Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Canberra Liberals support for light rail in 1992 echoes todays support by the ALP for Capital Metro

In 1991 the then Liberal Chief Minister of the ACT Trevor Kaine was in favour of light rail. Politics in the new self governing territory was volatile and ideas abounded. The Follett ALP government had dissolved in acrimony in 1989, just as the Kaine Liberal government did in 1992 (where Rosemary Follett returned as Chief Minister). Even in opposition, Trevor Kaine was still in favour of light rail, as the articles below dated from 1991 and 1992 show. 

As this political instability was raging, the new town of Gungahlin was being planned and municipal services still needed to be delivered across all of Canberra. Public transport, and the future nature of it that would best suit Canberra was a preoccupation then, as it is now. 

Echoing similar comments by todays ALP government on Capital Metro, Trevor Kaine as Opposition leader for the Canberra Liberals in 1992 said about light rail: 
  • The project was just one example of how the Government should be working in a positive way to stimulate job growth. 
  • At the end of the day, the ACT would have a valuable long term asset as well as a number of jobs and a wider skills base. 
  • The project could be undertaken jointly with the private sector and would only involve a "minor investment" by the Government

After Trevor Kaine was rolled as Opposition leader by Kate Carnell, light rail was attacked mercilessly by the Carnell opposition - because it was being championed by the Follett ALP Government. After forming government in 1995 the Carnell led Liberal government abandoned light rail and focussed on roads. 

Although Trevor Kaine passed away several years ago, his daughter Denise Fisher is contesting the 2016 Assembly elections for the Canberra Liberals in the seat of Ginninderra. Her views on light rail are unknown.

Rail the path to new jobs - Canberra Times July 1992

Canberra Times May 1991

Canberra Times May 1991

As well as this website, the facebook group 'Light Rail for Canberra' carries frequent updates on Capital Metro and light rail related news. 

No comments:

Post a Comment