Page 2947 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 12 October 2022

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MR STEEL: Work is underway now on raising London Circuit. Construction has begun.

Members interjecting—


MR STEEL: It is a significant milestone, a significant step forward in the delivery of light rail and delivering on our promise, getting on with what we promised to do at the election. Connecting London Circuit to Commonwealth Avenue is a key enabling piece of infrastructure in extending our light rail network. It also has the additional benefit of activating the southern part of the city, providing pedestrian and cycle-friendly intersections and movements throughout the city’s east and through the city’s west, improving active travel routes.

The project will see one of the biggest changes to Canberra’s road network in the last 50 years and is expected to support hundreds of jobs and enable thousands more. We have also entered into a contract with Canberra Metro to order five new light rail vehicles for the extension of stage 2A of light rail and also to retrofit all of our existing light rail fleet, ready for expansion to Commonwealth Park and down to Woden, including through those wire-free segments. We are expanding the light rail depot as well to facilitate those extra vehicles needed.

Our next step will be to submit the works approval application through the National Capital Authority for stage 2A of light rail before the end of the year. We are looking forward to work then commencing after the raising London Circuit project is complete.

DR PATERSON: Minister, what are the benefits of building light rail to Woden?

MR STEEL: I thank the member for her supplementary. We have seen many of those benefits in our first stage of light rail. We want to extend those benefits south so that more people in Canberra can get the benefit of mass transit, through a mass transit spine north to south that will connect with our new electric bus fleet, which is growing as well over time, with the first buses arriving before the end of the year.

In building light rail to Woden we will be creating thousands of jobs. We will be improving active travel connections across the city and creating high quality, attractive and functional public spaces. It is also a central pillar of our transport strategy, which outlines our government’s vision for transport as delivering a world-class system that supports a compact, sustainable and vibrant city. Delivery of light rail to Woden will also help to create frequent, reliable transport services that better connect our major town centres and residential and employment hubs through additional stops that are not accessible on our current bus network.

The first stage of light rail has been incredibly successful, as I mentioned. More people are choosing to live and work near our light rail route. We want those same city-shaping benefits to apply on the south side as well. That is why we are getting on with the job of expanding this project down south, so that we can connect the rest of

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