THE ACT Government will lodge a development application for the optional extension to Russell when it lodges its DA for stage one of Canberra's light rail network from City to Gungahlin, Capital Metro Minister Simon Corbell announced last week.
The application will cover works required on ACT managed land along the route should the proposed Russell extension be approved by government.
ACT managed land along the proposed extension consists of a stretch of London Circuit (excluding Ainslie Place) between Northbourne Avenue and Constitution Avenue, the remainder of the extension will require NCA works approval.
"Getting DA approval places us in the best position to proceed with the extension to Russell should the government choose to do so," Mr Corbell said.
"It is a prudent measure for the government to use the existing work done as part of the analysis of the Russell extension option to prepare a London Circuit DA. It will be lodged in the coming weeks at the same time as the DA for stage one.
"By preparing the London Circuit DA now, we can ensure we are in the best position in terms of our planning coordination for the light rail project. If the ACT Government does decide to include Russell as part of Capital Metro stage one, this work will ensure construction activity on the City to Russell alignment is not delayed while the required planning approvals are obtained."
The two shortlisted consortia have submitted separate bids that include the option to extend stage one of the light rail network to Russell.
"When evaluating the bids to select a preferred consortium, the ACT Government will decide whether including the extension to Russell is a strong investment decision," Mr Corbell said.
"From Russell we would be perfectly placed to extend to other key parts of our city, including the airport, the parliamentary triangle and other destinations south of the lake.
"The proposed extension to Russell has received strong support from the local business industry and ACT community. It is expected to increase patronage of the light rail service by more than 30 percent and would provide a link to the CBD to thousands of employees working within the Constitution Avenue corridor and around the Defence precinct."
Image: Artist's impression of proposed City Station as part of Capital Metro project / Capital Metro.