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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 11 February 2021) . . Page.. 465 ..


MR STEEL: I thank Mr Parton for his question. We have been very clear from the very beginning that we know there will be some short-term disruption while this major transport infrastructure project is built. That also includes the raising of London Circuit, providing an upgraded intersection between London Circuit and Commonwealth Avenue. We will seek to minimise that as much as possible. We will be working as closely as we can with the National Capital Authority in relation to their major infrastructure project around the strengthening of the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge, so that work can potentially take place at a similar time to parts of the construction of light rail stage 2A.

The ACT government has required the owner of the section 63 block to build an extension to Edinburgh Avenue, which has recently been completed, and which connects from London Circuit through to Vernon Circle. It provides another way for people to get through to the western side of the CBD.

We will be clearly communicating with Canberra residents as well as businesses in the stage 2A project footprint about potential disruptions during the construction period. Those communications will be made available closer to the start of construction, once we have got through the important approvals processes that still need to be obtained from the NCA and the ACT planning and land authority, and once procurement has been finalised for the project.

MR PARTON: Minister, will businesses hindered by light rail 2A’s construction be offered compensation for lost sales caused by the development?

MR STEEL: No, we do not expect that to be the case, similar to stage 1. What we have learned from stage 1 is that we need to communicate early with businesses that may be affected along this route. The 1.7-kilometre extension to the line goes through the courts precinct. We have already begun communication with those who are affected in the courts precinct, as well as businesses along London Circuit, the Australian National University, and hotels, including QT, along the route.

Those are the majority of businesses along the corridor. Once the light rail extends down onto the median strip of Commonwealth Avenue and then further on, we will be consulting further with businesses that may be affected, and other organisations like the parliament, around State Circle. Thankfully, with stage 2B, once it goes on to Adelaide Avenue, there are very few people that are affected along the median strip there. We are looking forward and hope to have reduced disruptions as a result along the Adelaide Avenue part of the extension of 2B in the future.

MR CAIN: Minister, what impact will the construction have on traffic flow around the entirety of Vernon Circle, including the linking lanes on the northern and southern ends, and what flow-on effects will there be?

MR STEEL: I thank Mr Cain for his question. This will be disruptive for traffic and it may mean that people will have to think about a different way of getting in to the city than they have been used to, rather than using Commonwealth Avenue, particularly during the construction period. We are also working closely with Transport Canberra and through MPC to look at the impacts on the transport system.


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