13 Jan / 2023

DRA and YRA meet Senator David Pocock

The executive of DRA and YRA met Senator David Pocock on 5th Dec 2022 to discuss light rail, ACT planning and seaplanes on the Lake.

During the meeting, we raise the following points.

In our view,

A. The National Capital Authority which is a Federal government agency is failing not only its responsibilities for areas under its direct control in the Parliamentary Triangle but its role in oversighting the planning for the whole of ACT as the national capital.

 In regard to the light rail/tram stage 2, The NCA failed to ask for a cost-benefit analysis of alternatives.

B. In regard to the yet unapproved Stage 2b, we believe that:

  • Densification of Deakin and Yarralumla along the proposed route to Woden is used to justify its construction. However, there are a few sites for this to occur. Replacing embassies, schools and sports ovals with high-density housing does not seem likely.
  • Even if current land use could be changed there can be only one stop on Adelaide Avenue and two on Yarra Glen.
  • Damage to the heritage values of the national capital and the construction of a new bridges will be profound, especially over the Lake
  • Approval is a Commonwealth Government issue.
    • Clearance is required under 1. Commonwealth EPBC Act 2. By NCA and 3. by a vote of both Houses of Parliament.
  • Cost-benefit is not available for stage 2b.
    • What is the rate of return on the investment?
  • The current partially developed proposal fails to consider alternatives.
    • electric bikes could be given away to everyone who wanted one and the best bike network in the world could be built across Canberra
      • and ACT Gov would have $ billions left over.

C. In regard to proposals to conduct float plane services from Sydney to the lake, we wondered if the operation could be conducted on cloudy days. An instrument approach through cloud to land on the lake seems unlikely. With a limitation like that would regular advertised services be possible?