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Murrumbidgee now the real election battleground

By Chris Mordd Richards - 2 September 2016 31

light rail artist impression

ACT Labor has today announced a City to Woden connection as the Stage 2 light rail commitment they will take to the election. Having made the decision on this in their final cabinet meeting before entering Caretaker period, they have set up the seat of Murrumbidgee as the real battleground electorate for this election. Gungahlin is already getting its own slice of light rail, and despite the heated contest emerging in Tuggeranong (the Brindabella electorate), by committing to extending light rail to Woden if re-elected, Labor has just turned Murrumbidgee into the real contest.

This decision opens the door to an extension to Tuggeranong as a stage 3 in 2020, which works for Labor in Brindabella to some extent also. I suspect that this played a small part in their decision to go with Woden as the Stage 2 instead of an Airport-City or Airport-City-Belconnen connection.

The new light rail leg to Woden will see trams “cross the lake over the Commonwealth Avenue bridge, travel through the Parliamentary Triangle, and down Adelaide Avenue to the Woden town centre”. Labor decided at the last minute for reasons unknown to jettison the proposed end point of Mawson, though, and will terminate the tram at Woden itself for the stage 2 build. The stage one and two combination is being dubbed the “north-south spine”, from which branches can grow out to connect all of Canberra eventually. This makes extending to Woden as the stage 2 logical from this perspective, even if ending at Mawson would have been desirable to take advantage of the park and ride facilities there. I hope Labor now commits to exploring options for expanding park and ride access at Woden to match the new service.

Labor and the Greens have today made election pledges to sign the contracts for the stage 2 during the next term of government. The bridge over the lake may require strengthening work, and the approval of the National Capital Authority will be required (for the section that travels through the Parliamentary Triangle). It is not clear exactly when construction of the stage 2 would commence if Labor is re-elected, but the Government is keen to minimise any delay between stage 1 finishing and stage 2 commencing. I expect that we will learn of their estimated start date later in the election campaign itself.

The head of lobby group ACT Light Rail, Damien Haas, released a statement regarding the stage 2 announcement that read in part:

By declaring a bold stage two of light rail, the ACT Government firmly indicates to all of Canberra that the light rail project will eventually reach their town centre. Crossing the lake and travelling through the Parliamentary Triangle are the two big factors that the rest of the network depend upon.

Future extensions to Tuggeranong, or even Queanbeyan are now extremely feasible. A Civic-Russell-Airport route would connect to a light rail network that travels to many national attractions and hotel/entertainment precincts. Going across the lake opens up the other routes from the Light Rail Network Plan for realistic implementation.
The ability of light rail to act as an urban renewal catalyst, as well as a tool to deal with road congestion and increase public transport patronage is well known, and the main reason Canberra chose light rail over BRT.

This announcement is well timed, and politically savvy. It will appeal to voters in the south of Canberra and provides an overwhelmingly superior policy when compared to the Canberra Liberals’ bus only policy.

With this plan in place, Labor is clearly demonstrating their commitment to a Canberra wide Light Rail network and are demonstrating they will proceed to build it out piece by piece with that goal in mind at all times. Once the spine is established, from there the branches will grow.

What’s Your opinion?


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31 Responses to
Murrumbidgee now the real election battleground
rommeldog56 6:31 pm 04 Sep 16

Mordd / Chris Richards said :

Oh ok, I presumed the Greens had taken over that part and added Bus and Tram services to it! Oh well, im sure the independents / minor parties will do wonders with Oaks Estate and turn it into the best place to live in Canberra!

Nah – when he was TAMS Minister, the Greens Shane Rattenburry didnt even know that Oakes Estate was part of the ACT.

JC 6:11 pm 04 Sep 16

dungfungus said :

The public transport choices are going to be:

1. Stand in a tram and arrive later than a bus travelling the same route.
0r
2. Sit in a bus and get there faster.

Why spend billions for something inferior to what is already available?

