Results for category "Canberra"

11 Articles

Light rail jobs claims don’t stack up

Selective interpretations of reports have misled people to think light rail is a money-spinner.

By David Hughes

In 2012 the Barr government’s analysis showed the proposed Gungahlin-Civic light rail line was twice as costly as a busway for the same benefits.
Worse, the estimated benefits incorrectly included the effects of unrelated government policies to increase parking charges and to promote development along the project corridor by selling government land, rezoning land such as the racecourse, and “constraining” housing supply outside the corridor. Without these other policies the tram’s benefits were two-thirds the size of its costs.
In 2014, the business case showed that transport benefits were only half the size of the costs. Transport benefits were broadly defined and included improved travel times; reliability and comfort; reduced road vehicle operating costs; fewer accidents and other health benefits; less noise and air pollution; lower greenhouse emissions; and savings on road maintenance and bus operations. This time, total benefits exceeded costs only by including a range of new “economic” benefits. Essentially the government claimed that replacing some buses with some trams would increase the efficiency and productivity of Canberra. No evidence was provided for this claim.

The draft environmental impact statement, released last month, shows how unimportant transport benefits have become in justifying this project. The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) lists nine key benefits of the project. The first is “create jobs”. Transport benefits such as less congestion and pollution are well down the list.
This is understandable. Latest traffic modelling presented in the EIS compares expected traffic conditions with and without a tram in 2021 and 2031. The tram will be operating from late 2019. By 2021 it will result in “a slight decrease in total vehicle volume” in the morning peak period. Average speeds are slower, delays are longer, and congestion is “slightly higher”. The evening peak has a smaller decrease in vehicle numbers, much slower average speeds, a large increase in delays, and “significant congestion”. By 2031, “the impact of the project would be negligible”. Morning peak performance would be “slightly improved”; evening peak performance would be “slightly worse”.
As in 2012 and 2014 some other benefit is needed to justify the project. The EIS says building the tram “would support up to 3500 jobs” and operating the tram would create a further 125 jobs. “Additionally, the corridor development could result in up to 26,000 additional jobs along the corridor. Taking into account the flow-on jobs from industry and consumption effects, this could result in up to 50,000 additional jobs along the corridor.”
This focus has found support from Unions ACT. Polling it commissioned in May found 38.8 per cent of ACT voters supported light rail, 46.3 per cent were opposed, and 14.9 per cent were undecided. Unions ACT reports that “when the job creation benefits are explained, support increases to 52.6 per cent”. It has launched a campaign to promote awareness that there will be “over 3500 jobs created during construction” and, “following construction, more than 26,000 new long-term jobs will be created due to increased economic activity and growth along the light rail corridor”.
The job numbers are taken from a Job Creation Analysis released by the government in 2014. The analysis estimates “the likely job creation” from public expenditure on the tram and from private expenditure on retail and commercial development in the corridor. The analysis presents figures for direct and indirect employment effects, and gross and net employment effects.
The tram is to be built, operated and financed by a private consortium under an agreement covering three years of construction from 2016 to 2018 and 20 years of operation from 2019 to 2038.
Table 1 shows that building the tram directly creates 1450 jobs from 2016 to 2018 (in this article a job means employment of one person for one year). This creates a further 2110 jobs in businesses providing goods and services to the construction consortium and in businesses meeting the consumer demands of construction workers. But, the analysis explains, the demand for more workers in these activities increases wages, reducing employment in other parts of the ACT economy. The gross indirect figure of 2110 becomes a net figure of 480. The number of additional jobs in the ACT created by building light rail is 1930 not 3560. And to repeat: these are jobs for one year, not permanent jobs.
Table 2 shows the gross and net jobs created by operating light rail from 2019 onwards. The tram directly employs 55 staff. This creates 70 gross indirect jobs but only 20 net indirect jobs. The number of additional jobs is 75 not 125. Over the consortium’s 20 years of operation, 1500 additional jobs (employment of one person for one year) are created, of which 1100 are direct and 400 are indirect.

