megan Fitzharris was on 666 this morning touting the tourism benefits of extending light rail. Yet they’ve ignored the airport option … simply doesn’t compute. I think this is a cynical election promise, they’ll be able to haul out a consultant’s report down the track. They’ll be able to manage that report to say (truthfully, as it happens) that Northbourne Avenue has exhausted the infill rush and there will be no similar market in Woden for another 20 years …. so ….. “Sorry Woden, have to do the Airport/Russell link after all and you’ll have to wait till we build up a critical mass of apartment demand in your area!”

14
Masquara 12:33 pm
02 Sep 16
#

Is anyone twigging to the fact that driverless cars will be with us within five years – and light rail is likely to be a billion-dollar white elephant even before it is launched? We will all be driven to work in little electric beasties, dropped off at our workplace door, and our little cost-effective donkeys will take themselves off to park cheaply until they are called back to pick us up. Even if that involves getting them to head back to our homes for the day! Canberrans who buy into light-rail-driven Northbourne Avenue apartment blocks without car parking spaces (presumably the ACT Government will be touting “no need for such” on the basis of a light rail sell) will be kicking themselves. Investors – you’ve been warned!

15
John Moulis 12:38 pm
02 Sep 16
#

I’m not surprised Labor and The Greens are panicking over Woden and the Murrumbidgee electorate. We’ve already had an articulate letter from Liberal candidate Paul House in our mailbox and a pamphlet from Jeremy Hanson who is also standing in Murrumbidgee. I’ve already gone onto Facebook saying I’ll be voting for Paul House. By contrast Labor and The Greens are almost invisible and total nonentities. I received a pamphlet from a Labor candidate I’ve never heard of showing her with her female partner but apart from that there has been nothing. I’m afraid Labor and The Greens have dropped the ball around here and expensive stunts like extending the tram won’t turn things around.

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