And for Damien Haas to suggest that trams are a solution to road congestion is totally false as anyone who as ever travelled on a Melbourne tram knows.

Melbourne is for the most part a tramway netwrok, with trams running on roads mixed in with all the other traffic. Except for half of two lines 96 and 109 which operate as light rail (you do know there is a difference between a tramway and light rail?). Anyway anyone who has ever traveled on them knows they go fast and are not effected on the light rail section by traffic.

Masquara 6:10 pm 04 Sep 16

Cost?

Mordd / Chris Richar 5:17 pm 04 Sep 16

dungfungus said :

Mordd / Chris Richards said :

gooterz said :

dungfungus said :

rommeldog56 said :

HiddenDragon said :

“….This announcement is well timed….” – particularly for south-side voters who have recently received their Annual Rates notice, and can now reflect on the costs of gesture politics on an epic scale.

Canberrians are too well paid but also seem to be too apathetic or rusted on Labor/Greens to care much about Annual Rates (and other ACT Govt charges) rises I’m afraid.

I like this bit in the OP “… and provides an overwhelmingly superior policy when compared to the Canberra Liberals’ bus only policy”.

So, as well as the tram, ACT Labor/Greens will introduce an expanded express bus network.

Last I heard, ACTION was subsidised to about m$100pa. Fair enough, it has infinately greater coverage than the Tram ever will. Tram stage 1 will cost about m$70+pa.

Makes u wonder where all this $ will be coming from ?

But, minor technicalities like that never seem to worry Greens or rusted on ACT Labor supporters. Labors Tram policy is after all “vastly superior” to the bus based Liberals policy, so stuff the $ I suppose.

The terminologies “rates and stamp duty” being phased out I think. They are being replaced with something called “property tax”.

Whatever they call it it is too excessive for the basic services we need.

I would like to see a basic property tax to cover the municipal necessities and another voluntary “opt in” tax for all the people who support the blank cheque mentality of this government.

In other words the Labor/Green voters could put their money where their vote is.

So in 10 years time everyone has to move into one of 3 zoned suburbs. Labor Liberal or Greens.

Greens have door to door light rail down every street, Solar panel roads that everyone rides bikes on and laws to prevent keeping pets, or eating anything other than vegan food.

Labor has artwork everywhere its like the Sistine Chapel. Every road has multiple lane bikelane and speed bumps every 10 metres. Residents are rich have 10 million dollar homes or apartments. Everyone living in a house here is a millionare, some parts of the suburbs are like the Kowloon walled city. There is much ‘culture’ with a population densities upto 40,000 people/sqkm.

Liberals section. No one really knows what goes on here, because no one has been here in a very long time. The tram doesn’t venture down this far and the bus service was cancelled long ago. However most of the businesses have moved here and has the biggest increase in population as the rents are normal compared to the other two types of suburbs.

Hmmm…. interesting….? Do the independents / minor parties get their own section to govern as well? I suspect everyone would move out of the Liberal section into that one, but the rest of your comments about the Liberal section seem more spot on.

The independents / minor parties will move to Oaks Estate.

Oh ok, I presumed the Greens had taken over that part and added Bus and Tram services to it! Oh well, im sure the independents / minor parties will do wonders with Oaks Estate and turn it into the best place to live in Canberra!

dungfungus 10:25 pm 03 Sep 16

Mordd / Chris Richards said :

gooterz said :

dungfungus said :

rommeldog56 said :

HiddenDragon said :

“….This announcement is well timed….” – particularly for south-side voters who have recently received their Annual Rates notice, and can now reflect on the costs of gesture politics on an epic scale.

Canberrians are too well paid but also seem to be too apathetic or rusted on Labor/Greens to care much about Annual Rates (and other ACT Govt charges) rises I’m afraid.

I like this bit in the OP “… and provides an overwhelmingly superior policy when compared to the Canberra Liberals’ bus only policy”.

