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

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


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102 Responses to Light rail to cross the lake to Woden next: Greens, ALP
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HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 5:28 pm 03 Sep 16

Masquara said :

Curiouser and curiouser. One of the Labor candidates – a transport expert apparently – told me at the shops that she thinks “driverless cars” will probably be the norm within 15 years. I had nominated 6 years. Deferring to her expertise, that means that all that massive disruption for a static, inflexible light rail line may well be redundant just when we finish paying for the first stage. (Who is going to walk “last-mile” to a light rail station when we have the convenience of driverless cars?) It’s actually looking more and more as though the cost of letting the Liberals cancel the thing might end up looking like sensible expenditure. Her further argument to my cars speculation was that “poor people won’t be able to afford driverless cars, so we’ll need the light rail to look after them”. So it sounds as though Labor plan to rely on fares from “poor people who can’t afford a car” to maintain the cost of light rail in 15 years’ time. Furthermore (scrabbling for positives) the candidate said that light rail was more convenient for people in wheelchairs than buses are. I’m all for looking after the disabled – but seriously, surely we could provide ALL wheelchair-bound people in the ACT with their own modified cars without making a dent in the savings from cancelling the light rail.

The Labor/Green approach to rates and car registration will ensure a steady increase in the numbers of “poor people who can’t afford a car” – so that would help with tram patronage……..

Masquara Masquara 4:24 pm 03 Sep 16

Maya123 said :

The problem with driverless cars is that they don’t take up any less road room than present day cars.

That can be managed. Driverless cars don’t need metres in front and behind, and they will all take off from the lights at the same time. Driverless cars I would think would at least halve road space taken.

dungfungus dungfungus 4:23 pm 03 Sep 16

Maya123 said :

Masquara said :

Curiouser and curiouser. One of the Labor candidates – a transport expert apparently – told me at the shops that she thinks “driverless cars” will probably be the norm within 15 years. I had nominated 6 years. Deferring to her expertise, that means that all that massive disruption for a static, inflexible light rail line may well be redundant just when we finish paying for the first stage. (Who is going to walk “last-mile” to a light rail station when we have the convenience of driverless cars?) It’s actually looking more and more as though the cost of letting the Liberals cancel the thing might end up looking like sensible expenditure. Her further argument to my cars speculation was that “poor people won’t be able to afford driverless cars, so we’ll need the light rail to look after them”. So it sounds as though Labor plan to rely on fares from “poor people who can’t afford a car” to maintain the cost of light rail in 15 years’ time. Furthermore (scrabbling for positives) the candidate said that light rail was more convenient for people in wheelchairs than buses are. I’m all for looking after the disabled – but seriously, surely we could provide ALL wheelchair-bound people in the ACT with their own modified cars without making a dent in the savings from cancelling the light rail.

The problem with driverless cars is that they don’t take up any less road room than present day cars.

I’m so glad you said that because I can’t see where the breakthrough or advantage is with this concept. I thought it was just me, already half senile.
Could someone please explain what the big deal is?

Maya123 Maya123 3:52 pm 03 Sep 16

Masquara said :

Curiouser and curiouser. One of the Labor candidates – a transport expert apparently – told me at the shops that she thinks “driverless cars” will probably be the norm within 15 years. I had nominated 6 years. Deferring to her expertise, that means that all that massive disruption for a static, inflexible light rail line may well be redundant just when we finish paying for the first stage. (Who is going to walk “last-mile” to a light rail station when we have the convenience of driverless cars?) It’s actually looking more and more as though the cost of letting the Liberals cancel the thing might end up looking like sensible expenditure. Her further argument to my cars speculation was that “poor people won’t be able to afford driverless cars, so we’ll need the light rail to look after them”. So it sounds as though Labor plan to rely on fares from “poor people who can’t afford a car” to maintain the cost of light rail in 15 years’ time. Furthermore (scrabbling for positives) the candidate said that light rail was more convenient for people in wheelchairs than buses are. I’m all for looking after the disabled – but seriously, surely we could provide ALL wheelchair-bound people in the ACT with their own modified cars without making a dent in the savings from cancelling the light rail.

The problem with driverless cars is that they don’t take up any less road room than present day cars.

Masquara Masquara 12:24 pm 03 Sep 16

Curiouser and curiouser. One of the Labor candidates – a transport expert apparently – told me at the shops that she thinks “driverless cars” will probably be the norm within 15 years. I had nominated 6 years. Deferring to her expertise, that means that all that massive disruption for a static, inflexible light rail line may well be redundant just when we finish paying for the first stage. (Who is going to walk “last-mile” to a light rail station when we have the convenience of driverless cars?) It’s actually looking more and more as though the cost of letting the Liberals cancel the thing might end up looking like sensible expenditure. Her further argument to my cars speculation was that “poor people won’t be able to afford driverless cars, so we’ll need the light rail to look after them”. So it sounds as though Labor plan to rely on fares from “poor people who can’t afford a car” to maintain the cost of light rail in 15 years’ time. Furthermore (scrabbling for positives) the candidate said that light rail was more convenient for people in wheelchairs than buses are. I’m all for looking after the disabled – but seriously, surely we could provide ALL wheelchair-bound people in the ACT with their own modified cars without making a dent in the savings from cancelling the light rail.

