Monday, April 22, 2013

Canberra Liberal approach on Light Rail may be softening

ACT Light Rail met with the Shadow Minister for Transport, MLA Alistair Coe recently to talk about light rail and public transport in Canberra. While the Liberal party had a very limited policy on public transport in the leadup to the 2012 Assemby election, they have not been reticent in asking questions about the proposed Capital Metro light rail project. They are also still very concerned about the running and management of ACTION buses.

On the Capital Metro project, MLA Alistair Coe reiterated that his party would be closely monitoring the delivery of the light rail project, fearful of project delays and cost overruns that have been the hallmark of ACT Labor government project management. They would also continue to ask questions about government spending on the project. Mr Coe pointed out that there was still no engineering report that could be used for accurate costing of the project, and to date no details on how exactly the government proposed to pay for the project. 

When asked what the Liberal party approach would be if the rails started to go in during 2015/16 and they won the 2016 election, Mr Coe said that they wouldn't stop the project proceeding if it was underway if they won in 2016. This is the same approach that Campbell Newman adopted towards the Gold Coast light rail project.

It was a productive meeting and ACT Light Rail hope that this marks the start of a more serious policy approach to public transport from the Canberra Liberals.

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