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TCC opposes light rail for Canberra

TCC opposes light rail for Canberra

ml-th-lightrail-20130711194125152836The Tuggeranong Community Council has come out in opposition to light rail in Canberra.

At its recent meeting the Council voted to oppose the project claiming it will be a cost burden to Tuggeranong residents and unlikely to ever reach the Valley in the near future.

A motion adopted by Council;

  • considers that the ACT Government does not have a mandate to implement this most expensive and controversial of projects and that the Parliamentary Agreement for the 8th Legislative Assembly for the Australian Capital Territory, 2 November 2012, does not constitute such a mandate;
  • calls upon the ACT Government to make public, without undue delay, the most probable estimates of the initial capital cost, ongoing annual net operating costs and the annual Government subsidy for the Gungahlin-Civic link, to be borne by taxpayers;
  • does not support any general levy on Canberra residents, businesses or institutions, outside the Gungahlin-Civic corridor, to pay for either the initial capital or ongoing operational net costs of Capital Metro;
  • does not consider there to be any significant benefit to the 90,000 Tuggeranong residents from the Gungahlin-Civic link;
  • does not support Tuggeranong taxpayers having to contribute to any outlays for the Gungahlin-Civic link, budgeted by the ACT Government; and
  • supports the continued development of public transport networks and to maximise their usage, but is not convinced that the Capital Metro network will ever be extended to Tuggeranong suburbs because of distances involved, low population density and unaffordable costs.

The motion was passed by members recognising this policy is not endorsed by other groups, businesses or institutions in Tuggeranong.

Click on the link below for your copy of the TCC’s policy paper.

TCC Light Rail Policy Paper July 2014


  1. David

    A great decision made by a group of people who obviously have a lot of common sense.
    The light rail will not be extended out to Tuggeranong in any of our life times, let alone out to Lanyon Market Place. The first leg will however be a burden on ACT residents for decades.

  2. The debate on light rail seems to be sidestepping several important details and alternatives.

    1 Trams on rails with overhead wires are an outdated concept and an anachronism in Canberra. We live in an era of rapid change and such a fixed system is unlikely to respond adequately. Buses are so much more flexible and we have them on hand. Canberra already has 435 buses of various sizes. Why establish another different maintenance infrastructure, risking a very large stranded asset we may not be able to afford?

    2 We would need 100% assurance that such a trolley system used to obtain power from overhead wires is completely free from electrical sparking. Electrical induction of power from constant or intermittent emitters buried in the road is a much safer system and is suitable for trams or buses. It is currently in operation in Korea, Germany and Sweden. Overhead electrical transmission has a very poor safety record in Australia.

    3 Trees and overhead conductors don’t mix easily and it is usually the trees that suffer ugly disfigurement from trimming back.

    4 If the first route starts with a rail and wire system then all future routes must be the same despite more economical advances in energy transmission technology. Wirescape, poles and junction boxes throughout Canberra would be counter to Canberra’s aesthetic intentions.

    5 Canberra’s early planners successfully managed to avoid most of the ugly examples of “wirescape” so common in Sydney and Melbourne. Why are we trying to emulate their mistakes ?

    6 Finally, yet again money is tending to dominate the debate. Little by little, developmentally conditioned mindsets are using economics to make this beautiful city a copy of Sydney or Melbourne. It is a slow, imperceptible process, but it is happening, just like the “boiling frog” story. Is this what we really want ?

    If we don’t change direction we will end up where we are going. Now is our last chance to get the future right.