This leaves the big numbers: 26,000 and 50,000. According to the government’s analysis, by 2049 “additional floor space to accommodate around 26,000 jobs along the corridor” will have been built and occupied. This will indirectly create a further 24,000 jobs in the ACT. But, the analysis warns, most of the jobs in the corridor will come from somewhere else in the territory. “Estimating the share of the additional corridor jobs that are additional to ACT is not a straightforward task. For the purpose of this analysis we assume that 10 per cent of the additional jobs to the corridor are additional to ACT.”
David Hughes, an economist and former academic, was head of major project analysis for ACT Treasury and director of the economics branch from 2002 to 2005. Before that, he worked in the Audit Office, where he investigated the Bruce Stadium project.
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Environmental Impact Statement for Canberra’s light rail, Capital Metro project released

Canberrans will need to be schooled in how to interact with light rail if the project gets the green light, according to a draft environmental impact statement to be issued on Saturday.

It finds Capital Metro may prove dangerous to residents who will be “unaware of the risks involved in using or being near light rail”, because, unlike Sydney or Melbourne, Canberra has no history of it.

Canberra light rail interactive site

The statement found the unsignalised mid-block crossings proposed for Northbourne Avenue could increase the risk of collision with the tram due to the impaired line of sight from proposed trees.

“Additionally, such mid-block crossings may encourage informal crossing of the Northbourne Avenue carriageway, which may increase the incidence of pedestrian accidents,” the report states.

Capital Metro Minister Simon Corbell said the successful bidder in the tender process would put forward an integrated design to mitigate the risk of pedestrian collision with light rail, vehicles or cars.

“This could include signs, line-marking, lighting and landscaping treatment and segregation between road uses and the light rail vehicle,” he said.

Other mitigation proposed included implementing awareness campaigns following the construction period, to inform motorists, cyclists and pedestrians about light rail and familiarise the new layout.

Health and socio-economic impacts form part of 17 broad topics discussed in the environmental impact statement.

The report is designed to identify “worst case scenarios” to mitigate potential problems before construction of the proposed stage one development of the 12-kilometre tram route between Gungahlin and the city.

The document says key issues were impacts to heritage, noise and vibration, planted trees, landscape and visual, traffic and transport, social and economic, and property and land use.

The EIS also sets out problems and mitigation strategies for biodiversity, air quality, contamination and soils, utilities and services, hazard and risk and bushfire, among others.

The 1700-plus page report, put together by Parsons Brinckerhoff with ACT government data, has been in the works since last October.

It was requested by Planning Minister Mick Gentlemen, after the project failed to fall into a category that required an environmental impact statement under ACT government planning regulations.

While overall health impacts were found to be positive, the report looked at a recent study of Melbourne’s tram system and found there had been an increase in trauma resulting from trams since 2001.

“Most of these falls occurred inside trams, due to drivers braking suddenly,” the report states.

“However a minority of cases involved major trauma, which were more likely to involve trams hitting pedestrians.

“In addition, there are risks from light rail vehicles colliding with other vehicles or [running into] fixed objects.”

The report is a precursor to the development application for the project, which is expected to be lodged next year.

While Mr Gentlemen requested the environmental impact statement for stage one of the project, he said extensions to the light rail network may not need another statement.

The report will be open for community consultation for 20 days from Monday.

Two sessions will be held at Gungahlin library on Saturday, June 27 from 11.30am to 1.30pm, and on Tuesday, June 30 from 5.30pm to 7.30pm.

The remaining two will take place at Dickson library on Saturday, July 4 from 11.30am to 1.30pm and on Tuesday, July 7 from 5pm to 7pm.

The documents will be available at

National Capital Authority’s Malcolm Snow softens Capital Metro light rail stance

National Capital Authority chief executive Malcolm Snow appears to have softened his approach on how tough his authority will be if light rail makes Northbourne Avenue look like “scorched earth”.

The NCA is concerned cutting down all the required trees at once along the avenue would destroy the look of the major boulevard into Canberra.

In a parliamentary hearing on Thursday Mr Snow said NCA would not approve the Capital Metro light rail project if the authority believed it would make the avenue look like scorched earth.


But by Friday morning he had changed his language.

When Mr Snow told ABC 666 the authority had asked Capital Metro about how work could be managed to avoid the “scorched earth” look, ABC presenter Philip Clark asked: “If you don’t get a satisfactory answer, as far as you’re concerned, the project is off?”

Mr Snow said: “The NCA will not be blocking the project, I think that’s been misreported. I think what we’ve always said from the very outset is that we would expect the very highest standards of both design and construction for a project of this sort of scale.

“And we’re sticking to our position that if we don’t see a commensurate design response appropriate to that main approach designation then we will go back to Capital Metro and ask them to do better.”

Asking Capital Metro “to do better” differed from what he told the national capital and external territories committee on Thursday.

