Page 53 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 13 December 2016

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To date they have run a number of capacity building and business continuity programs in partnership with relevant peak bodies, including the Australian Hotels Association. The chamber held its final light rail industry forum last week and local small and medium businesses were clearly voting with their feet. Over 100 local businesses attended this forum to hear more about the exciting opportunities light rail is generating for our city.

MS ORR: Minister, could you update the Assembly on the next steps being taken by the government to deliver Labor’s mandate to extend light rail to Woden?

MS FITZHARRIS: I thank Ms Orr for her question in the chamber today. With stage 1 well underway we are excited to continue the important work of delivering a city-wide light rail network. Stage 2 will link the city to Woden and builds on the Barr Labor government’s commitment to deliver a world-class public transport system with light rail at the heart of the network. This is a city-shaping project.

Following the community’s clear endorsement of our government’s plan to deliver a city-wide light rail project, tenders opened on 25 November to get stage 2 planning underway. We know that, like all major infrastructure projects, light rail stage 2 will require skills input from professionals in a range of areas to advise the ACT government on the technical, commercial and planning opportunities and challenges.

The light rail stage 2 project team requires a range of commercial, technical and other advisers to help in establishing the detailed approach to the delivery of the project. We need expert partners who understand and can work through the complex engineering, commercial and community aspects of this project.

As with stage 1, by opening tenders for the provision of advisory services, the ACT government is demonstrating its commitment to moving ahead with this project as a priority for our city. Our government has committed to signing contracts for the light rail stage 2 extension to Woden during this term.

As a first step, Transport Canberra and its advisers will consider project details such as the exact light rail alignment, number of stops and locations, connectivity with other forms of transport, procurement processes and the delivery model to be adopted, just like stage 1. We are seeking a range of skills, including technical, commercial and cost estimation, to help lay the foundation for stage 2 of light rail for Canberra. More than 65 people attended a stage 2 tender briefing last week, and tender documents can be found, of course, on the Tenders ACT website.

Stage 2 of light rail is proposed to run from the city to Woden, with the new route connecting residents, businesses and government with the city, parliamentary triangle and southern Canberra, forming an important north-south spine, a 23-kilometre light rail line, as part of an integrated transport network for all of Canberra. Light rail will deliver significant renewal opportunities, especially in the Woden town centre, and will form part of Canberra’s vital infrastructure, facilitating growth for decades to come.

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