Monday, December 21, 2015

Liberal party support extending Capital Metro across border into Queanbeyan

'Rapid services by 2031' map from 2012 Transport for Canberra report
The Queanbeyan Age has not carried many stories on light rail or Capital Metro that spring readily to mid, but they did carry a report on 18 December 2015 about the keenness that Liberal MP for Eden-Monaro Peter Hendy has for seeing the Capital Metro light rail extended from Canberra across the border into Queanbeyan.

The Transport for Canberra report from 2012 was the first ACT Government policy document to publicly show a Queanbeyan link to any Canberra public transport network.

The NSW Liberal party has a strong track record in recent year on investing in public transport infrastructure and tackling reform in the various workforces, organisations and bureaucracies that comprise that sector. It has proved remarkably successful. Recent heavy and light rail projects are actually being delivered upon, unlike the previous decades in which transport projects would be announced at an election and then promptly ignored until the next elections photo opportunities beckoned.

Light rail in Sydney's CBD and the Dulwich Hill extension are two excellent examples that compare favourably with Capital Metro, and the new rail line into Sydney's west indicates that transport technologies that are scalable will best suit a rapidly expanding city.

Investment in public transport infrastructure is something that the Federal Liberal and NSW Liberal parties understand is important to the community. Could Stage Two of Capital Metro run into NSW? Federal funding could bolster that ambition from NSW representatives.

Federal funding could see light rail cross the border from Canberra into Queanbeyan

If CANBERRA’S light rail line proceeds federal funding could be used to expand it’s reach to Queanbeyan, federal member for Eden-Monaro Peter Hendy said.
Dr Hendy said should a “spare line” be available, it should run from the airport through to Queanbeyan.
“It is a major population centre in the region,” Dr Hendy said.
“I intend having further discussions in the future with Andrew Barr about those issues, but we’re a long way from talking about commitment of money on that,” he said.
The idea was floated as part of a federal funding wishlist put forward by the Queanbeyan City Council in the lead up to the next election in 2016.
At December’s Planning and Development Review Committee meeting councillors agreed on the list, to be formally submitted as a wishlist for the community to election candidates.
Dr Hendy said while the Ellerton Drive Extension project was a main priority, having been given $25 million from both federal and state governments, it would not affect other projects put forward for funding.
“There are other road and transport proposals that, in the long run, really do need to be seriously looked at.”
While Dr Hendy stopped short of saying Queanbeyan had been spoilt in the past, he did say he was willing to use his “very good relationship” with the Prime Minister and federal treasurer to help Queanbeyan and the seven councils in the Eden-Monaro electorate.
“I think I’ve got a voice that gets listened to,” he said.

You can read the full story at the Queanbeyan Age website here.

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