Skip to content Skip to main navigation

News

Avani Terraces - Greenway
Life is looking up

New Rail Costs

By Barcham - 6 August 2013 13

An opinion from an anonymous Rioter about the costs of the new rail on Northbourne:

When I first moved to Canberra approximately 22 years ago I was told there was a housing shortage due to the high demand for low income housing in Canberra.Then the fires took 400+ houses. Then the wave of people from….

I have been lucky enough to have found out about a meeting held at Havelock House last night,for the Housing residents along Northbourne. I don’t know if it was poorly advertised or if the people in question believe as one man stated ,“ We don’t have a choice”? It was poorly attended. This meeting was to discuss the development of housing along the route of the train that is planned to run from Gungahlin to Civic. Straight up Northbourne. It seems that the rail project is so expensive that the area around it must be made new and very high density to bring the people who will then use the rail. These are off course moneyed people. Eight stories high.

The low income are to be swept out and relocated. “Taking into account their needs and taking into account our housing supply- where possible”. “They will have a dedicated housing manager to help and liaise with for their individual needs.” This is what all those who have gotten housing and are waiting for housing have been told from the start. The process doesn’t seem to work but for over 20 years it has been said.

22 years ago, with three children. I moved to a refuge in Canberra from a refuge in N.S.W. (Domestic Violence). I then got moved to a half way house as I waited for housing to find me a place. I was pushed out of this house as my time was up. Havelock House was suggested. I asked Housing is I could move there and stay on the priority list? This was fine until a week after we moved in. I have had the joy of living in close quarters to druggies/ drunks and the list goes on, as housing refused to move me. I have had the joy of a taxi ride home while listening to the driver bag out the woman who had put those lovely children in that situation of her own choice.

About three years ago I had need of housing in the A.C.T. again (desperate again). I had to get an advocate just to start the ball rolling. I had to push the point and take my appeals to the door of the Lawyers to get the place I now live in. All this was done to be close to one of my children and one grand child. I even had to live through having my advocate tell me at one point housing were claiming I didn’t need a place as I already had one. I was supposedly paying $10 per week for it while I was incarcerated. I never found out where. The terms of my incarceration were very agreeable though. It is only funny now it is over, scary as to what hope it leaves me for keeping close to my family though with this new upheaval.

If you choose to move now you join the housing que and are housed as they can at your cost. If you leave it till you have to move you will get put where they can find a spot (What if they can’t?), but they will pay for the move. They claim to be unable to house those on the waiting list now. What is going to happen when 400+ more people join that list and the new people come along and join up.

Who in this group of people has the right to say no? Some have lived in these houses for 30+ years. Some like myself have just moved in,(housing did not tell me this was happening or I would not have signed on and wasted the last of my money and strength moving in.) How many more are being moved into this area as we speak, through no choice of their own? These people have no voice and a large number are too beaten down to try and speak up any way.

Who is going to speak for them or are we just going to look the other way and then complain about the people sitting out side of Woolies and the growing violence that is coming if this is not addressed in a caring way. What price progress?? Where are anyone’s human rights let alone services in this sweep up for progress?

Tags

What’s Your opinion?


Post a comment
Please login to post your comments, or connect with
13 Responses to
New Rail Costs
dungfungus 9:20 am 10 Aug 13

Blathnat said :

The rental and property market in Canberra is already starting to fall, so I really don’t see how a massive influx of city-living apartments is going to fix anything.
Then, once you move all the low income earners out of there, you have to relocate them somewhere (at potentially great cost). What will most likely happen, is that they’ll end up doing big housing complexes and grouping everyone together. This has already proved not to work. Putting hundreds of these “druggies/junkies” together leads to horrible, dodgy areas that no one wants to go to (there are 2 Pizza joints in Belconnen that will refuse to deliver to Emu Ridge).

As for the rail itself – I’m a long-term resident of Gungahlin (I remember when Gundaroo Rd was dirt where the petrol stations are) and I think this is a terrible, terrible idea. Aside from the ridiculous costs involved, no one is going to use it. No one uses the public transport we already have. The roads from Gungahlin to the City are perfectly fine (ok, Northbourne can be a pain in peak-hour, but still). Not to mention that light-rail is old technology (Syd just closed their monorail) and will be pretty much useless.
Canberra has been designed (for the most part) for cars. Cars work very well in Canberra. We also have relatively low population density, and a low overall population. Seriously, a Tram system in a city like Melbourne with its 3million+ people works perfectly. In a little town with a population of 400k, it isn’t feasible.

