Saturday, September 8, 2012

ACT Light Rail meet with Simon Corbell

ACT Light Rail met with Minister Corbell on Thursday to discuss light rail and public transport issues. The meeting was very frank and instructive. It is clear that Minister Corbell understands the competing issues in the BRT v LRT debate, and I expect that a decision will be politically motivated, not necessarily cost related.
The meeting ran longer than expected with the Minister explaining his thinking on several issues that were raised, answering in great detail questions put to him. He also asked several questions regarding our public statements and views, including our support of the ACT Greens recent policy on light rail.

An unexpected bonus was that after querying the $870 million cost, and the failure to release the figures for scrutiny, the Minister offered ACT Light Rail the opportunity to look at the figures. We have taken him up on this, and will write to his office to formalise this early next week.

At this stage we will ask two of our members, a transport economist and a very senior federal public servant with considerable experience in budgeting, project management and operational implementation, to examine the figures provided to the ACT Government by their consultants.

A full brief of the meeting will be provided to the ACT Light Rail executive committee at our next meeting.

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