In the hearing ACT Liberal senator Zed Seselja asked: “So with that scorched earth you’re concerned about, what options are there for the NCA if you’re not satisfied they’re doing the right thing? That they’re going to come up with something that will ensure that main approach will continue to be beautiful. What options are there for the NCA?”

Mr Snow replied: “Capital Metro does not get approved. The authority has the final approval. It’s a national approach. It’s very clear. That is why Capital Metro have been at pains to A; understand, and B; work with us on what our non-negotiables are.”

According to the NCA, Capital Metro had received independent expert design guidance from the authority’s design review panel which was evolving into an integral part of the NCA’s development approval process.


Canberra light rail to run on 100pc renewable energy, Capital Metro Minister says

Stage one of Canberra’s light rail network will be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy, according to Capital Metro Minister Simon Corbell.

Mr Corbell said the multi-million-dollar transport project, linking Civic to Gungahlin in Canberra’s north, provided a significant opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the territory.

“Capital Metro is about creating a more sustainable Canberra and we are making sure that environment and sustainability is at the heart of our approach for an integrated public transport network,” he said.

The 100 per cent renewable target would be made up in two parts.

Mr Corbell said the successful bidder for the project would have to source 10 per cent of the light rail’s electricity usage from renewable energy sources.

“Combined with the ACT Government achieving its target of 90 per cent renewable energy by 2020 – the time in which stage one light rail will be up and running – this will enable the Capital Metro project to be 100 per cent green energy powered,” he said.

Mr Corbell said the successful bidder would also need to have measures in place to reduce the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions resulting during construction.

“This would include avoiding and reducing emissions through energy efficient construction practices as well as sourcing carbon offsets by investing in programs such as reforestation or renewable energy initiatives,” he said.

According to the ACT Government, Canberra has the highest car dependence of any major Australian city, with transport now being responsible for 25 per cent of the territory’s greenhouse gas emissions.

“Light rail has the potential to greatly improve our city’s liveability and sustainability by getting people out of their cars and onto public transport,” Mr Corbell said.

“This will not only reduce our greenhouse gas emissions but also congestion and travel times.”


Unions ACT polling on support for Canberra light rail

by Kirsten Lawson

The possibility has emerged of a union-funded campaign to support Labor’s tram project, after it was revealed that Unions ACT has been polling on support for the project.

Unions ACT secretary Alexander White confirmed on Monday the peak union group had funded polling by Brisbane firm Reachtel Research, but would make no further comment beyond saying he would have “more to say in the next week or so”.

Despite the highly political questions asked, the Labor Party has denied any part in the polling, telling Fairfax Media last week it had nothing to do with the party.

This week, party secretary Matt Byrne conceded he had been aware of the planned research but had not known the timetable. He continued to insist it had been done entirely independently by the union movement and Labor had no involvement in the questions.

The automated telephone poll last week asked Canberrans who they voted for and how likely they were to change their vote by the 2016 election. It asked whether “generally speaking” the territory was heading in the right or wrong direction. It asked whether people supported or opposed light rail, and whether they were more or less likely to vote for a candidate that supported light rail.

It asked respondents whether they were more or less likely to vote for light rail if it created 3500 jobs during construction.

The $783 million tram project will be a central battleground in the 2016 election, with Labor determined to begin construction before the election and lock in future governments with watertight contracts, with the consortium signed up to build and operate it.

The Liberals have vowed to tear up contracts if they win the election, but have not said how much they’re prepared to pay in compensation – and the figure could well prove too big to swallow.

The Liberals signalled the importance of the issue to their election strategy on Monday with their first major election commitment – a $146 million project to pay for another 50 buses and make major improvements to Gungahlin roads.

The Liberals said they would duplicate Gundaroo Drive from the Barton Highway into the suburb, and build a new flyover at the Gundaroo Drive and William Slim intersection above the Barton Highway, replacing the current roundabout.

The commitment is the first tranche of the Liberals’ alternative to the tram, with Northbourne Avenue announcements expected closer to the election.

Canberra light rail proposal strengthened by Infrastructure Australia traffic report: ACT Government

A report on predicted traffic congestion for Canberra underlines the need for the controversial light rail project, according to the ACT Government.

Infrastructure Australia (IA) has released a report, which said delays on Canberra’s main roads could cost $700 million by 2031, with busy Northbourne Avenue and Canberra Avenue considered the main problems.

That figure included the cost of lost time, productivity, wasted effort and missed opportunities as the populations in Belconnen and Gungahlin grow, increasing traffic.

