Liberals mislead Canberrans on Northbourne Avenue trees

Released 14/12/2015

The Canberra Liberals have again misled Canberrans on the facts of light rail and its impact on Northbourne Avenue, Minister for Capital Metro Simon Corbell said today.

“The Canberra Liberals are misleading Canberrans with this cynical attempt to imply that Northbourne Avenue will look like a highway, which just simply isn’t the case,” Mr Corbell said.

The Capital Metro reference design indicates that light rail tracks will occupy about 7 metres of Northbourne Avenue’s total 27 metre width, leaving 10 metres on either side for landscaping and trees.

The government expects that the semi-mature Eucalyptus Mannifera will be approximately 4-5 metres high when first planted during the construction phase of Capital Metro.

“The Canberra Liberals’ ill-informed artists’ impression of light rail on Northbourne is misleading and does not represent what Northbourne Avenue will look like once light rail is built,” Mr Corbell said.

“The fact is there will be 4-5 metre high semi-mature Eucalyptus Mannifera with the light rail tracks taking up less than one third of the total width of the median.”

The ACT Government has announced that it will replace aging trees along Northbourne Avenue with 1000 additional trees during the construction phase of Capital Metro stage one.

“The ACT Government has always been clear that Northbourne Avenue will retain its boulevard character, with 1000 more trees once light rail has been built than there is today,” Mr Corbell said.

Between 2010 and 2014 the number of trees on the Northbourne Avenue and Federal Highway median of the light rail corridor fell from 802 to just 484 through failing health, storm damage and removal of dead and dangerous trees. A 2014 assessment of the trees in the corridor found only 59% of the remaining trees were healthy.

“The Canberra Liberals have once again proven they have a one-track agenda, which is blind opposition to light rail.

“What they don’t want us to look at is they have no plan for our health system, they have no plan for education and they have no idea how to improve Canberra’s public transport network.

“The Canberra Liberals' regressive approach will have Canberra talking about the problem for another 20 years while the congestion gets worse instead of taking real action.”

- Statement ends -

Section: Simon Corbell, MLA | Media Releases

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