The average speed of a tram in Melbourne is as low as 11km per hour. This is because the Melbourne trams have to share the roads with all vehicular traffic and stop for pedestrians.
The Canberra light rail proposal will largely use exclusive corridors adjacent to road traffic which is the result of planning (Melbourne didn’t have that opportunity).
Having said that, the heavy Euro trams that are used in Melbourne (and proposed for the Gold Coast light rail) are totally inappropriate for Canberra. There are other options.
The Capital Metro concept lacks vision; it needs to be extended across the Lake to the Parliamentary triangle, Kingston and Queanbeyan concurrent with construction of the City to Gungahlin route. There is more potential to reduce daily road traffic from Queanbeyan into Canberra than there is from Gungahlin to Canberra and the railway track from Queanbeyan already exists. It’s a no-brainer.

Blathnat 6:48 am 10 Aug 13

The rental and property market in Canberra is already starting to fall, so I really don’t see how a massive influx of city-living apartments is going to fix anything.
Then, once you move all the low income earners out of there, you have to relocate them somewhere (at potentially great cost). What will most likely happen, is that they’ll end up doing big housing complexes and grouping everyone together. This has already proved not to work. Putting hundreds of these “druggies/junkies” together leads to horrible, dodgy areas that no one wants to go to (there are 2 Pizza joints in Belconnen that will refuse to deliver to Emu Ridge).

As for the rail itself – I’m a long-term resident of Gungahlin (I remember when Gundaroo Rd was dirt where the petrol stations are) and I think this is a terrible, terrible idea. Aside from the ridiculous costs involved, no one is going to use it. No one uses the public transport we already have. The roads from Gungahlin to the City are perfectly fine (ok, Northbourne can be a pain in peak-hour, but still). Not to mention that light-rail is old technology (Syd just closed their monorail) and will be pretty much useless.
Canberra has been designed (for the most part) for cars. Cars work very well in Canberra. We also have relatively low population density, and a low overall population. Seriously, a Tram system in a city like Melbourne with its 3million+ people works perfectly. In a little town with a population of 400k, it isn’t feasible.

ChrisinTurner 2:54 pm 09 Aug 13

The proposed redevelopment of the ABC Flats in Reid/Braddon will also result in 300 less apartments (>600 people) remaining for social housing in the area. The cost of rehousing these people was missing from the cost-benefit provided to the Minister, according to Housing. I estimate it will cost about $100m to rehouse them and this should be the reserve price for selling the land to the developer. otherwise it is a hidden tax-payer subsidy to the developer. Along with the >$800m for Light Rail Stage 1 It won’t be long before Canberra is bankrupt.

beardedclam 3:46 pm 06 Aug 13

arescarti42 said :

beardedclam said :

Blocks of land sold by the Government are determined by the market at the time. The prices for small blocks on the outskirts of the city between 300k and 600k were set by the public when they went mad bidding for the first lot of blocks out there. The bidding set the sales history for that suburb, which like any valuation, is taken into consideration, along with other factors.

Suggesting that the supply of residential demand in the ACT is a market is completely laughable. The prices for small blocks on the outskirts of the city were determined by the ACT Government when they decided to use their monopoly power over the supply of land in the ACT to trickle feed new stock in order to maximise their revenue.

beardedclam said :

How would you recommend releasing land in a better way? How would you stop the ‘stockpiling’?

Let’s be clear. There isn’t some physical, legislative or financial constraint preventing the release of more land. All that needs to happen is for the ACT Government to decide that financially raping new home buyers isn’t the best way to fund itself.

beardedclam said :

Of course you would understand that just because a suburb exists on a piece of paper doesn’t necesarrily mean it will be developed at the same time.

Suburbs and communities take time to build. Before the purchasers are even involved, the contractors need to complete the infrastructure and civil works so the suburb is safe for residents to move in to. On top of that there are increased restraints on all developers (not just the government) to gain an increasing number of state and federal approvals before this construction can be approved (EPBC??? Heard of Lawson??)