So, as well as the tram, ACT Labor/Greens will introduce an expanded express bus network.

Last I heard, ACTION was subsidised to about m$100pa. Fair enough, it has infinately greater coverage than the Tram ever will. Tram stage 1 will cost about m$70+pa.

Makes u wonder where all this $ will be coming from ?

But, minor technicalities like that never seem to worry Greens or rusted on ACT Labor supporters. Labors Tram policy is after all “vastly superior” to the bus based Liberals policy, so stuff the $ I suppose.

The terminologies “rates and stamp duty” being phased out I think. They are being replaced with something called “property tax”.

Whatever they call it it is too excessive for the basic services we need.

I would like to see a basic property tax to cover the municipal necessities and another voluntary “opt in” tax for all the people who support the blank cheque mentality of this government.

In other words the Labor/Green voters could put their money where their vote is.

So in 10 years time everyone has to move into one of 3 zoned suburbs. Labor Liberal or Greens.

Greens have door to door light rail down every street, Solar panel roads that everyone rides bikes on and laws to prevent keeping pets, or eating anything other than vegan food.

Labor has artwork everywhere its like the Sistine Chapel. Every road has multiple lane bikelane and speed bumps every 10 metres. Residents are rich have 10 million dollar homes or apartments. Everyone living in a house here is a millionare, some parts of the suburbs are like the Kowloon walled city. There is much ‘culture’ with a population densities upto 40,000 people/sqkm.

Liberals section. No one really knows what goes on here, because no one has been here in a very long time. The tram doesn’t venture down this far and the bus service was cancelled long ago. However most of the businesses have moved here and has the biggest increase in population as the rents are normal compared to the other two types of suburbs.

Hmmm…. interesting….? Do the independents / minor parties get their own section to govern as well? I suspect everyone would move out of the Liberal section into that one, but the rest of your comments about the Liberal section seem more spot on.

The independents / minor parties will move to Oaks Estate.

Mordd / Chris Richar 9:58 pm 03 Sep 16

gooterz said :

dungfungus said :

rommeldog56 said :

HiddenDragon said :

“….This announcement is well timed….” – particularly for south-side voters who have recently received their Annual Rates notice, and can now reflect on the costs of gesture politics on an epic scale.

Canberrians are too well paid but also seem to be too apathetic or rusted on Labor/Greens to care much about Annual Rates (and other ACT Govt charges) rises I’m afraid.

I like this bit in the OP “… and provides an overwhelmingly superior policy when compared to the Canberra Liberals’ bus only policy”.

So, as well as the tram, ACT Labor/Greens will introduce an expanded express bus network.

Last I heard, ACTION was subsidised to about m$100pa. Fair enough, it has infinately greater coverage than the Tram ever will. Tram stage 1 will cost about m$70+pa.

Makes u wonder where all this $ will be coming from ?

But, minor technicalities like that never seem to worry Greens or rusted on ACT Labor supporters. Labors Tram policy is after all “vastly superior” to the bus based Liberals policy, so stuff the $ I suppose.

The terminologies “rates and stamp duty” being phased out I think. They are being replaced with something called “property tax”.

Whatever they call it it is too excessive for the basic services we need.

I would like to see a basic property tax to cover the municipal necessities and another voluntary “opt in” tax for all the people who support the blank cheque mentality of this government.

In other words the Labor/Green voters could put their money where their vote is.

So in 10 years time everyone has to move into one of 3 zoned suburbs. Labor Liberal or Greens.

Greens have door to door light rail down every street, Solar panel roads that everyone rides bikes on and laws to prevent keeping pets, or eating anything other than vegan food.

Labor has artwork everywhere its like the Sistine Chapel. Every road has multiple lane bikelane and speed bumps every 10 metres. Residents are rich have 10 million dollar homes or apartments. Everyone living in a house here is a millionare, some parts of the suburbs are like the Kowloon walled city. There is much ‘culture’ with a population densities upto 40,000 people/sqkm.

