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Northbourne does not need to be completely dug up

By johnboy - 12 July 2013 31

This morning the Canberra Times had a story so reeking of the pungent stench of BS that it didn’t seem to even warrant a reply:

The construction of the first stage of the Capital Metro light rail network will require all of the road surface on Northbourne Avenue to be dug up and replaced.

The project would also require the installation of new electricity substations every 2 kilometres along the 12-kilometre route from Civic to Hibberson Street in Gungahlin.

Sadly for Shane Rattenbury he feels the need to respond:

Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Shane Rattenbury, has confirmed that the Capital Metro light rail project will not “require all of the road surface on Northbourne Avenue to be dug up and replaced”.

“Today’s media commentary on light rail and Northbourne Avenue referred to a transport options study from over a year ago. The project update released by the Government in September last year presented a revised proposal that did not require the complete digging up of Northbourne Avenue,” said Mr Rattenbury.

“The revised proposal changed the design, reduced the costs and retained the existing road and verge widths. The median alignment will minimise traffic disruption.


UPDATE: Meanwhile Alistair Coe is concerned about the lack of detail surrounding the wild election promise:

“The Government claims to have based its decision to construct light rail on a Concept Report produced last year.

“However, the Concept Report is very light on details and by no means comprehensive enough to justify spending ‘$700 – $860 million’ on light rail.

“The Government is treating the Concept Report as a ‘tick of approval’ for light rail.

“However, even the report’s assessment of light rail is ‘…there is no benefit or harm.’ (URS Australia, page 30)

“If the Government has based their decision to build light rail on this report, then taxpayers should be very concerned.

“The Government should release the scope of the report given to the authors and any other documents used to influence their decision to spend so much money on light rail,” concluded Mr Coe.

What’s Your opinion?


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31 Responses to
Northbourne does not need to be completely dug up
Antagonist 9:37 am 13 Jul 13

damien haas said :

It is indeed a fortunate occurrence that the agreement to govern has hastened light rail construction, that is a good thing. The ALP had flirted with light rail at elections several times, including 2012 (with a vague study and future build promised IF they were returned in 2016 as well as 2012).

Damo, your blind faith in the government is bordering on delusional. I am neither for, nor against the light rail. But if you seriously think it is going to happen, then I enter into evidence the promised dragstrip. The dragstrip remains a pipe dream and the same will happen to your train set. Just give it time.

JC 8:14 am 13 Jul 13

dungfungus said :

With respect Damien you are starting to sound like a federal Labor politician saying to the opposition “show us yer policies, duh”.
Going into the last ACT election, neither the Liberals or Labor had a light rail policy but it could be argued that Labor had done “studies” to skew opinion against light rail. The only party that had a light rail policy, and totally uncosted at that, was The Greens. I don’t recall the media grilling them about “how much it will cost”.

Bulldust on both accounts. ACT Labor did have a light rail policy, that policy was, in the term of the next government to investigate the viability and options for light rail. With the Greens having the balance of power that was changed to get their vote to start building one within this term.

As for the role of the opposition, despite their name the opposition is not their to oppose everything the government does. Ultimately their role is to represent those in their electorates. However, if an opposition party wants me to vote them in then I expect that whilst in opposition rather than shit canning the government they use that full period of 3 (Federal) or 4 years to show me their alternative to what ever they are whining about. Don’t do that and no vote from me and the last 6 weeks is not the time to try and convince me.

gungsuperstar 10:11 pm 12 Jul 13

dungfungus said :

damien haas said :

http://www.actlightrail.info/2013/07/alistair-coe-on-wrong-track.html

ACT Light Rail would ask the Canberra Liberals “What is your alternative public transport policy?”

With respect Damien you are starting to sound like a federal Labor politician saying to the opposition “show us yer policies, duh”.

Your parody of a conservative is coming along quite nicely.

How dare citizens want the alternate government to have alternate policies that they will tell us about!

dungfungus said :

(it got Labor returned even though the Liberals got more votes)

This is my favourite stupid line repeated by conservatives (or those doing a parody of them) – across the ACT the Libs got 41 more votes than Labor. 41.

http://www.elections.act.gov.au/elections_and_voting/past_act_legislative_assembly_elections/2012_act_legislative_assembly_election/2012_election_results2/2012_results_by_electorate_and_by_party

And guess what? We live in a democracy operating under a Westminster system where total votes don’t matter!

If you want Government, negotiate to get it. Almost 500 pieces of legislation passed in the past 3 years of minority Federal Government, a record, proves that you can actually use cross benchers to get better policy!

It’s worth noting that in this Federal example, the LNP have voted with the government on about 85% of legislation.

If you want to use total votes as being any sort of measure of validity, I would note that in Gininderra and Molonglo, the electorates affected by the light rail project, the Labor party got about 8000 more votes than the Libs.

dungfungus 10:11 pm 12 Jul 13

Innovation said :

I’m still a fence sitter on the proposed light rail and the CT article was poor but I hope the artist’s impression (presumably a reproduction of a Government release) is not correct. That train doesn’t look like it would carry any more passengers than an articulated bus and the rail station design looks like passengers would still have to swipe on and off the train itself; which would make loading and unloading equally as slow as it is now on the buses.

Trams, compared to buses, have more doors, less or no steps and more standing area with better grips/poles (ride is smoother too). Just about everywhere trams are operated they use card swipe readers inside so there are no holdups boarding. Ticket inspectors randomly enforce the fare evaders.
A tram set of 3 carriages will carry about 180 – 200 passengers. They are better at urban mass transport than buses are.

