Canberra Light Rail Project Development Applications Approved

Canberra Light Rail Project Development Applications Approved :Capital Metro Minister Simon Corbell announced on 22 December that development applications for construction of Canberra’s Light Rail Project have been approved by the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Environment and Planning Directorate.

Mr. Corbell stated that the approvals were a “big step forward” for the project, and added that “from Russell we would be perfectly placed to extend the light rail network to other key parts of our city including the airport, the parliamentary triangle and other destinations south of the lake.”

The 12 km stage from the City to Gungahlin has been approved together with the 3.2 km Russell extension.

Construction on Northbourne Avenue, on the Gungahlin line, is scheduled to begin next year and be completed by 2019.

The light rail project still needs development approval from federal planners for the sections to be built on national land, controlled by the National Capital Authority (NCA). Approval applications for these sections, including Northbourne Avenue and Constitution Avenue, will be submitted next year.

In February 2015 the Federal Government agreed to contribute A$60 million to the project.

In October 2015 the ACT Government released a plan for a citywide light rail network to be built over a period of 25 years. The plan includes the following corridors:
• Gungahlin to City, the first stage of the network
• Parliamentary Triangle, connecting City to Russell, City to the Parliamentary Zone and Russell to the Parliamentary Zone
• Woden to City, running via Adelaide Avenue
• Tuggeranong to Woden (Athllon Corridor), running either via the Athllon Drive Corridor or the existing rapid bus alignment along Erindale Drive
• Eastern connections (Fyshwick and Airport), additions to the Parliamentary Triangle routes from Russell to Canberra Airport and the Parliamentary Zone to Fyshwick
• Belconnen to City, running via Southern Cross Drive and Barry Drive
• Molonglo to City, Woden to City via Hindmarsh Drive, John Gorton Drive and Parkes Way

The ACT Government also announced that the Capital Metro Agency would be combined with the city’s bus service operator ACTION to form a new organization, Transport Canberra, from 1 July 2016.

Canberra, the capital city of Australia, is at the forefront of urban-oriented action on climate change. By 2020, with the City to Gungahlin corridor operational, an 18-30% reduction in gas emissions from the transport sector would be achieved.

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Writer: John Carlo Ottaviani

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