None of that is why land isn’t being supplied. The cost to actually construct a subdivision is about $30-40k per lot (not including State and Federal Government charges), and the market price for that lot is $300-600k. You don’t think developers would be running over each other with bulldozers to get on that cash cow if they could?

As for the EPBC Act stuff, the entire Molonglo Valley development is covered by a Strategic Assessment, so as long as you build to the guidelines of that SA, you don’t have to apply for EPBC approval. That’s tens of thousands of homes that could be being built right now.

beardedclam said :

Would you release all the land at once and watch the market dive?

If it meant that our anonymous poster and thousands like them would no longer be forced to be borderline homeless throughout their lives, that thousands more families wouldn’t be under mountains of debt they’ll never pay off to afford a roof over their heads, and that the ACT economy would no longer be burdened by the ridiculous cost of land, then absolutely.

beardedclam said :

The fact is the government are the responsible party for this to occur, in comparison with other jurisdictions the ACT is doing well in the property market suggesting the land release timings of the past are not bad.

Straight from the AFR this morning:

“Canberra, which operates in a highly controlled and therefore artificial market, had the most expensive land with a median lot price of $338,000 – up 24 per cent”

The ACT is the worst performer of a nation of terribly performing cities on land supply.

Fair enough, you clearly care more than me.

arescarti42 2:04 pm 06 Aug 13

beardedclam said :

Blocks of land sold by the Government are determined by the market at the time. The prices for small blocks on the outskirts of the city between 300k and 600k were set by the public when they went mad bidding for the first lot of blocks out there. The bidding set the sales history for that suburb, which like any valuation, is taken into consideration, along with other factors.

Suggesting that the supply of residential demand in the ACT is a market is completely laughable. The prices for small blocks on the outskirts of the city were determined by the ACT Government when they decided to use their monopoly power over the supply of land in the ACT to trickle feed new stock in order to maximise their revenue.

beardedclam said :

How would you recommend releasing land in a better way? How would you stop the ‘stockpiling’?

Let’s be clear. There isn’t some physical, legislative or financial constraint preventing the release of more land. All that needs to happen is for the ACT Government to decide that financially raping new home buyers isn’t the best way to fund itself.

beardedclam said :

Of course you would understand that just because a suburb exists on a piece of paper doesn’t necesarrily mean it will be developed at the same time.

Suburbs and communities take time to build. Before the purchasers are even involved, the contractors need to complete the infrastructure and civil works so the suburb is safe for residents to move in to. On top of that there are increased restraints on all developers (not just the government) to gain an increasing number of state and federal approvals before this construction can be approved (EPBC??? Heard of Lawson??)

None of that is why land isn’t being supplied. The cost to actually construct a subdivision is about $30-40k per lot (not including State and Federal Government charges), and the market price for that lot is $300-600k. You don’t think developers would be running over each other with bulldozers to get on that cash cow if they could?

As for the EPBC Act stuff, the entire Molonglo Valley development is covered by a Strategic Assessment, so as long as you build to the guidelines of that SA, you don’t have to apply for EPBC approval. That’s tens of thousands of homes that could be being built right now.

beardedclam said :

Would you release all the land at once and watch the market dive?

If it meant that our anonymous poster and thousands like them would no longer be forced to be borderline homeless throughout their lives, that thousands more families wouldn’t be under mountains of debt they’ll never pay off to afford a roof over their heads, and that the ACT economy would no longer be burdened by the ridiculous cost of land, then absolutely.

beardedclam said :

The fact is the government are the responsible party for this to occur, in comparison with other jurisdictions the ACT is doing well in the property market suggesting the land release timings of the past are not bad.

Straight from the AFR this morning:

“Canberra, which operates in a highly controlled and therefore artificial market, had the most expensive land with a median lot price of $338,000 – up 24 per cent”

The ACT is the worst performer of a nation of terribly performing cities on land supply.

Matt_Watts 1:32 pm 06 Aug 13

beardedclam said :

watto23 said :

steveu said :

arescarti42 said :

If the ACT Government was serious about addressing housing affordability, it wouldn’t be strangling land supply and pricing tiny new blocks on the city’s outskirts at $300-600k.

