Today in Estimates, Jo Clay MLA called on the ACT Government to deliver Canberra’s public transport infrastructure projects sooner. We need to get Light Rail delivered alongside new electric buses to help Canberrans get to where they need to go while also reducing transport emissions, which are now over 60% of our tracked emissions. Public transport benefits us all.
“Light Rail Stage 2 was first promised as part of the 2016 Parliamentary Agreement between Labor and the Greens,” said Jo. “The Minister has said he expects one stage of Light Rail to be delivered per decade and we’ve heard about many delays in Estimates today and no firm end dates. I’m concerned that Light rail to Woden won't be delivered until 2030 and Belconnen won’t get Light Rail until after that.”
“We’ve seen delays on pre-feasibility work for Stages 3 and 4 which was expected to be completed in 2021, now we’ve been told that pre-feasibility work has been delayed until 2023.
“We have also seen delays with making our buses better. We need electric buses, hourly weekend suburban services and a return to the normal timetable as soon as possible.”
“I welcome this budget’s funding to start building the Woden Bus Depot, which was first promised in 2016 and will allow Canberra’s bus fleet to grow and go electric. But I echo concerns raised by the Public Transport Association of Canberra that the delivery of public transport infrastructure needs improvement. If we are serious about reducing traffic congestion, reducing climate emissions and making Canberra a more liveable city, we must deliver these major public transport projects on time and without multi-year delays.”
On 25 August 2022, a response to a question on notice from Jo Clay MLA was published showing delays to delivery of Light Rail Stage 2 and that ACT Government intends to deliver one stage of Light Rail per decade.
Public Transport Canberra (PTCBR) in their 2022-23 budget submission called for the government to:
“PTCBR reiterates its call for further investment in project delivery capabilities at Major Projects Canberra and Transport Canberra and City Services, to ensure that budgeted projects are actually delivered and not continually "re-profiled" into the future.
The 2021-22 budget re-profiled over $26 million in transport-related capital works, including the new Woden bus depot for the 5th year in a row. These are significant investments the Canberra community is missing out on and failing to deliver them undermines the ACT Government's public transport vision.”