The Federal election will be held on May 18 2019. Canberra is the Nations capital and seat of Federal Government, as well as a growing regional city with a diverse community. Our city has been overlooked at federal elections in recent years, by both major parties, and deserves an equal share of infrastructure investment to assist the city to expand in a sustainable and planned way.
The PTCBR will send an email to all candidates for the House of Representatives and the Senate, running in the ACT at the 2019 election, seeking their views on transport planning and infrastructure, and asking if they will work to obtain funding to put towards light rail and other public transport programs. Any candidate that responds will have their answers placed here, and promoted on our Facebook group, and shared among our members. The PTCBR is an apolitical organisation, but all PTCBR members are entitled to vote based on the issues that matter to them, and after making an informed decision.
The ACT elects one lower house member from the seats of Bean, Canberra and Fenner, and two Senators.
Questions to Candidates
- If elected, will you support light rail stage two and future light rail stages in Canberra?
What are your views on the role of the National Capital Authority? Would you increase the NCA’s federal funding or would you abolish it and handover all planning controls to the ACT Government?
How would you improve public transport connections between Canberra and regional NSW cities and towns?
What is your parties’ view on ensuring ACT residents are not carrying the financial and environmental costs of the significant population increases in nearby NSW?
Would you advocate for federal funding for the ACT light rail to be extended into Queanbeyan CBD?
Would you advocate for dedicated bus lanes combined with park and ride facilities near the main Queanbeyan roads into the territory?
What are your other policies on public transport and planning?
Responses received from candidates will be published on this page in the order they are received, below the list of candidates. Irrelevant responses unrelated to our members policy interests, will not be posted.
House of Representatives Candidates in the ACT
Bean – Weston Creek, Tuggeranong
- David Smith – Australian Labor Party
- Therese Faulkner – Australian Progressives
- Ben Rushton – Great Australia Party
- Jonathan Davis – Greens
- Matt Donnelly – Liberal Democrats
- Ed Cocks – Liberal Party
- Tony Hanley – United Australia Party
- Jamie Christie – Independent
Canberra – Woden, East Belco, N. & S. Canberra
- Alicia Payne – Australian Labor Party
- Robert Knight – Australian Progressives
- Tim Hollo – Greens
- Mina Zaki – Liberal Party
- Tim Bohm – Independent
- Greg De Maine – Independent
Fenner – Western & Northern Belco and Gungahlin
- Andrew Leigh – Australian Labor Party
- Kagiso Ratlhagane – Australian Progressives
- Andrew Braddock– Greens
- Leanne Castley – Liberal Party
- Glen Hodgson – United Australia Party
ACT Senate Candidates
- Australian People’s Party – Neil Saville
- Christian Democratic Party – David Kim
- Greens – Penny Kyburz & Emma Davidson
- Labor – Nancy Waites & Katy Gallagher
- Liberals – Robert Gunning & Zed Seselja
- Science Party – Tom Gordon
- Sustainable Australia – John Haydon
- United Australia Party – Peter Walter
- Independent – Anthony Pesec
Election Announcements on public transport, planning and public transport infrastructure for Canberra
ALP – Alicia Payne and Bill Shorten announce 200 million dollars for Canberras second stage of light rail.
Responses received from Candidates (presented in the order they were received)
First response (28 April)
Robert Knight – Australian Progressives
(Disclosure, Robert was formerly the Deputy Chair of the PTCBR)
Second response (29 Apr)
Therese Faulkner – Australian Progressives
Hi Damien – lovely to hear from you, and thanks for your questions. Please see my responses below, which accord with Australian Progressives policies:
- If elected, will you support light rail stage two and future light rail stages in Canberra? Absolutely yes. There may also be a case for investment in heavy rail for Tuggeranong and beyond down the track (pardon the pun). This would be worth a feasibility study once we get past stage two of the light rail.
- What are your views on the role of the National Capital Authority? Would you increase the NCA’s federal funding or would you abolish it and handover all planning controls to the ACT Government? I would like to see a review of the nexus between the NCA and ACT Government, with a view to having these two entities appropriately defined and resourced to be able to work collaboratively on planning and development within the parliamentary triangle and its fringes.
- How would you improve public transport connections between Canberra and regional NSW cities and towns? The Australian Progressives support a national passenger rail network, including connections between Canberra, other major cities, and eventually regional NSW cities and towns. Noting that this is a long-term vision, in the shorter term I would look to establish a consultative forum comprising representatives from local, state and federal governments and bureaucracies, with a view to working together to establish better public transport linkages within this region – starting with improved bus services and then extending to rail.
- What is your parties’ view on ensuring ACT residents are not carrying the financial and environmental costs of the significant population increases in nearby NSW? The Australian Progressives would work to ensure Canberra is considered as a regional hub from federal and state government perspectives, and lobby hard to ensure funding appropriate to such an important regional centre is provided by the federal and NSW state governments. We believe that the ACT Government and the surrounding local NSW municipalities must work together to develop and implement a strategic plan to ensure that urban planning, municipal services, environmental protection, and infrastructure provision meets the needs of this wider community.
