Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 2 December 2021) . . Page.. 4086 ..
moving in the event that light rail services need to be temporarily suspended. I reiterate that we do not expect this to be a contingency plan that needs to be activated, because no issues have been identified with our LRVs at this time. But I have confidence in Transport Canberra to effectively manage this contingency if those issues were ever to occur.
Members of this place would be aware that the ACT government is currently in the process of gearing up to deliver stage 2 of light rail to Woden. That includes preparing to purchase more LRVs to service the initial expansion of stage 2A from Alinga Street through to Commonwealth Park. This is an active procurement process, so I will not overstep the bounds here, but I can assure members that the quality, safety and reliability of the LRVs will be a key consideration in this process. In coming months, the light rail board will review in detail the options that come forward through this procurement process and provide advice to government about the best way to proceed. Their advice will be considered by both the expenditure review committee of the cabinet and the full cabinet, so that we can make sound, considered decisions around sourcing our next tranche of light rail vehicles.
I would like to thank Mr Parton for raising this issue—even if he did so with the intent of making mischief as part of his long-running campaign against light rail in Canberra and particularly its extension to Woden, which he cannot commit to. Investigations into problems with the Sydney fleet are ongoing by national rail safety bodies. We will stay in close touch with these regulators about any findings or insights that are relevant to Canberra’s fleet. Canberra Metro will continue their program of proactive maintenance inspections of the Canberra fleet, which I have outlined today. I make a commitment that the government will work transparently to inform Canberrans of the outcomes of this work.
Over the next few months, Canberrans will start returning to public transport as we move past the COVID-19 public health emergency, and, as they do, it is important that our community can have confidence in Canberra’s public transport system, including the safety and reliability of the equipment that delivers it. The response that I have tabled today should provide that confidence.
In addition I want to say very quickly, in relation to the Newcastle issues that have emerged, that there is no evidence of failure in Canberra’s light rail vehicles, as was found on the light rail vehicles on the Newcastle line. While the vehicles on the Newcastle line and Canberra’s light rail are of the same CAF light rail vehicle model, the coupling that had the failure is a different design and part number in the Newcastle vehicles than on the Canberra light rail fleet. This is a mechanical problem and it is unrelated to the cracking issues identified in the inner west light rail fleet.
I can also confirm that the mechanical issue is caused by a faulty earthing adaptor, which is a component in the earthing assembly of the wheel coupling on the bogie wheelset. (Time expired.)
MR PARTON (Brindabella) (3.24): I want to thank the minister for amending the motion in the first place, from three weeks ago, and moving the reporting date forward, and for providing such a detailed report today.