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The second stage of light rail is increasingly likely to travel from Civic to Woden via State Circle instead of the Parliamentary Triangle, after the findings of a federal inquiry into the project were endorsed by the Coalition government.
The brakes are finally set to come off planning for the next leg of Canberra's light rail, after the Commonwealth tabled its formal response to a federal parliamentary committee report.
It appears less and less likely that the second stage of light rail will travel past Old Parliament House.
The report warned the ACT government's chosen route through Barton would "unavoidably add further complexity, time, and cost to the project".
Instead, the Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories said the ACT government should use the routes already laid out in the National Capital Plan for intertown public transport, specifically State Circle.
If the territory still chose to take light rail through Barton and the Parliamentary Triangle, the committee said there should be a more complex approvals process, recognising the national significance of the area.
The federal government agreed or agreed in principle to each of the committee's six recommendations, which also included that designated areas of light rail be wire-free to minimise the visual impact on the parliamentary zone.
Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories Sussan Ley said the recommendations provided "clarity" for the project going forward.
This article first appeared on www.canberratimes.com.au
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