Page 2087 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 6 June 2018

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MS CODY: Minister, can you also provide an update on the progress of light rail construction for stage 1 of light rail from the city to Gungahlin?

MS FITZHARRIS: Thank you; I would be delighted to. Certainly, Canberra Metro’s current program for light rail stage 1 is reaching construction completion in December 2018. It is anticipated that in the second half of this year we will see further construction activities completed in various sections of the alignment and at the depot, allowing for testing and commissioning activities to proceed.

Canberra Metro has made significant progress in construction, with 19½ thousand metres of track slab being laid to date. This is 77 per cent of the total track slab length. It is important to note that the forecast date for construction completion in December of this year remains contingent on a range of activities and, as always, weather. Assuming all sections successfully complete initial testing, full system testing will progress over October to December 2018.

As with any construction project, the construction completion date remains subject to a range of general and project-specific risks, including bad weather, system and operational testing and commissioning, and timely receipt of accreditation from regulators, specifically including the office of the national safety regulator.

Canberra Metro, supported by Transport Canberra, have commenced an important public education campaign for light rail. The first campaign messages build community awareness of testing activities starting, such as energising overhead wires and light rail vehicles moving onto the alignment and is further supported by an investment in yesterday’s budget. Later stages of this campaign will advise the community about how to use the system as we move ever closer to the exciting prospect of light rail services commencing in our city.

MR PETTERSSON: Minister, what is the ACT government doing to prepare for the commencement of light rail operations?

MS FITZHARRIS: I thank Mr Pettersson for the follow-up question. It is certainly exciting to be preparing for the commencement of light rail operations in the ACT. Transport Canberra light rail has a dedicated operations team which is managing a wide range of operational readiness activities towards the planned beginning of services.

Key activities that the team is managing or providing substantial assistance on include legislation. Two bills have now been passed by the Assembly, presented by Minister Rattenbury, to enable the operation of light rail as a form of transport and in regard to normal passenger operations. There has been significant cross-government coordination, including a detailed works program which has been developed that identifies all activities across TCCS as well as more broadly across government, that will facilitate the introduction of light rail—for example, sharing of light rail CCTV with the AFP and management of traffic signals and street lighting, and implementation of these measures is closely monitored.

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