Tuggeranong majority rails against tram

 
  wxtre Chief Train Controller

Tuggeranong majority rails against tram

Kirsten Lawson and Tom McIlroy



Heather Tricker with daughters Portia,front and Charlotte, says she would would support a Canberra-wide network. Photo: Graham Tidy


The strongest opposition to a tram is in the south, a survey of more than 6000 people suggests, with 68 per cent of Tuggeranong residents saying Canberra doesn't need light rail.

More than 60 per cent of Tuggeranong participants in the survey at canberratimes.com.au ranked the tram line as unimportant.

Asked to rank it against other projects – a rapid bus network, new hospital, stadium, convention centre and pool – they ranked it last.

Almost 60 per cent of the 920 residents who nominated Tuggeranong as their home said the tram would make them less likely to vote Labor, and 50 per cent said they were more likely to vote Liberal.

The results are almost as stark in Woden and Weston Creek, with the only pockets of majority support for the tram found north of the lake.

If that response holds true in 2016, it's a result that boosts the Liberals' chance of retaining the third seat in Tuggeranong, and winning a third in a new Woden-Weston electorate, where people are equally as opposed to the tram line.

A majority in the two southernmost electorates pushes the Liberals closer to government but they also need a third seat (or a friendly independent) in the central, Belconnen or Gungahlin electorates to form government.

While other issues will be at play, the ACT government's fortunes at the election will be tied inextricably to the tram, given plans to start construction just months ahead of the election.

The survey, over three days last week, suggests opposition is also high in Belconnen, where Labor holds three of the five seats.

In Belconnen, 59 per cent of respondents say the city does not need light rail while 36 per cent like it.

Fifty per cent of Belconnen participants in the survey say they are less likely to vote Labor because of the tram and 43 per cent are more likely to vote Liberal.

Tuggeranong residents approached on Monday had mixed views.

Mother-of-two Heather Tricker said she would support a Canberra-wide network.

"I would definitely use it if it came to Tuggeranong," she said.

Lorraine O'Brien is on board, saying she would consider voting for Labor because of the project.

"I think it will reduce the traffic in Canberra and make it easier for people to get to work," she said.

Mark Bellwood said he didn't think light rail was sustainable in Canberra.

"I am against it if it isn't going to make a profit or isn't viable," he said.

"I'd rather see them spend that money on a lot of other things as it could become a drain on the community and cause a lot of problems. It is an issue for me at the election."

Nicole Turner said "it was a stupid amount of money" but she wouldn't oppose a tram line across the city.

"It is more a case of the bus system needing to be better. It is appalling."

The self-selecting survey attracted a good spread in the age and location of respondents, with about 1000 people from each of Tuggeranong (920), Belconnen (1160), Gungahlin (1140), and the inner north (1070), and 400 to 500 responses from each of Woden, Weston Creek and the inner south.

The opposition of residents in Tuggeranong, Woden and Weston presumably reflects the route from Gungahlin to the city but also the age of participants. Opposition grows with age. Of people aged 35 to 50, 52 per cent are against the tram. Of those aged 50 to 65, 67 per cent oppose it, and three-quarters of people aged 65-plus are opposed.

Support is highest among those aged under 35, who live in greater numbers in the inner north, Gungahlin and Belconnen, but even among that age group, it is not overwhelming. Fifty-seven per cent of those under 35 say Canberra needs light rail but 37 per cent to 40 per cent disagree.

While support is highest in Gungahlin and the inner north, even there it only reaches 52 per cent or 53 per cent, with 43 per cent to 45 per cent opposing the tram line.

Almost 40 per cent of inner north residents say they are more likely to vote Labor because of the tram.

In Gungahlin, voters are evenly split, with 37 per cent saying the tram will make them more likely to vote Labor and 38 per cent saying they are less likely to vote Labor.

Significantly, supporters of the tram still appear to rank buses and a new public hospital as more important. In Gungahlin and the inner north, the tram ranks third behind buses and the hospital.

Dislike for the route from Gungahlin to the city draws a stronger response than dislike for the tram itself across all age groups. Among those who like it, fewer like the route; among those who oppose it, more oppose the route.

Read more: [color=#003399]http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/tuggeranong-majority-rails-against-tram-20141020-117tm2.html#ixzz3GjqpWzgj[/color]

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  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
This forms the basis of the opposition leaders stance about blocking the project.