Liberals section. No one really knows what goes on here, because no one has been here in a very long time. The tram doesn’t venture down this far and the bus service was cancelled long ago. However most of the businesses have moved here and has the biggest increase in population as the rents are normal compared to the other two types of suburbs.

Hmmm…. interesting….? Do the independents / minor parties get their own section to govern as well? I suspect everyone would move out of the Liberal section into that one, but the rest of your comments about the Liberal section seem more spot on.

gooterz 8:13 pm 03 Sep 16

dungfungus said :

rommeldog56 said :

HiddenDragon said :

“….This announcement is well timed….” – particularly for south-side voters who have recently received their Annual Rates notice, and can now reflect on the costs of gesture politics on an epic scale.

Canberrians are too well paid but also seem to be too apathetic or rusted on Labor/Greens to care much about Annual Rates (and other ACT Govt charges) rises I’m afraid.

I like this bit in the OP “… and provides an overwhelmingly superior policy when compared to the Canberra Liberals’ bus only policy”.

So, as well as the tram, ACT Labor/Greens will introduce an expanded express bus network.

Last I heard, ACTION was subsidised to about m$100pa. Fair enough, it has infinately greater coverage than the Tram ever will. Tram stage 1 will cost about m$70+pa.

Makes u wonder where all this $ will be coming from ?

But, minor technicalities like that never seem to worry Greens or rusted on ACT Labor supporters. Labors Tram policy is after all “vastly superior” to the bus based Liberals policy, so stuff the $ I suppose.

The terminologies “rates and stamp duty” being phased out I think. They are being replaced with something called “property tax”.

Whatever they call it it is too excessive for the basic services we need.

I would like to see a basic property tax to cover the municipal necessities and another voluntary “opt in” tax for all the people who support the blank cheque mentality of this government.

In other words the Labor/Green voters could put their money where their vote is.

So in 10 years time everyone has to move into one of 3 zoned suburbs. Labor Liberal or Greens.

Greens have door to door light rail down every street, Solar panel roads that everyone rides bikes on and laws to prevent keeping pets, or eating anything other than vegan food.

Labor has artwork everywhere its like the Sistine Chapel. Every road has multiple lane bikelane and speed bumps every 10 metres. Residents are rich have 10 million dollar homes or apartments. Everyone living in a house here is a millionare, some parts of the suburbs are like the Kowloon walled city. There is much ‘culture’ with a population densities upto 40,000 people/sqkm.

Liberals section. No one really knows what goes on here, because no one has been here in a very long time. The tram doesn’t venture down this far and the bus service was cancelled long ago. However most of the businesses have moved here and has the biggest increase in population as the rents are normal compared to the other two types of suburbs.

dungfungus 4:30 pm 03 Sep 16

rommeldog56 said :

HiddenDragon said :

“….This announcement is well timed….” – particularly for south-side voters who have recently received their Annual Rates notice, and can now reflect on the costs of gesture politics on an epic scale.

Canberrians are too well paid but also seem to be too apathetic or rusted on Labor/Greens to care much about Annual Rates (and other ACT Govt charges) rises I’m afraid.

I like this bit in the OP “… and provides an overwhelmingly superior policy when compared to the Canberra Liberals’ bus only policy”.

So, as well as the tram, ACT Labor/Greens will introduce an expanded express bus network.

Last I heard, ACTION was subsidised to about m$100pa. Fair enough, it has infinately greater coverage than the Tram ever will. Tram stage 1 will cost about m$70+pa.

Makes u wonder where all this $ will be coming from ?

But, minor technicalities like that never seem to worry Greens or rusted on ACT Labor supporters. Labors Tram policy is after all “vastly superior” to the bus based Liberals policy, so stuff the $ I suppose.

The terminologies “rates and stamp duty” being phased out I think. They are being replaced with something called “property tax”.

Whatever they call it it is too excessive for the basic services we need.