dungfungus dungfungus 12:04 pm 03 Sep 16

gooterz said :

dungfungus said :

Nilrem said :

Leon said :

The Labor Government’s August 2012 submission to Infrastructure Australia estimated that bus rapid transit would deliver more than nine tenths of the benefits of light rail at less than half the cost. Labor rejected the report’s findings, committed to light rail, and kept the report secret until nine months after the 2012 election. The Greens naively believed that building light rail to Gungahlin would cost less than the Majura Parkway.
For a tiny fraction of the cost of extending light rail to Woden we can extend Adelaide Avenue’s transit lanes to Civic and Woden. Transit lanes carry more traffic than light rail lines. They can reduce congestion more effectively, because they also encourage car drivers to become car passengers.
Transport Minister Meegan Fitzharris refuses to consider transit lanes, despite admitting that the Government has two secret transit lane reports.
Labor has now committed to extend the light rail to Woden.
How many secret reports does the Government have, that conclude that investing in buses offers greater benefits than investing in light rail?

Leon, by adopting this line you are playing into the Liberals’ hands. And guess what? If they get in there won’t be more buses. Just more and more and more cars.

One day, all Canberrans will realise that the preferred method of transport in Canberra is by private car and governments will once again start cater for the 92% that use private cars.

Alternative. Class some new suburbs as public transport or non public transport. Non public transport gets very miminal service.
Public transport suburb encourages public transport users.

If it based on user-pays cost recovery I am all for it!

gooterz gooterz 11:55 am 03 Sep 16

dungfungus said :

Nilrem said :

Leon said :

The Labor Government’s August 2012 submission to Infrastructure Australia estimated that bus rapid transit would deliver more than nine tenths of the benefits of light rail at less than half the cost. Labor rejected the report’s findings, committed to light rail, and kept the report secret until nine months after the 2012 election. The Greens naively believed that building light rail to Gungahlin would cost less than the Majura Parkway.
For a tiny fraction of the cost of extending light rail to Woden we can extend Adelaide Avenue’s transit lanes to Civic and Woden. Transit lanes carry more traffic than light rail lines. They can reduce congestion more effectively, because they also encourage car drivers to become car passengers.
Transport Minister Meegan Fitzharris refuses to consider transit lanes, despite admitting that the Government has two secret transit lane reports.
Labor has now committed to extend the light rail to Woden.
How many secret reports does the Government have, that conclude that investing in buses offers greater benefits than investing in light rail?

Leon, by adopting this line you are playing into the Liberals’ hands. And guess what? If they get in there won’t be more buses. Just more and more and more cars.

One day, all Canberrans will realise that the preferred method of transport in Canberra is by private car and governments will once again start cater for the 92% that use private cars.

Alternative. Class some new suburbs as public transport or non public transport. Non public transport gets very miminal service.
Public transport suburb encourages public transport users.

gooterz gooterz 11:52 am 03 Sep 16

Leon said :

Nilrem said :

Leon, by adopting this line you are playing into the Liberals’ hands. And guess what? If they get in there won’t be more buses. Just more and more and more cars.

Is it better to vote for a Liberal Party that will do little for public transport, or for a Labor Party that reduced the public transport journey-to-work mode share from 7.8% to 7.1% within two years of its 2012 election commitment to increase that mode share to 10.5% by 2016?

Its a circular argument against light rail. Light rail costs someone a billion dollars. That billion dollars has to be earned income meaning that we need to work more hours or get jobs where we otherwise wouldnt. Which in turn increases the number of people whom have to travel to work.

In essence we most of our lives working to help others to work.

Leon Leon 10:47 am 03 Sep 16

Nilrem said :

Leon, by adopting this line you are playing into the Liberals’ hands. And guess what? If they get in there won’t be more buses. Just more and more and more cars.

Is it better to vote for a Liberal Party that will do little for public transport, or for a Labor Party that reduced the public transport journey-to-work mode share from 7.8% to 7.1% within two years of its 2012 election commitment to increase that mode share to 10.5% by 2016?

chewy14 chewy14 7:33 am 03 Sep 16

TuggLife said :

This makes my head hurt. It terminates at Canberra Hospital, rather than the more populous town centre? Why? And it comes days after announcing a comprehensive bus network encompassing Woden. Why isn’t it a more integrated strategy?

I’m not 100% in agreement with the current works, but at least the current route links high density housing, a town centre that is otherwise poorly connected, and provides transport options to an industrial area.

We need a link between Civic and the Airport.

