SIMON Corbell has welcomed the approval of development applications for light rail from Gungahlin to City, as well as from City to Russell, by the ACT Environment and Planning Directorate.
The DAs were open for public consultation for 15 working days during which 22 submissions were received.
“These approvals are an important milestone for Capital Metro and a big step toward the start of construction next year on Canberra’s first light rail route,” Simon said.
“Through public consultation the Environment and Planning Directorate received submissions from the community, government agencies and utility providers, raising points to be considered in the assessment of the development applications. The directorate has considered all submissions in making their decision to approve the DAs.
“The development application for the optional Russell extension, which was submitted at the same time as the development application for the City to Gungahlin route, was also approved today as part of the process.
“Obtaining DA approval for the optional Russell Extension is a prudent measure that puts the ACT Government in the best position to proceed with the extension to Russell should that decision be made.
“The proposed Russell extension has received strong support from the local business industry and ACT community.
“The optional Russell extension for phase one of Capital Metro is expected to increase light rail patronage by more than 30 percent if it goes ahead. It would also provide a CBD link to thousands of employees working on Constitution Avenue and in the defence precinct.
“From Russell we would be perfectly placed to extend the Light Rail Network to other key parts of our city, including the airport, the parliamentary triangle and other destinations south of the lake,” Mr Corbell said.
Environment and Planning Directorate development application approval will allow construction to begin next year on territory land. Approval for parts of the project on land that falls under the National Capital Plan, such as parts of Northbourne Avenue and Constitution Avenue, will be lodged with the National Capital Authority in coming months.