I would like to see a basic property tax to cover the municipal necessities and another voluntary “opt in” tax for all the people who support the blank cheque mentality of this government.

In other words the Labor/Green voters could put their money where their vote is.

dungfungus 12:01 pm 03 Sep 16

Mordd / Chris Richards said :

FYI: “This announcement is well timed, and politically savvy. It will appeal to voters in the south of Canberra and provides an overwhelmingly superior policy when compared to the Canberra Liberals’ bus only policy.”

That was the last paragraph of Damien’s comments, not my own words. Somehow between submitting this and it going up, that accidentally got moved outside of the blockquote tags it seems. Sorry for the confusion.

There is no confusion as statements like that are Transport Canberra group-think mantras.

Mordd / Chris Richar 11:40 am 03 Sep 16

FYI: “This announcement is well timed, and politically savvy. It will appeal to voters in the south of Canberra and provides an overwhelmingly superior policy when compared to the Canberra Liberals’ bus only policy.”

That was the last paragraph of Damien’s comments, not my own words. Somehow between submitting this and it going up, that accidentally got moved outside of the blockquote tags it seems. Sorry for the confusion.

rommeldog56 9:38 am 03 Sep 16

HiddenDragon said :

“….This announcement is well timed….” – particularly for south-side voters who have recently received their Annual Rates notice, and can now reflect on the costs of gesture politics on an epic scale.

Canberrians are too well paid but also seem to be too apathetic or rusted on Labor/Greens to care much about Annual Rates (and other ACT Govt charges) rises I’m afraid.

I like this bit in the OP “… and provides an overwhelmingly superior policy when compared to the Canberra Liberals’ bus only policy”. So, as well as the tram, ACT Labor/Greens will introduce an expanded express bus network. Last I heard, ACTION was subsidised to about m$100pa. Fair enough, it has infinately greater coverage than the Tram ever will. Tram stage 1 will cost about m$70+pa.

Makes u wonder where all this $ will be coming from ?

But, minor technicalities like that never seem to worry Greens or rusted on ACT Labor supporters. Labors Tram policy is after all “vastly superior” to the bus based Liberals policy, so stuff the $ I suppose.

dungfungus 8:36 am 03 Sep 16

TuggLife said :

I will eat my hat if the light rail ever reaches Queanbeyan – they can’t even negotiate decent buses between Quangers and the ACT.

This shows how fanciful it’s all becoming. I’m tempted to run for a spot on the platform of light rail within 50m of all Canberrans, for how realistic these plans are.

(Dean’s, you do great work, but it’s more an intercity coach than a suburban bus…)

A diesel-electric light railcar could be running on the existing standard gauge railway line between Bungendore and Kingston (via Queanbeyan) tomorrow if it wasn’t for the pig-pigheadedness of The Green.

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/shane-rattenbury-rules-out-light-rail-between-queanbeyan-and-canberra-20150930-gjyeuv.html

TuggLife 10:33 pm 02 Sep 16

I will eat my hat if the light rail ever reaches Queanbeyan – they can’t even negotiate decent buses between Quangers and the ACT.

This shows how fanciful it’s all becoming. I’m tempted to run for a spot on the platform of light rail within 50m of all Canberrans, for how realistic these plans are.

(Dean’s, you do great work, but it’s more an intercity coach than a suburban bus…)

HiddenDragon 5:16 pm 02 Sep 16

“….This announcement is well timed….” – particularly for south-side voters who have recently received their Annual Rates notice, and can now reflect on the costs of gesture politics on an epic scale.

dungfungus 11:39 am 02 Sep 16

The public transport choices are going to be:

1. Stand in a tram and arrive later than a bus travelling the same route.
0r
2. Sit in a bus and get there faster.

Why spend billions for something inferior to what is already available?

And for Damien Haas to suggest that trams are a solution to road congestion is totally false as anyone who as ever travelled on a Melbourne tram knows.

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