You are right, though it highlights the fact that the concept of ACT Government is not a viable business proposition – in that it heavily relies on being able to sell off a finite/limited supply of dirt, and pump rates up in order to be fiscally viable.

Ive still yet to see any analysis on how 20+ years on the concept of ACT Government has worked out to be cheaper than what we had before. If anyone knows of such a document, please post?

Although my thoughts are the stockpiling of land is done, because the ACT government is so reliant on the stamp duty, yet the alternative of higher rates is also not too popular, but would at least allow land to be priced more fairly and released at a sensible rate.

Blocks of land sold by the Government are determined by the market at the time. The prices for small blocks on the outskirts of the city between 300k and 600k were set by the public when they went mad bidding for the first lot of blocks out there. The bidding set the sales history for that suburb, which like any valuation, is taken into consideration, along with other factors.

How would you recommend releasing land in a better way? How would you stop the ‘stockpiling’?

Of course you would understand that just because a suburb exists on a piece of paper doesn’t necesarrily mean it will be developed at the same time.

Suburbs and communities take time to build. Before the purchasers are even involved, the contractors need to complete the infrastructure and civil works so the suburb is safe for residents to move in to. On top of that there are increased restraints on all developers (not just the government) to gain an increasing number of state and federal approvals before this construction can be approved (EPBC??? Heard of Lawson??)

Would you release all the land at once and watch the market dive? The fact is the government are the responsible party for this to occur, in comparison with other jurisdictions the ACT is doing well in the property market suggesting the land release timings of the past are not bad.

I would be happy to hear thoughts from industry professionals on this one.

I suppose long story short, housing and light rail two seperate issues. IMO

You can’t deny, though, the housing market is influenced by a) the speed of land release, b) the planning laws governing all land (both that which is newly released and that with pre-existing developments) and c) infrastructure (eg roads, etc.). This is all ACT Govt.

A long-standing view is that the “hard” infrastructure of light rail would drive investment along those corridors to a greater extent that, say, buses because a bus route can change tomorrow yet hard infrastructure has greater certainty. The ACT Govt should revise the planning situation along the proposed light rail corridors if it is in fact wanting to recoup any of the money it is spending on the infrastructure, namely stamp duty and other revenue such as the additional rates that would come in from higher density housing.

The issues of housing and light rail are therefore linked. One could say this about most ACT Govt policies.

As for the possibility of long-term public housing residents needing to move, it may be unfortunate in one sense yet this is an opportunity to improve residents’ overall conditions (eg it might lead to a more modern apartment). Public housing residents do not have a right to reside in the same location forever, and as long as their base needs are taken care of the benefits to the entire community must be considered. Perhaps the relocation would be to a mass development in the same manner as they managed in The Rocks decades ago so as to maintain the sense of “working class” community a tthe same time the NSW Govt allowed new investment in that area, yet that is only a good thing if the sense of community a) exists and b) is not detrimental. I can’t judge as I haven’t lived in the area currently in question.

beardedclam 1:12 pm 06 Aug 13

watto23 said :

steveu said :

arescarti42 said :

If the ACT Government was serious about addressing housing affordability, it wouldn’t be strangling land supply and pricing tiny new blocks on the city’s outskirts at $300-600k.

You are right, though it highlights the fact that the concept of ACT Government is not a viable business proposition – in that it heavily relies on being able to sell off a finite/limited supply of dirt, and pump rates up in order to be fiscally viable.

Ive still yet to see any analysis on how 20+ years on the concept of ACT Government has worked out to be cheaper than what we had before. If anyone knows of such a document, please post?

Although my thoughts are the stockpiling of land is done, because the ACT government is so reliant on the stamp duty, yet the alternative of higher rates is also not too popular, but would at least allow land to be priced more fairly and released at a sensible rate.

Blocks of land sold by the Government are determined by the market at the time. The prices for small blocks on the outskirts of the city between 300k and 600k were set by the public when they went mad bidding for the first lot of blocks out there. The bidding set the sales history for that suburb, which like any valuation, is taken into consideration, along with other factors.

How would you recommend releasing land in a better way? How would you stop the ‘stockpiling’?