Where did you find that it stops at the hospital? There’s nothing in the article and the map shows it stopping at the town centre so it can eventually be extended down Athllon drive.

dungfungus dungfungus 7:20 am 03 Sep 16

Nilrem said :

Leon said :

The Labor Government’s August 2012 submission to Infrastructure Australia estimated that bus rapid transit would deliver more than nine tenths of the benefits of light rail at less than half the cost. Labor rejected the report’s findings, committed to light rail, and kept the report secret until nine months after the 2012 election. The Greens naively believed that building light rail to Gungahlin would cost less than the Majura Parkway.
For a tiny fraction of the cost of extending light rail to Woden we can extend Adelaide Avenue’s transit lanes to Civic and Woden. Transit lanes carry more traffic than light rail lines. They can reduce congestion more effectively, because they also encourage car drivers to become car passengers.
Transport Minister Meegan Fitzharris refuses to consider transit lanes, despite admitting that the Government has two secret transit lane reports.
Labor has now committed to extend the light rail to Woden.
How many secret reports does the Government have, that conclude that investing in buses offers greater benefits than investing in light rail?

Leon, by adopting this line you are playing into the Liberals’ hands. And guess what? If they get in there won’t be more buses. Just more and more and more cars.

One day, all Canberrans will realise that the preferred method of transport in Canberra is by private car and governments will once again start cater for the 92% that use private cars.

TuggLife TuggLife 10:26 pm 02 Sep 16

This makes my head hurt. It terminates at Canberra Hospital, rather than the more populous town centre? Why? And it comes days after announcing a comprehensive bus network encompassing Woden. Why isn’t it a more integrated strategy?

I’m not 100% in agreement with the current works, but at least the current route links high density housing, a town centre that is otherwise poorly connected, and provides transport options to an industrial area.

We need a link between Civic and the Airport.

gooterz gooterz 9:21 pm 02 Sep 16

Canberra light rail goes south more quickly than expected!

Nilrem Nilrem 8:51 pm 02 Sep 16

Leon said :

The Labor Government’s August 2012 submission to Infrastructure Australia estimated that bus rapid transit would deliver more than nine tenths of the benefits of light rail at less than half the cost. Labor rejected the report’s findings, committed to light rail, and kept the report secret until nine months after the 2012 election. The Greens naively believed that building light rail to Gungahlin would cost less than the Majura Parkway.
For a tiny fraction of the cost of extending light rail to Woden we can extend Adelaide Avenue’s transit lanes to Civic and Woden. Transit lanes carry more traffic than light rail lines. They can reduce congestion more effectively, because they also encourage car drivers to become car passengers.
Transport Minister Meegan Fitzharris refuses to consider transit lanes, despite admitting that the Government has two secret transit lane reports.
Labor has now committed to extend the light rail to Woden.
How many secret reports does the Government have, that conclude that investing in buses offers greater benefits than investing in light rail?

Leon, by adopting this line you are playing into the Liberals’ hands. And guess what? If they get in there won’t be more buses. Just more and more and more cars.

Masquara Masquara 7:24 pm 02 Sep 16

Blen_Carmichael said :

This desperation is hilarious. What next, Shane Rattenbury? Mawson? Wanniassa? Calwell? Williamsdale?

Oak’s Estate? : ]

dungfungus dungfungus 5:14 pm 02 Sep 16

madelini said :

“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…”

We get it, Jeremy. You’re a No Man, leading a No Party. Given that current costings say that it would be too expensive to cancel the contracts and infrastructure already invested in light rail, what are you proposing as an alternative? Anyone can say No, to anything; I want to see the Leader of the Opposition present a viable alternative.

In this context a viable alternative will be a win by the Liberals.

dungfungus dungfungus 5:12 pm 02 Sep 16

madelini said :

dungfungus said :

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.

The Majura Solar Farm is relatively new – they managed to get it up in record time.

I have to say though, even with the dust and pollen risk, I am in favour of energy sources such as solar over the more traditional methods of producing power. We have finite resources but lots of daylight; the upkeep on the panels is surely worth the money spent if it means that we’re slowing the environmental impacts of our everyday life, even in a small way.

We do have lots of sunlight, especially when the sun is shining but that’s not today and there is no wind so looks like we are using that evil traditional power……

HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 5:06 pm 02 Sep 16

chewy14 said :

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.

Yes – and even if the apartments are miraculously built and occupied, there is the practical detail of getting passengers to the median strip on a roadway where there are no current intersecting roads or pedestrian crossings. Will it be underpasses (always popular with the mugger demographic), or a bridge (neither option being disability or aged-friendly) or is this eleventh-hour thought bubble part of a grand vision to turn Adelaide Avenue/Yarra Glen into another Northbourne Avenue style mess?

BlowMeDown BlowMeDown 3:10 pm 02 Sep 16

I can’t understand why the Greens are locking the whole community into a nineteenth century notion of the ideal workplace.

I would have thought they’d be promoting work from home and regenerating the idea of the suburban village.

BlowMeDown BlowMeDown 2:55 pm 02 Sep 16

50 years ago i would have been right behind light rail. However by 2040 light rail will be completely obsolete. By then the idea that people had to switch modes of transport once leave alone several times and work to a timetable, or even travel to work at all for an office job, will seem quaint.

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