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On why Labor might have blown the election with Capital Metro

By johnboy 22 September 2012 33

Yesterday Simon Corbell and Katy Gallagher surprised everyone by jumping onto the light rail trolleycar.

This made a lot of people very happy, but I’ve got a feeling it’s going to blow up horrendously in Labor’s faces.

To explain let’s go back to the electoral map.

Most pundits see the seven seat Molonglo electorate as being essentially out of play. Unless something big happens it’s likely to split three Labor, three Liberal, and one Green.

This light rail proposal is going to blow $600 million entirely within Molonglo without changing that much.

It also says to the voters of Gungahlin “everyone else gets to drive around in cars but you have to cram into a tram”. In the Inner North and South we largely long to see trams down the long vacant median strips. The mcmansion builders do not, on the whole, share that aspiration.

But out in the battleground electorates of Brindabella and Ginninderra the whole proposal shrieks “we don’t give a stuff about you”.

Promises of maybe extending the lines to them in 20 years time are unlikely to cut much ice.

It gets worse for Labor though.

First there’s the cynicism of announcing work might start in 2016.

Announce it for this election, start it for next election, open it the election after. We just have to keep voting these guys back into power for 12 years to actually get anything done? Seriously?

Do they think we’ve forgotten the interminable Gungahlin Pool?

And while we’re on credibility, we’ve had Simon Corbell for years banging on about how we couldn’t afford light rail and his busways were a better idea.

Then yesterday the Orwellian reveal and it turns out we’ve been in favour of rail all along?

“Yippee for Light Rail, it’s totally affordable, I never waved a consultant’s report around showing it would be ruinously costly”.

It’s just not a good look.

Worse it won’t play well where it matters.

With increased rates notices going out and the Cotter Dam cost blowouts on the mind of all those ratepayers, while Actew Water proposes big price increases, it’s pretty much Christmas Day for the Liberals.

This really is the best chance they’re going to get for a generation.

What’s Your opinion?


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33 Responses to
On why Labor might have blown the election with Capital Metro
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c_c 10:33 am 24 Sep 12

I do wish for Canberra100, they’d get Fry and Bird to Canberra for a special episode of Absolute Power.
Gosh knows there’s enough material to draw on.

Erg0 9:59 am 24 Sep 12

Masquara said :

So if you think cultural change can be effected in less than two or three generations without a fascist government[…]

Now there’s a fresh idea!

JC 7:21 am 24 Sep 12

pepmeup said :

Ok what about where cars wait in the middle of northbourne like, murdoch st, morphett st, and the entries to the netball centre and yowani gulf club.

You should see northbourne about the netball centre on a Saturday morning

Also same issue on Flemington where traffic joins from randwick rd.

They all seem small but will ad to traffic, like cars wanting to head in to Dickson coming north up Northbourne would have been able to turn onto Morphett but now will have to travel upto Antill and that intersection does not need extra traffic

Murdoch street is easy, close the ability to cross the medium and make people turn onto Moat Street and as for Morphett Street how about a longer turning lane with traffic lights. The extra set shouldn’t cause too many issues as there is already a set of pedestrian lights so could be better integrated. Besides that whole area really needs to be looked at anyway as I beleive the light rail is meant to deviate into an interchange somewhere near the motor registry.

As for further along Northborne I believe the plan is the tracks will run alongside Northborne ave, so no issues with netball and when it gets to Flemmington road the whole area will need to be redone anyway. And again the intersection already has bus priority lights so could easily be converted to tram priority.

So really think you are making a big deal about things that are either nothing or easily fixed.

bryansworld 5:59 am 24 Sep 12

Masquara said :

troll-sniffer said :

Mannheim in Germany has a light rail link almost exactly of the style as proposed for Canberra. How does it work? Brilliantly. Patronage? Excellent. Convenience? Excellent. Comfort etc? Excellent.

Mannheim “in Germany” is the operative expression here. Canberra shares NO urban values with anywhere in Europe. Transport-wise, we are culturally American. So if you think cultural change can be effected in less than two or three generations without a fascist government, you are wrong, sorry. Because profound cultural change would be needed.
Speaking as a typical inner-inner north resident who owns a spiffy light bicycle but drives EVERYWHERE and has not used any form of public transport in more than a decade. Sorry.

Do yourself a favour. Ride your bike more!

pepmeup 6:53 pm 23 Sep 12

JC said :

Deref said :

If these people aren’t smoking crack, perhaps they need to.

What a ludicrous decision – spending $600M (hah – don’t make me laugh) on another piece of public transport infrastructure of the most inherently inflexible kind that will be used, if at all, by a tiny number of people for brief periods in the mornings and afternoons while creating more traffic chaos on Northbourne Ave (what happens with cross-traffic at traffic lights? How do pedestrians get to and from the tram stops – more traffic lights on Northbourne?) without substantively reducing the existing traffic.

Why would cross traffic be effected? The tram running down the centre would be on the same phase as traffic flowing along Northborne. Vehicles wanting to cross or turn would use the existing lights. Same too with pedestrians getting into the medium strip, there are already traffic lights at regular intervals that have pedestrian lights incorporated.

Ok what about where cars wait in the middle of northbourne like, murdoch st, morphett st, and the entries to the netball centre and yowani gulf club.

You should see northbourne about the netball centre on a Saturday morning

Also same issue on Flemington where traffic joins from randwick rd.

They all seem small but will ad to traffic, like cars wanting to head in to Dickson coming north up Northbourne would have been able to turn onto Morphett but now will have to travel upto Antill and that intersection does not need extra traffic

JessP 1:23 pm 23 Sep 12

The smell of desperation is thick in the air…..

Masquara 12:31 pm 23 Sep 12

troll-sniffer said :

Mannheim in Germany has a light rail link almost exactly of the style as proposed for Canberra. How does it work? Brilliantly. Patronage? Excellent. Convenience? Excellent. Comfort etc? Excellent.

Mannheim “in Germany” is the operative expression here. Canberra shares NO urban values with anywhere in Europe. Transport-wise, we are culturally American. So if you think cultural change can be effected in less than two or three generations without a fascist government, you are wrong, sorry. Because profound cultural change would be needed.
Speaking as a typical inner-inner north resident who owns a spiffy light bicycle but drives EVERYWHERE and has not used any form of public transport in more than a decade. Sorry.

steveu 11:49 am 23 Sep 12

sharedawealth said :

I could not think of a worst person to deliver a a major project than Simon Corbell. If he is in charge of building the light rail it is guaranteed to be late, way over Budget and not suitable for purpose. I hope people remember what a farce the construction of Gunghalin Drive was.

Dont worry, we do, and will be a long time before we forget.
and post #14- troll-sniffer : I agree, its pathetic that the politicians have become so blatantly obvious that they have even bothered trying to conceal which electoral demographic groups they are buying votes from. How about focusing on your job? The lot of you have been talking about fixing public transport issues for decades, theres been a couple of elections since then and you have done f@ck all except talk about what you might do, in the future, if you get elected again.

poetix 11:20 am 23 Sep 12

davesact said :

One of the original Canberra plans had provision for a Zeppelin docking station. I think its an election winner.

Oh, the humanity!

switch 10:16 am 23 Sep 12

Holden Caulfield said :

I’d vote for it. If only we could find a sustainable supply of hot air.

Capitol Hill? Plenty of hot air blowing there.

Holden Caulfield 9:52 am 23 Sep 12

davesact said :

One of the original Canberra plans had provision for a Zeppelin docking station. I think its an election winner.

I’d vote for it. If only we could find a sustainable supply of hot air.

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