Of course you would understand that just because a suburb exists on a piece of paper doesn’t necesarrily mean it will be developed at the same time.

Suburbs and communities take time to build. Before the purchasers are even involved, the contractors need to complete the infrastructure and civil works so the suburb is safe for residents to move in to. On top of that there are increased restraints on all developers (not just the government) to gain an increasing number of state and federal approvals before this construction can be approved (EPBC??? Heard of Lawson??)

Would you release all the land at once and watch the market dive? The fact is the government are the responsible party for this to occur, in comparison with other jurisdictions the ACT is doing well in the property market suggesting the land release timings of the past are not bad.

I would be happy to hear thoughts from industry professionals on this one.

I suppose long story short, housing and light rail two seperate issues. IMO

watto23 12:34 pm 06 Aug 13

steveu said :

arescarti42 said :

If the ACT Government was serious about addressing housing affordability, it wouldn’t be strangling land supply and pricing tiny new blocks on the city’s outskirts at $300-600k.

You are right, though it highlights the fact that the concept of ACT Government is not a viable business proposition – in that it heavily relies on being able to sell off a finite/limited supply of dirt, and pump rates up in order to be fiscally viable.

Ive still yet to see any analysis on how 20+ years on the concept of ACT Government has worked out to be cheaper than what we had before. If anyone knows of such a document, please post?

Although my thoughts are the stockpiling of land is done, because the ACT government is so reliant on the stamp duty, yet the alternative of higher rates is also not too popular, but would at least allow land to be priced more fairly and released at a sensible rate.

thebrownstreak69 12:29 pm 06 Aug 13

This has nothing to do with rail and more to do with ACT govt housing being a disorganised mess.

HiddenDragon 12:13 pm 06 Aug 13

arescarti42 said :

This isn’t about the new proposed light rail project, it’s about the ACT Government’s woeful performance on housing affordability.

Densification along Northbourne was Government policy loooong before the Capital Metro was announced.

If the ACT Government was serious about addressing housing affordability, it wouldn’t be strangling land supply and pricing tiny new blocks on the city’s outskirts at $300-600k.

Yes, I think that is more the point here – although the chardonnay socialist values of our Government are epitomised by this story (and I concur with the other comments about the fiscal viability of the ACT Government).

IrishPete 11:52 am 06 Aug 13

steveu said :

arescarti42 said :

If the ACT Government was serious about addressing housing affordability, it wouldn’t be strangling land supply and pricing tiny new blocks on the city’s outskirts at $300-600k.

You are right, though it highlights the fact that the concept of ACT Government is not a viable business proposition – in that it heavily relies on being able to sell off a finite/limited supply of dirt, and pump rates up in order to be fiscally viable.

Ive still yet to see any analysis on how 20+ years on the concept of ACT Government has worked out to be cheaper than what we had before. If anyone knows of such a document, please post?

Cheaper, or better value for money? Cheaper for who? It’s probably cheaper for the Feds if they have shifted the cost to ACT residents/ratepayers. If the Feds didn’t exempt themselves from Rates and Payroll Tax (I think? there may be other taxes they exempt themselves from?) then the ACT government might have less need to bleed its ratepayers and other employers.

IP

steveu 11:41 am 06 Aug 13

arescarti42 said :

If the ACT Government was serious about addressing housing affordability, it wouldn’t be strangling land supply and pricing tiny new blocks on the city’s outskirts at $300-600k.

You are right, though it highlights the fact that the concept of ACT Government is not a viable business proposition – in that it heavily relies on being able to sell off a finite/limited supply of dirt, and pump rates up in order to be fiscally viable.

Ive still yet to see any analysis on how 20+ years on the concept of ACT Government has worked out to be cheaper than what we had before. If anyone knows of such a document, please post?

arescarti42 10:58 am 06 Aug 13

This isn’t about the new proposed light rail project, it’s about the ACT Government’s woeful performance on housing affordability.

Densification along Northbourne was Government policy loooong before the Capital Metro was announced.

If the ACT Government was serious about addressing housing affordability, it wouldn’t be strangling land supply and pricing tiny new blocks on the city’s outskirts at $300-600k.

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2017 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
www.the-riotact.com | www.b2bmagazine.com.au | www.thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site