Sustainable Development Minister Simon Corbell told 666 ABC Canberra the average trip from Gungahlin to the city could blow out to 50 minutes if nothing was done.

“That is a very significant increase in delay and that has a real economic cost,” he said.

“And it is for these reasons that the Government has been advocating improvement to public transport through the light rail project on this key corridor.”

ACT Opposition spokesman on transport Alistair Coe said there were cheaper ways of addressing the traffic problem than building light rail.

“We’ll need a system that will actually have a wide catchment area rather than a narrow one, and one that runs on a reasonable cost base.

“Unfortunately the light rail project is a narrow catchment area and a very high cost base.”

Building extra roads not the answer: ACT Government

Mr Corbell warned that building more roads would not fix the forecast traffic problems.

“Indeed it will only make the problem worse because it will induce more cars on the road,” he said.

“If you build more road capacity you create more congestion, so we have to invest in better public transport and light rail gives us the long-term growth capacity.

“Simply putting more buses on Northbourne Avenue with the traffic is not going to work because commuters on buses are going to be caught in the same delays as cars.

“If we have a dedicated light rail with right of way that is going to encourage more people to use public transport and that has been the experience on the Gold Coast light rail where more people are also using the bus network feeder services to connect to light rail.”

Mr Coe said the Government was ignoring the benefits of spending money on current ACTION bus links.

“The Government’s own report, which they submitted to Infrastructure Australia, says that giving priority to buses generates the same benefits as light rail, albeit at a fraction of the cost,” he said.

“And buses can travel across the city, not just Northbourne Avenue as what is proposed in the light rail, and buses can travel around the city and feed in to Northbourne Avenue and other roads.

“The current light rail system has a catchment area of just 2 to 3 per cent of Canberrans who live within walking distance of a station.”


Simon Corbell says $60 million in federal tram funding depends on ACT lump sum

An artist’s impressions of the proposed Capital Metro light rail.

by Kirsten Lawson

Capital Metro Minister Simon Corbell has conceded the government will only get the $60 million asset recycling bonus from the Commonwealth if it makes a big lump-sum payment for the tram.

Also on Wednesday, Capital Metro said it had identified a major gas pipeline under the tram corridor between Antill Street and Flemington Road which must be moved.

The government is considering a lump sum payment to the consortium of 50 per cent of project debt, which could amount to perhaps $400 million for the $780 million tram line. The amount would be paid at the end of construction in 2019, or at the first refinancing point, between two and four years after the tram begins operation.

To date, the government has only said it is considering the lump sum, with no decision made, and during an Assembly inquiry on Wednesday Mr Corbell began by saying, “the territory has not formally announced that it will be making a capital contribution” and “it’s not for me to make announcements about government policy today”.

But under questioning, he conceded the payment was “highly likely” and the federal asset recycling bonuses would only be paid if the ACT made a capital contribution to the tram. The government was still considering the timing and the amount, but the payment would only be paid once construction was complete, he said.

“If we want to access the $60 odd million from the Commonwealth, yes, we will need to apply it to the project. But as I’ve indicated, it is still within the territory’s discretion as to whether or not to do that and the Chief Minister and I have not yet not formally announced any details of a capital contribution,” Mr Corbell said.

On top of the capital contribution, the government will make an annual payment to the consortium that runs the tram line. It has not put a figure on this “availability payment”, but one economist has suggested it will be $80 million to $100 million a year.

Mr Corbell said the capital contribution would reduce the annual availability payment. But he would not say what how much the government expected to pay each year.

Asked whether the $80 million to $100 million figure was in the ballpark, he said: “The government has made it clear that we’re not going to speculate publicly on what the availability payment looks like ahead of the procurement stage – and the reason for that is to maintain a very strong competitive tension.”

Capital Metro’s head of procurement and deliver Steve Allday said the work to identify pipes and wires along the corridor was complete, with extra work done on the Russell extension. Capital Metro had also looked at where lines that needed relocation might go. A major gas pipeline under Northbourne Avenue and the Federal Highway north of Antill Street was among pipes and wires that must be relocated.

The government has not said how much it has spent on the utilities work, but said the cost of moving utilities would be borne by the winning consortium.

Mr Corbell said one lesson from the tram line built at the Gold Coast and Adelaide, was that community opposition was common to light rail projects but sentiment changed once it was built. On the Gold Coast, people now said “we want more of it” and in Adelaide, the debate was no longer about whether a light rail line should be built but “who should get it next”.


