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The light rail express rumbles on

By johnboy - 30 September 2008 60

Jon Stanhope has donned his Chief Minister hat to announce that he’s appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers to prepare a business case for a light rail network here in the ACT.

They sound very bullish on the whole thing now:

    “I am extremely pleased to be able to announce that the ACT Government is moving ahead with its exploration of light rail and very much look forward to seeing the consultants’ analysis in a few weeks,” Mr Stanhope said.

    “Light rail captures the imaginations of many Canberrans and I am convinced that the time is right to get an independent view of its feasibility, and how such a major project might be staged.”

    Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, John Hargreaves, said the Government had undertaken some preliminary assessments of the feasibility of light rail in 2004.

    “Since then, our population has grown, our urban form has changed, petrol prices have risen significantly, and climate change has emerged as a more urgent challenge,” he said. “That’s why the ACT has proposed light rail as a major infrastructure project to Infrastructure Australia. The business case will form part of the ACT’s detailed submission to the Commonwealth.”

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60 Responses to
The light rail express rumbles on
Piratemonkey 6:06 pm 30 Sep 08

I don’t see how people can consider this a bad idea.

We have very defined town centres in canberra and if all those living around each one could at the very least park there and ride a non stop train to another town centre where they work there would be so many benefits.

The amount of traffic crossing town would be drmatically reduced.

Competition for parking in civic would be greatly reduced.

Buses could be removed from arterial roads and put in the suburbs where they are needed.

People would use much less fuel sprinting down the parkway/belconnen way then putting around civic to get in and get a park.

A train would be far more reliable then buses (in a place as simple as canberra anyway).

Those with no car who like urban living would be able to explore other town cetres much easier.

Riding and catching a train would make such physical exercise much more palatable for many living further out.

It is easier to add carrages to a train then lanes to an arterial road.

Hell right down to the fact you would be able to eat a takeaway brekkie from one station while reading the paper on the train when you would normally be stuck in traffic in your car.

The only down side is cost and canberra is a prime location to invest with our stable population of well paid public servants (civics recent/current development is a prime example). Big banks would rush to throw money at such an infastructure project in these times of economic turmoil.

Eactly what are the down sides of such a system?

ACT Light Rail 6:03 pm 30 Sep 08

I think that looking at the actual terms of reference for the business case would be illuminating.

ACT Light Rail have been calling for a fair and transparent terms of reference, looking at phased implementation of a light rail network, and a proposal for an initial light rail route.

To date the ACT Government has engaged in zero community consultation – although it lists that in its light rail task force proposal that the ACT Govt, Cons Council and CBC put together in July.

We have asked the Chief Ministers Office for a copy of the Terms of Reference, and that request has been passed to Minister Hargreaves office (although all info on Light Rail comes from the Chief Ministers media department).

ACT Light Rail has also asked about what form of community consultation that the ACT Government or their Light Rail Taskforce are planning. That request has also been passed to Minister Hargreaves office.

In this vacuum of public information, aside from press releases, and lack of community consultation – ACT Light Rail are making a submission this week to the ACT Government and TAMS. Our business case submission will include essential items which we feel need to be included. This is important since the Labor party have indicated they plan to hitup the Building Australia infrastructure fund for the money.

It will be interesting to see what happens to light rail in the next assembly. Im optimistic that it will survive the election cycle, especially if a minority government with responsible independents are elected.

I should also note that despite warm fuzzies directed privately to ACT Light Rail by the Liberal Party they have no policy on it to date, despite several candidates stating their support publically.

I will be asking the Liberals what their official position is at tonights public meeting.

regards

Damien Haas

Chair

ACT Light Rail

peterh 5:51 pm 30 Sep 08

barking toad said :

Buses are cheaper than trams and the current service is still crap.

A plum job to PWC – is the mayor setting up post polly consultancy work?

Why can’t he go and work for gareth gareth at the UN and leave us alone!

because gareth gareth won’t have him. look at his track record with citizenship ceremonies…

barking toad 5:31 pm 30 Sep 08

Buses are cheaper than trams and the current service is still crap.

A plum job to PWC – is the mayor setting up post polly consultancy work?

Why can’t he go and work for gareth gareth at the UN and leave us alone!

Thumper 5:31 pm 30 Sep 08

“! am extremely pleased to be able to announce that the ACT Government is moving ahead with its exploration of light rail and very much look forward to seeing the consultants’ analysis in a few weeks”

Is there an election coming up? Why not throw a few bones.

No-one seriously believes that Stanhope is going to introduce light rail do they?

ACT Light Rail 4:59 pm 30 Sep 08

This is an excellent announcement from the Chief Minister, and I hope that the terms of reference for the business case are made available to the public.

People who wish to ask questions to Assembly candidates regarding their Light Rail intentions are welcome to attend the ACT Light Rail ‘Meet the candidates’ meeting which is being held tonight (30 Sep) at Havelock House, 85 Northbourne Avenue. The meeting begins at 7.30PM and should run until 10PM.

Damien Haas

Chair

ACT Light Rail Coalition

aronde 4:03 pm 30 Sep 08

And to quote from his press release – “! am extremely pleased to be able to announce that the ACT Government is moving ahead with its exploration of light rail and very much look forward to seeing the consultants’ analysis in a few weeks”

He may not be there in a few weeks!!! But maybe he will still enjoy reading it as a backbencher or ex-politician.

aronde 4:00 pm 30 Sep 08

Morgan said :

The contract was awarded weeks ago.

Ah – so then he announces it in the middle of an election campaign weeks after the event. The cynicism is breathtaking.

And on the whole light rail issue I am yet to be convinced unless it is to cover the whole city and not just major ‘trunk’ routes.

tylersmayhem 3:55 pm 30 Sep 08

Smells more like goosenberry pie to me!

luther_bendross 3:50 pm 30 Sep 08

I’m sorry, but does Canberra really need a light rail system? Not once have I been so stuck for transport (car, taxi, pushie, bus, FOOT(!)) that I’ve hoped for a train to come my way. The time you would spend waiting for a train from Belco to town would be better spent walking half way there.

Morgan 3:49 pm 30 Sep 08

aronde said :

How can he award a contract to PWC during ‘caretaker mode’? I am sure from my previous public service days you could not enter into any contracts etc and this one does not report until after the election according to the full release. Perhaps some current public servants can enlighten me.

The contract was awarded weeks ago.

Tixylix 3:48 pm 30 Sep 08

Free mopeds. Enormous ziplines – flying foxes or whatever. Monorail. Privately operated tollways. Tunnels. Barges, canals. Electronic commuting. TWO lane roads. Buses with no seats for carrying cyclists between town centres.

Certainly has captured my imagination.

Aurelius 3:46 pm 30 Sep 08

Any politician talking about Light Rail is just pissing wind until there are rails laid.
I smell apple pie!

aronde 3:43 pm 30 Sep 08

How can he award a contract to PWC during ‘caretaker mode’? I am sure from my previous public service days you could not enter into any contracts etc and this one does not report until after the election according to the full release. Perhaps some current public servants can enlighten me.

harvyk1 3:42 pm 30 Sep 08

I think light rail is a good idea, and would be easy to implement in a place like Canberra with it’s loads of open spaces. Of course this could just be another drag way study, with a predetermined result. 42 sound good, now they just need to find the right question which gives the answer.

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