I am not ute I understand where this is coming from. Do the people dislike the project entirely and the idea of having a light rail service or are they adverse to the route it will take ?
  MD Chief Commissioner

Location: Canbera
Bit of confusion going on here.
There are no plans of any kind for a Canberra wide light rail system.
The only light rail system is the current proposed one and thats Gungahlin to Civic.
It only benefits a small cross section of the Canberra population.
If you want to see why its happening have a good look at the makeup of the ACT Govt.
  MD Chief Commissioner

Location: Canbera
No funding of any kind has been provided for any extension of the current Gungahlin - Civic light rail.
Neither party, Labor or Liberal has ever stated there will be any extensions.
  Fireman Dave Chief Commissioner

Location: Shh, I'm hiding
I think the reaction to the light rail project is very disappointing, though I'm not suprised. My opinion is that it's the perfect project for Canberra, and now is the time to do it. It's a shame that the motives behind it have nothing to do with developing a public transport network for the future, but everything to do with the labor party remaining in power.

Hopefully, the Gungahlin to Civic section is just the first stage of a network linking all the town centers. The next should be Tuggeranong to Civic via Woden, then Belconnen to Civic via the universities.
  konkos Assistant Commissioner

Location: Live next door to half-bar
I think the reaction to the light rail project is very disappointing, though I'm not suprised. My opinion is that it's the perfect project for Canberra, and now is the time to do it. It's a shame that the motives behind it have nothing to do with developing a public transport network for the future, but everything to do with the labor party remaining in power.

Hopefully, the Gungahlin to Civic section is just the first stage of a network linking all the town centers. The next should be Tuggeranong to Civic via Woden, then Belconnen to Civic via the universities.
Fireman Dave

I agree with you Fireman Dave
What most people seem to be missing here is that the orginal Burley Griffin plan that Trams or light railways be a part of the overall layout of Canberra.  Most if not all major roads in Canberra have a void space of land which was left alone just in case that a tramway be included at some later date - guess what, it could just be happening be it 80 or 90 years later so I really don't see what the whole fuss is about.  Sydney had one of the biggest tramways in the world and it was killed off by policties and now they are bringing it back bit by bit be it in a more modern form. Trams to most people in Canberra is something new and I dare say that's why they are somewhat hostile towards the whole idea - just give them time and things will turn around.
konkos
  MD Chief Commissioner

Location: Canbera
Asking people if they support something like light rail, is pointless if no explanation is given as to how the project gets paid for.
Nothing is free, but if the people arnt made aware of how something gets financed, then they think it is free, or that the Govt will somehow
pay for it.
The light rail is being financed as a PPP (public / private partnership), which makes the project appear as though the ACT Govt doesnt have to pay for it, but the people still do.
You may as well conduct a poll and ask people if they would like to pay less taxes.
Pretty obvious what the answer will be.
  xke9600hp Train Controller

This forms the basis of the opposition leaders stance about blocking the project.

I am not ute I understand where this is coming from. Do the people dislike the project entirely and the idea of having a light rail service or are they adverse to the route it will take ?
freightgate

The light rail project in Canberra is a huge folly.

The cost of infrastructure, rolling stock and maintenance alone will far exceed the cost of enhancing the existing bus network and the main problem is that the small population of Canberran taxpayers will have to foot the bill for this white elephant.

Everything the light rail system does can be done with providing dedicated bus lanes (such as down Northbourne Ave) with the added advantage that the buses can then fan out to wherever the demand is into the suburbs.  The light rail is only planned to service a very small corridor of population in the Northern Suburbs.

I haven't worked out which self interest group is driving this project but it is absolutely the last thing Canberra needs,  we simply can't afford it and a better result can be had by sinking these as yet unsourced funds into the existing bus system.

Having said that,  Places like Melb and Syd where existing infrastructure exists are obvious logical places to continue with light rail but not in a spread out city of only 350k people linke Canberra.

Down with the Canberra Light Rail and down with the self interest groups who support it!!
  xke9600hp Train Controller


I haven't worked out which self interest group is driving this project but it is absolutely the last thing Canberra needs, we simply can't afford it and a better result can be had by sinking these as yet unsourced funds into the existing bus system.

xke9600hp

Noting the post elsewhere regarding a new documentary on the Outer Circle Line, I guess the developers would have quite a bit to gain having light rail service their new developments most of which are in the North.  Maybe they should be asked to pay for it.
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
According to the Financial Review, the ALP ACT gummint have sold (privatized) the ACT TAB to help pay for the light rail.

I thought that Labor was against privatization. Sad
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE


I thought that Labor was against privatization. Sad
awsgc24

There is reality and perception

Look up Privatisations in Australia!
  wurx Lithgovian Ambassador-at-Large

Location: The mystical lost principality of Daptovia
There is reality and perception....
RTT_Rules
....and the reality is that politics is all about the perception Rolling Eyes

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