The opposition will call on the ACT government to delay signing contracts for Canberra’s light rail line until after the 2016 territory election.

The opposition will call on the ACT government to delay signing contracts for Canberra’s light rail line until after the 2016 territory election.

Transport spokesman Alistair Coe is set to move a motion calling for a delay in the $800 million contracts, the latest pitch in a heated debate about the project’s cost and opposition plans to cancel contracts if it wins government.

On current plans, the government and a private consortium partner will sign contracts for construction and operation of line linking the city and Gungahlin in the first half of 2016, ahead of the October 15 poll.

Weeks after welcoming the Victorian Labor government’s decision to pay $339 million to cancel a controversial road tunnel project, Mr Coe said the delay would show respect to ACT voters and avoid the need for a large compensation pay out.

“If the government is going to embark on the biggest ever capital works project in the history of the ACT government, I think there is an obligation to seek the support of the ACT community and the best way to do that is of course at an election,” he said.

“It would seem to me the prudent and responsible thing to do is to put the project on hold and genuinely seek the support of the ACT community.”

Mr Coe’s motion will be defeated by government members with the support of Greens Minister Shane Rattenbury.

He will argue ACT Labor’s only light rail commitment at the 2012 election was for $30 million in funding for design and engineering studies from the 2012 election.

Costing documents provided to the ACT Treasury by former chief minister Katy Gallagher in September 2012 estimated delivery costs for the project would be $614 million. The cost of construction through a large scale public private partnership was separate to the election commitment.

Ms Gallagher’s governance agreement with Mr Rattenbury, signed after the election, included the establishment of the Capital Metro agency and a “target date” for the laying of tracks commencing in 2016.

In calling for a delay, Mr Coe cited the scale, cost and “widespread opposition” to light rail.

“I don’t discount the fact there are some people who support the project but there is of course a very vocal component of our community who are fiercely opposed to this,” he said.

“I would say it is a sizeable chunk of Canberra’s population.”

Mr Coe’s plans to cancel contracts after the election has attracted criticism from the government and lobby groups including Infrastructure Partnerships Australia.

He was at odds with Prime Minister Tony Abbott over the Victorian government’s decision, which came after the former Coalition government signed contracts for the East West Link project two months before voters went to the polls.

Mr Coe acknowledged speculation about a light rail line to Canberra Airport as part of a possible second stage could make the project more popular.

“We will decide whether any infrastructure project has merit based on the return it will give to the community,” he said.

“The sheer fact that the government has another pipe dream to extend like rail to another destination is not good enough.”

Last month Capital Metro Minister Simon Corbell released one of two expert reviews of the project’s final business case, which found it was “fit for purpose” and made realistic conclusions.

Mr Corbell refused to release a second review of the business case.

by Tom McIlroy


Major parties both need to come clean on light rail

The ACT government, more arrogant and dismissive of residents’ concerns than any since self-government, is swimming against the strong tide of public opinion, apparently determined to press ahead with its light rail project despite the costs.

Those costs, financial and political, could be significant. Canberra Liberals, not the natural choice of Canberra voters, have effectively set the agenda for next year’s election by declaring their intention to rescind any contract for the tramway. This decision received considerable publicity recently, surprisingly well after the decision had been taken. Certainly, I knew of it about six months ago.

Even now the party is unwilling to disclose publicly too much of how it would go about dismantling a multi-million dollar contract, but there is reasonable confidence it could avoid significant penalties should this occur. The most obvious escape would be to convert any tramway infrastructure begun before next year’s October election to a dedicated busway between Gungahlin and Civic.

After all, it was Capital Metro Minister Simon Corbell who undertook in 2005 to outline a proposal in about six months for a multi-million dollar Northbourne Avenue busway. Corbell was then, reasonably enough, persuaded of the value of busways having been shown successful projects in Queensland.

But his proposal for a Northbourne Avenue busway did not materialise.

The significantly extra cost then and now of a discrete rail service in Canberra could not be justified and further, as recognised by most transport specialists, will reduce public transport benefits to about 80 per cent of Gungahlin residents.

There is considerable disquiet over the government’s legislation aimed at preventing any formal public objection to the project. In opposition, Corbell campaigned strongly against redevelopment and against the use of call-in powers by planning ministers. Now he presides over a project largely based on potential redevelopment and in which he has sought to muzzle opposition.

