WORK to establish light rail in Canberra and transform the city's public transport network is on track, Environment and Sustainable Development Minister Simon Corbell announced last week.
"The recruitment process for the critical role of Project Director to lead the new Capital Metro Agency, and for a Project Board Chair, will commence in the coming weeks," Mr Corbell said.
"Coordination of research for a property strategy for the light rail corridor is already underway. The urban redevelopment of this corridor will be transformative, providing a stimulus and confidence in the market for development and growth.
"Opportunities to increase residential and commercial intensities along the corridor on Northbourne Avenue are being investigated. Options being looked at include public housing redevelopments and the Dickson Group Centre.
"The redevelopment of land currently occupied by EPIC and Thoroughbred Park, and the relocation of these facilities, is another option also being considered.
"The $330,000 Network Integration Study has also commenced, which investigates options for stations and stops, and the way in which the light rail service would run in relation to existing modes of personal and public transport," the Minister said.
According to the government, funding allocated in this year's budget for the Capital Metro light rail project includes:
- $5 million for preliminary design studies;
- $12.3 million for the establishment of the Capital Metro Agency; and
- $1.4 million for a master planning process (which will investigate and identify issues for a future Canberra-wide light rail network).
"Immediate priorities for the Capital Metro Agency include developing procurement and financing options for the light rail infrastructure and operations. As part of this process, the market place will be approached once an appropriate level of information is developed," Mr Corbell said.
"Capital Metro is a unique infrastructure project that will provide a template for growth and transport options in Canberra for years to come."
More information regarding the Capital Metro project is available from the ACT Government's 'Transport for Canberra' website at <http://www.transport.act.gov.au/>.