$18.7m to get Canberra light rail moving

$18.7m to get Canberra light rail moving : Canberra’s long promised Capital Metro project is one step closer to becoming a reality, with $18.7 million in funding allocated for preliminary design work and a co-ordinating agency included in Tuesday’s budget.

Announcing a total infrastructure spend of $775.5 million in 2013-14 and $272 million in new capital works, Treasurer Andrew Barr said the Capital Metro agency would be established at a cost of $12.3 million.

A project director and board president will be recruited and an additional $5 million for design work on the Light Rail Transit corridor between Gungahlin and the city, with the route via Flemington Road and Northbourne Avenue.

Mr Barr said the project and the $800,000 in spending to remake Parkes Way were critical to the creation of thousands of construction jobs while attracting overseas and domestic investment.

The feasibility of a Canberra-wide light rail network will also be assessed in a $1.4 million master plan process.

Territory and Municipal Services Minister Shane Rattenbury said the key projects outlined in the parliamentary agreement with Labor were now becoming a reality.

”You can see a clear commitment to starting the implementation of these projects,” he said.

”We are moving past whether we should do it, and are now starting to talk about design and about how to roll them out.”

Other significant infrastructure spending outlined in the 2013-14 budget includes $28.5 million for water quality control ponds at Cravens Creek and Horse Park Drive.

The design of a multistorey car park for up to 700 vehicles on the Calvary Hospital campus will receive $1.3 million and $420,000 in funding will be spent for upgrades to parking and camping facilities at Exhibition Park in Canberra.

A plan for remediation works at the Red Hill Nature Reserve will receive $185,000 while $2.9 million will be spent removing contaminated soil from the Yarralumla Brickworks site with new security fencing valued at $300,000 to be installed. Existing ACT childcare centres in government owned accommodation will benefit from $2 million in upgrades and $350,000 will be provided for preliminary infrastructure investigations in greenfield areas. The design and construction of irrigation infrastructure for Canberra’s National Arboretum received $4 million in the budget, while $1 million will be spent to protect Canberra’s treescape.

Canberra’s drivers will benefit from $1.6 million in spending on the forward design process for Ashley Drive upgrades and a further $1 million allocated to local traffic management.

Chief Minister Katy Gallagher said the projects would create urban renewal and infrastructure for Canberra’s next century.

”We have to expand and improve and modernise our public transport system as a whole across Canberra,” Ms Gallagher said.

”These are projects which are going to deliver for 10, and 20 and 30 years.”

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Source : canberratimes

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