He might not like to be reminded of it, but on September 21, 2011, Corbell told the ACT Legislative Assembly, “The Greens once again adopt a completely unrealistic, unstrategic and unconsidered approach to the real challenges of transport in this city, all because they want to jump on the wagon, forgive the pun, of rail.” The subsequent political manoeuvring is worth reflection. As Chief Minister, Katy Gallagher, no doubt conscious of the need for Greens support, committed in September 2012 to a light rail line between Gungahlin and Civic if re-elected in the 2012 election. Yet the Greens lost three of their four assembly seats and Liberals gained two, leaving Labor and Liberals each with eight of the 17 seats. The Capital Metro project was included in a formal agreement between ACT Labor and the ACT Greens, who sole surviving MLA, Shane Rattenbury, effectively held the balance of power.

But to claim the 2012 election gave a mandate for the construction of a project, which in all likelihood will cost more than $1 billion just to build, to any person or party is at best tenuous. Aside from the cost, there was no disclosure then that about 80 per cent of Gungahlin residents and effectively all Kaleen and Giralang residents will lose direct bus services to Civic and beyond to boost patronage on Capital Metro. Neither has the option of a dedicated busway been evaluated by the government.

Yet all transport specialists with whom I have discussed the matter believe a busway could be built in much less time and for about 10 per cent of the cost of the Capital Metro project. Given the traffic priorities being flagged for the tram, buses would complete the journey up to 10 minutes faster and would have the flexibility to travel elsewhere from the Civic and Gungahlin tram terminuses.

From these details alone, it is easy to understand why Canberra Liberals believe this is perhaps their best chance of winning government. But there is more. In a city where public transport attracts only about eight per cent of commuters; where the proposed tram would and already is eroding existing bus services; and where the estimated minimum capital cost per household is about $5400; the project does not have broad support.

Even within Gungahlin, only about six per cent of its 50,000 residents would live within 400m of a tram stop and about 20 per cent within 800m. Of the latter, most now have direct bus services to Civic and beyond.

Very few residents of Tuggeranong, Woden, Weston Creek, Molonglo, South Canberra or Belconnen will derive any benefit from this project. And of those who could, the prospect of higher rates based on the government’s claimed increased land values will raise serious doubts as to the merits of the project which will see Northbourne Avenue’s tree-lined vista turned into an industrial scar.

With 25 seats up for grabs at next year’s election, a party will have to gain at least three seats in three electorates and two in the other two to have a majority. Meanwhile, the government says it will sign a contract for the light rail well before the election, leaving voters to balance a possible financial penalty if it is cancelled against the indicative far greater cost of the project should it go ahead.

Meanwhile, Labor and Liberal have the opportunity to clarify their positions. Labor to clearly state the full capital cost of the project and its likely operating cost. Estimates on the latter vary from $20 million to $40,000 annually.

Liberals not only have to clarify how they would manage any cancelled contract for light rail but what they would put in its place. People would then have a base to compare the relative merits of both policies.

Graham Downie is a Canberra writer.


Light rail design competition won by Daramalan and Merici College students

Light rail design competition won by Daramalan and Merici College students


Students from Daramalan and Merici College have been recognised by the ACT government and community for their creation of a potential light rail station.

The visual display was created during a two-day light rail ideas competition at the University of Canberra’s Inspire Centre earlier this month.

More than 100 year nine and 10 students competed in the challenge which encouraged students to work in teams and consider the future planning of Canberra.

Minister for Capital Metro Simon Corbell said the winner of the People’s Choice Award, Hexaplex, received 51 per cent of the 5829 public votes and demonstrated “an environmentally responsive design”.

“Its light rail station showcases a collection of hexagonal pods that form a canopy inspired by Walter Burley Griffin’s original designs of Canberra,” he said.

“I’d like to congratulate Tim Willington, Daniel Gaudiosi, Brianna Secko and Amanda Huot for being recognised a second time for their outstanding light rail station design.”

Voting for the People’s Choice Award coincided with National Youth Week and allowed the public to vote, with Mr Corbell and an expert judging panel awarding prizes earlier in the month.

Mr Corbell said the People’s Choice Award was an opportunity to showcase how young Canberrans can develop the city in coming years.

The entries of all young designers are likely to be displayed at public libraries across the ACT in coming weeks.

“It’s important for young Canberrans to get involved in the conversation on how Canberra should be developed as a vibrant, sustainable and liveable city,” Mr Corbell said.

“It’s also important that we listen and acknowledge when ideas from young creative minds are voiced.”

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