    Derek F. Wrigley

    Derek Wrigley OAM, LFDIA, FRAIA, ARIBA, DA(Manchester)

    Industrial designer, author, solar architectural research

    DIA Hall of Fame Award 2010

  3. Ian Bell

    I agree with the Tuggeranong community councils decision to oppose light rail, why should Tuggeranong residents pay for infrastructure they’re nether likely to use that adds no value to their property and is to my mind just another example of what I see as the inequality regards investment by this Labor government yet again more money spent north of Lake Burleigh Griffin wetlands in Lyneham new sporting facilities and home for the Brumbies at UC, you just need to go for a walk around Lake Ginninderra and see the money that’s been spent on parks and beautification of the lake surrounds while in the valley we have to put forward a petition to get this Labor government to stand by its promise to do something about improving the the water quality of the cesspool that that our own lake Tuggeranong has become. Guessing Ms Gallagher and Mr Barr don’t live in Tuggeranong

  4. Peter

    I’m a resident of Turner, and I also oppose the proposed tramline.

    I’m particularly against the proposed additional levy on properties in close proximity to the tramline. I have no need or interest to ever go to Gungahlin — a sentiment I’m sure is shared by my neighbours. Why should the residents of Turner, Braddon, etc be forced to fund this ill-conceived line, which serves only to benefit Gungahlin?

    If Gungahlin wants a tramline, Gungahlin residents should pay for it. They already got a new highway (GDE) and the NBN. Enough is enough. The ACT Government can’t even run an effective bus system, what makes them thing they can run light rail too?

  5. Chisholm Mum PhD

    I’m wondering if the thinking here isn’t a little short sighted? Social goods cannot be realised without the contribution of all, regardless of the benefit to the individual or specific group. Does the Tuggeranong community really want to engender a culture of self-interest at the expense of future generations? More important than aesthetics is the issue of climate change and the contribution of transport.
    Re the comment of Canberra heading in the direction of Sydney and Melbourne, these great livable cities have recently announced intentions to reduce emissions by 70% by 2030 despite the inter-generational theft being perpetrated in Canberra. Rather than a flat no to light rail why aren’t we looking at how to make it something positive? Zero emission options are available.
    Maybe you’re thinking of taxes and rates and your retirement fund. I’m more concerned about my grand children’s right to access fresh food, clean water and to live in a community where people contribute to the greater good.
    Do some research, the thinking here needs to change, it’s time for radically new approaches, not outdated concerns about cost and who pays.

  6. Ben Murphy

    I agree with Chisholm Mum PhD on all points raised, some extra thoughts:

    If public transport in Canberra was good enough that the average Canberra family required 1 car instead of 2. That would save the average Canberra family $15-20,000 per year.

    Electric light rail is extremely energy efficient. Opposing public transport infrastructure will help lock Canberra into oil dependency which does not make good social, environmental or economic sense.

    The best time to start the roll out of public transport infrastructure is when the city is growing not later when it is even harder. Imagine if Melbourne had never bothered to invest in public transport.

    Majura Parkway cost $288 Million and doesn’t serve the interest of Tuggeranong residents, at least Capital Metro will one day service the interest of Tuggeranong residents.

    Housing affordability is getting worse forcing first home buyers into outer suburbs which are more expensive to commute from. Long term public transport infrastructure investment is essential to cater for all Canberra residents including those that don’t own cars.

    Northbourne avenue is already overly congested during peak hours, if we don’t act now it will only get worse.

    Usually it’s the Community Council lobbying the government to spend on public transport and the government saying they cant afford it. Here we have a government saying they can afford it and the Community council coming out in opposition??!

    The Community Council would better spend it’s efforts campaigning for light rail to come to Tuggeranong next.

  7. I am opposed to the ligt rail for many of the same reasion as mentioned above. Tre isno mention of how cross traffic is going fare on cross streets if traffic is going to be stopped while trains go past traffice congestion will be worse. As for the safety aspects we regurally here abot level crossing incidents. Heavier traffic more trains. I can see a lot of the cross st becoming Left or right hand turn only . This wil require major expenditure on road works SOmething the pollies are not talking about, Mr Corbell has mentioned selling off more car parks to apy for the light rail.Its hard enough & costly to get a park ins the city as itis without a reduction in parking. This wil have a general impact on all Canberras Once again we see the Gallgher government PANDERING to minorities. If this government had any guts at all it would take it to the electrate & get a mandate a few months delay fro a new general election would not matter in the long run

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