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Light rail designs to rejuvenate Northbourne

Posted On January 21, 2015

Simon Corbell MLA

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr and Minister for Capital Metro, Simon Corbell, today launched consultation on the latest light rail urban designs.

"We are calling on the community to get involved with the first stage of Canberra's light rail network and have their say on the latest thinking for landscaping, stop design and walking and cycling options, as well as the overall design vision for the corridor. As part of my new role as the Minister for Urban Renewal, I am committed to realising the opportunity for a rejuvenation of the Northbourne corridor created through this project.  " Mr Barr said.

"This is part of an ongoing conversation on the future of the light rail corridor, with further opportunities to discuss the government's urban renewal plans later in the year.

"The light rail project is evidence of ACT Labor delivering on our election promise - attracting investment to the capital whilst creating jobs through the design, construction and ongoing operations of the project."

Mr Corbell said the government is setting out its urban design vision to ensure that the consortia bidding for the project have a good understanding of government, stakeholder and community expectations when developing their light rail designs.

"It's important that the light rail design reflects the character of Canberra," Mr Corbell said.

"The Capital Metro Agency is using feedback from the early design consultation – held last year – to further develop the thinking on the project's urban design elements to inform the light rail procurement process.

"This is another great opportunity for the community to let the team at Capital Metro know if they are on the right track and to share their views on the urban designs, including landscaping."

Included in the design consultation is the government's recommendation for a new species of tree for the Northbourne Avenue corridor.

"Last year, stakeholders and the community gave us strong feedback that the fourth generation of trees along Northbourne Avenue should be native, in particular local to the Canberra area, and resilient to drought conditions," Mr Corbell said.

"Building on this feedback and technical advice, we recommend the Eucalyptus rossii, also known as the Scribbly Gum, as the most suitable species for the fourth generation of trees along Northbourne Avenue.

"Many of the trees remaining on Northbourne Avenue are in decline and will need to be replaced in the near future regardless of the light rail project. The selection of a suitable species to replace the current Eucalyptus elata trees is an important decision that will define the sense of arrival to the nation's capital." 

The latest design elements for the corridor also propose native grassland plantings beneath the eucalypt tree canopy along the median as a resilient and attractive alternative to unsustainable irrigated grass.

"Community feedback during the early design consultation suggested landscaping options could reflect Canberra's changing seasons," Mr Corbell said.

"The current designs suggest that native grassland plantings can be used to ensure flowers all year round, creating a colourful 12 month seasonal palette.

People can share their views with us on the light rail urban designs through online forums at or by visiting the consultation checkpoint station – a pop-up tram that will be touring the ACT during the consultation period – to view consultation material and talk to ACT Government staff. A schedule of where the checkpoint station will be located around Canberra, such as at shopping centres and community events, is available online.

The Light Rail project is another milestone in the Parliamentary Agreement with the ACT Green Party.


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