Innovation 9:46 pm 12 Jul 13

I’m still a fence sitter on the proposed light rail and the CT article was poor but I hope the artist’s impression (presumably a reproduction of a Government release) is not correct. That train doesn’t look like it would carry any more passengers than an articulated bus and the rail station design looks like passengers would still have to swipe on and off the train itself; which would make loading and unloading equally as slow as it is now on the buses.

bigred 8:35 pm 12 Jul 13

Better get used to the negativity because a lot of people in this town do not want it built/installed. Get used to a lot of negativity from Alistair “the boy” in particular because he has groomed the petrol head lobby. 50/50 at best that it will proceed. Toot toot

dungfungus 7:10 pm 12 Jul 13

damien haas said :

http://www.actlightrail.info/2013/07/alistair-coe-on-wrong-track.html

ACT Light Rail would ask the Canberra Liberals “What is your alternative public transport policy?”

With respect Damien you are starting to sound like a federal Labor politician saying to the opposition “show us yer policies, duh”.
Going into the last ACT election, neither the Liberals or Labor had a light rail policy but it could be argued that Labor had done “studies” to skew opinion against light rail. The only party that had a light rail policy, and totally uncosted at that, was The Greens. I don’t recall the media grilling them about “how much it will cost”.
Virtually on the eve of the election Labor did a deal with The Greens to promise a light rail (it got Labor returned even though the Liberals got more votes) and since then it had been a farce with Labor hoping the next election will come before too much money is spent. Labor really believe they will win the next election without the support of The Greens and the first thing they will do is can the light rail.
A lot of consortiums were interested in expressing interest in a light rail for Canberra and at least one consortium could do it for half the price that has been estimated without ripping up Northbourne Avenue. This would dramatically change the equation but the problem is, nobody now believes ACT Labor is fair-dinkum about it which is a shame.
Let’s prepare for more buses and grid lock.

damien haas 7:09 pm 12 Jul 13

Ben_Dover said :

damien haas said :

Where taxpayers should be concerned is the governments record of project pushing on projects which are not wanted.

Fixed.

Please god, save us from barmy green light rail!

So you have to invent quotes to prove something?

I said no such thing. Polls conducted prior to the last Assembly election indicated overwhelming support for light rail from the Canberra public.

I am not sure where the linking of public transport infrastructure to the greens comes from. Australia wide, public transport infrastructure has been constructed under Liberal and Labor governments. Western Australias massive PT build is perfect example.

It is indeed a fortunate occurrence that the agreement to govern has hastened light rail construction, that is a good thing. The ALP had flirted with light rail at elections several times, including 2012 (with a vague study and future build promised IF they were returned in 2016 as well as 2012).

I realised long ago in PT advocacy that facts and figures are one thing, ultimately it’s a political decision. The electorate spoke.

Aeek 6:18 pm 12 Jul 13

damien haas said :

http://www.actlightrail.info/2013/07/alistair-coe-on-wrong-track.html

ACT Light Rail would ask the Canberra Liberals “What is your alternative public transport policy?”

To send a barrel roll over Black Mountain, followed by a plunge into the lake,
Its not the job of the Opposition to provide realistic solutions.

bundah 5:52 pm 12 Jul 13

Ben_Dover said :

damien haas said :

Where taxpayers should be concerned is the governments record of project pushing on projects which are not wanted.

Fixed.

Please god, save us from barmy green light rail!

The unpalatable fact is that god has been trumped by Corbell the self-proclaimed godfather…

damien haas 5:18 pm 12 Jul 13

http://www.actlightrail.info/2013/07/alistair-coe-on-wrong-track.html

ACT Light Rail would ask the Canberra Liberals “What is your alternative public transport policy?”

Ben_Dover 5:04 pm 12 Jul 13

damien haas said :

Where taxpayers should be concerned is the governments record of project pushing on projects which are not wanted.

Fixed.

Please god, save us from barmy green light rail!

beardedclam 4:35 pm 12 Jul 13

c_c™ said :

damien haas said :

There is so much fail in the CT article it boggles the mind. Do the CT employ fact checkers?

They don’t actually, and I’ve had to drag them into line on more than one occasion because by their own admission, they’ve have, or were about to, jump the gun to break a headline before cross checking the content.

A few examples I know of in today’s paper alone. This is irresponsible reporting and damaging to the Capital region. Pull your head in FFS CT. Grow up and move on from your negative journalism.

As for Coe, the Government would have been smashed if they spent more money on reports and surveys in the early stage. Something has to inform the decision making process. Then you make the decision to put more into it and provide the details at the appropriate point.

Politics aside and regardless of how you feel about the light rail proposal, think of the ACT as a business, would you throw all your money into a business study up front, or a little to see if it might work first, then increase the cash flow as it needs it?

c_c™ 4:20 pm 12 Jul 13

damien haas said :

There is so much fail in the CT article it boggles the mind. Do the CT employ fact checkers?

They don’t actually, and I’ve had to drag them into line on more than one occasion because by their own admission, they’ve have, or were about to, jump the gun to break a headline before cross checking the content.

damien haas 3:55 pm 12 Jul 13

There is so much fail in the CT article it boggles the mind. Do the CT employ fact checkers?

Alistair, the Concept Report is not where the government received its tick of approval. That tick of approval came from the agreement to govern between the Greens and the ALP.

Where taxpayers should be concerned is the governments record of project delivery, and that is where constant scrutiny is required.

Damien Haas
Chair, ACT Light Rail

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