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Sorry Simon, but hiring some office staff does not put a railway “on track”

By johnboy 22 June 2013 25

Simon Corbell is celebrating the hiring of a project director (actually just kicking off the recruitment process FFS) which apparently justifies announcing Canberra’s light rail is now “FIRMLY ON TRACK”.

At which point the inner pedant in me comes stomping out with his big boots on to point out that a railway is “on track” (let alone firmly) the day a train is sittin on a track.

On not a moment before.

Simon has happily announced the millions being spent which will not (yet anyway) put down one single piece of track:

“The $330,000 Network Integration Study has also commenced, which investigates options for stations and stops, and the way in which the light rail service would run in relation to existing modes of personal and public transport,” he said.

Funding allocated in this year’s budget for the Capital Metro light rail project includes:

— $5 million for preliminary design studies

— $12.3 million for the establishment of the Capital Metro Agency; and,

— $1.4 million for a master planning process (which will investigate and identify issues for a future Canberra-wide light rail network)

What’s Your opinion?

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25 Responses to
Sorry Simon, but hiring some office staff does not put a railway “on track”
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davo101 9:16 am 10 Jul 13

milkman said :

davo101 said :

beardedclam said :

Do you speak for Canberra? There is actually quite a bit of support for it.
How can you sign off as Canberra if your thoughts don’t correctly represent the community?

Yeah, I’d bet that “support” is like the “support” for doing something about climate change, it’s all good until someone has to pay for it. I’d like to see the results of an opinion poll along the lines of “are you in favour of building a light rail system in Canberra that will raise your rates by $XXX a year?”

Exactly. It’s all a marvellous idea until we have to actually pay for it.

Turns out that they have already asked this question. Support for a light rail option is almost 3 to 1 against the bus option until they tell people how much each costs, at which point the bus option becomes the favourite.

JC 5:14 pm 25 Jun 13

Chop71 said :


How do you sell this to a Tuggeranong or West Belconnen resident?

As a West Belconnen resident myself I have to ask the question why does he have to sell it?

To me it makes sense to provide infrastructure where it is needed and where it is viable. It is as plain as the nose on my face that it isn’t viable in West Belconnen, or indeed any of the older town centres (and the suburbs of Gungahlin for that matter) and that of all the places in Canberra the Northborne Ave and Flemmington Road corridors are the only place it is sensible. (though as mentioned above I do question if the money could be better spent).

I am happy for Gungahlin to have it, and of course all the flats along the corridor that go with higher density living, whilst I enjoy a house in the burbs with a reasonable yard. The latter being my choice of course.

Chop71 1:21 pm 25 Jun 13


How do you sell this to a Tuggeranong or West Belconnen resident?

davo101 1:03 pm 25 Jun 13

Sleaz274 said :

@davo101….more like $X,XXX

Let’s imagine an approximate $800,000,000 to build (which is just the CIty-Gungahlin) divided by population of 400,000 (which Canberra might be about the time it is built) very rough figures and made the maths simple

= $2,000 per person (without any ongoing cost – which there will be)

I did intend XXX to be a real greater than zero…….

beardedclam 10:09 am 25 Jun 13

LSWCHP said :

What really makes me choke is that nearly $19 million dollars will be spent “establishing the agency” and other such bogosity. I’m an engineer, and I’ve built actual pieces of good solid infrastructure that have served people well for decades for far less money than that.

It’s an obscene amount of money to spend on hand waving and bullshit, but I guess that’s how things go when you have to look after your mates.

Yeah but way back then the average salary was in shillings and pounds, the world has changed and things just cost more.

gungsuperstar said :

I’m normally a fan of big, ambitious infrastructure projects, and I like Corbell’s enthusiasm and dedication to this project.

But this has got white elephant written all over. Canberran’s don’t want to catch public transport, they only really do it when they have to. I can’t believe that a light rail will change this – the Gunghahlin-Civic route is among the worst in Canberra, and despite the fact that buses do the journey quicker, people still don’t use them.

And when you consider how few people live within walking distance of the corridor that the light rail will likely take, you’re relying on park and ride. If I’m in my car anyway, why am I going to drive, deal with parking (which, being Canberra, will only remain free for 5 minutes) and then still have to deal with the public transport?

This is suuuuch a bad idea. Spend the money on a new stadium. Spend it cleaning up the lakes. Spend it upgrading the Action network to become something people will use – improve existing park and ride facilities, or convenience of services.

But don’t waste all this money on a duplication of services that people already don’t use.

Plenty of people use the bus along that corridor, the Red Rapid gets full quite often by the first or second stop along Flemington Rd. With the projected population to move into all the units that are apparently saturating the ACT market, it is the ideal place to commence a project like this. If it fails in this part of Canberra, it will fail anywhere in Canberra

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