- Would you advocate for federal funding for the ACT light rail to be extended into Queanbeyan CBD? Yes – this is consistent with the position that Canberra is an important regional hub within south-eastern NSW, and a centre for jobs and services which therefore requires good public transport links. The extension of light rail into Queanbeyan would be a logical first step in providing such links.
- Would you advocate for dedicated bus lanes combined with park and ride facilities near the main Queanbeyan roads into the territory? Yes – again, this is consistent with the positions set out in response to previous questions. The provision of dedicated bus lanes combined with park and ride facilities can be a relatively quick and inexpensive way to improve public transport services within this region.
- What are your other policies on public transport and planning? The Australian Progressives believe our national transport focus should shift towards more sustainable choices. We would like to see well-funded, rapid, and frequent public transport options in our towns and cities, and an increase in electrically powered, rail-based public transport, both in urban settings as well as inter-city.
Australian Progressives Candidate for Bean
Third response (3rd May) Andrew Leigh – ALP
Thanks for the email and thanks for all your hard work at PTCBR. This sounds like a fantastic initiative and I am more than happy to help. I have answered your questions below, but please don’t hesitate to get in touch if I can help with anything else. I look forward to seeing the results!
- If elected, will you support light rail stage two and future light rail stages in Canberra?
- Labor has committed $200 million to the second stage of Canberra’s light rail project. This will play a critical role in significantly reducing traffic congestion for residents of the City’s south. It will create hundreds of jobs and ensure that people are able to move swiftly through the city. We are committed to ensuring Canberrans have access to fast, reliable and affordable public transport and look forward to working with the ACT government as it continues to roll-out this fantastic initiative.
- What are your views on the role of the National Capital Authority? Would you increase the NCA’s federal funding or would you abolish it and handover all planning controls to the ACT Government?
- Labor greatly values the role of the NCA. The NCA will continue to play that important role in the development of the Nation’s Capital under a Shorten Labor Government.
- How would you improve public transport connections between Canberra and regional NSW cities and towns?
- Labor has committed to improve road safety and reduce traffic congestion by investing almost $250 million to progress the full duplication of the Barton Highway between Murrumbateman and the NSW/ACT border. The Barton Highway is used by 12,500 vehicles a day, including about 1,000 trucks. This commitment means Federal Labor stands ready to invest $100 million more in this important project than would be delivered by a re-elected Morrison Government. Increasing traffic volumes have led to increasing levels of traffic accidents on the highway, so a Shorten Labor Government would work with the New South Wales Government to expedite the duplication in the interests of road safety. The project would also boost productivity by facilitating quicker movement of road freight around the region. A longer list of Labor’s ACT/NSW infrastructure projects is below.
- What is your parties’ view on ensuring ACT residents are not carrying the financial and environmental costs of the significant population increases in nearby NSW?
- The ACT government is doing an excellent job investing in infrastructure in the ACT. A Shorten Labor Government will continue to support the ACT in this critical area, such as through our investments in light rail and roads. The fact that so many people want to live in or around the ACT shows that we are clearly on the right track!
- Would you advocate for federal funding for the ACT light rail to be extended into Queanbeyan CBD?
- The ACT Government has a fantastic plan for its roll-out of light rail in the ACT. A Federal Labor Government will invest $200 million in stage two and looks forward to working collaboratively with the ACT Government as it implements the future stages of its plan.
- Would you advocate for dedicated bus lanes combined with park and ride facilities near the main Queanbeyan roads into the territory?
- A Shorten Labor Government will establish a $300 million National Park and Ride Fund for new or expanded car parks at public transport hubs, such as train stations. Labor backs public transport – it’s good for commuters and it eases congestion on our roads. But too many residents in our cities and major regional areas are frustrated at the lack of available parking at train and bus stations as they travel into the city for work. I’ll be making sure the ACT gets its fair share of this funding to make commuting easier and ease congestion on our roads.
- What are your other policies on public transport and planning?
- We have many! We will build on the record of the previous Labor government which doubled road funding across Australia; rebuilt a third of the interstate rail freight network; and committed to more urban public transport infrastructure than every previous Federal Government combined. We will create thousands of jobs nationally with new work in every state and territory.
- Labor’s major infrastructure projects for the ACT and New South Wales include:
- Canberra Light Rail Stage Two: Labor will reduce traffic congestion for residents of the City’s south with a $200 million investment towards the Stage II construction of Canberra’s Light Rail project.
- Dunns Creek Road (NSW/ACT): Labor will invest $67.5 million to build the Dunns Creek Road, a key piece of regional infrastructure for residents of Queanbeyan, Googong and Jerrabomberra.
iii. Nowra Bridge: Labor has committed $155 million towards building a second bridge in Nowra to improve road safety and boost local productivity.
- Western Sydney Airport Rail: Labor will commit a total of $3 billion to Western Sydney Rail connecting the Sydney rail network with the new Western Sydney Airport, whilst reducing congestion and dependence on cars. Link
- Sydney Metro West: Labor will commit $3 billion to Sydney Metro West, which will double the rail capacity between Parramatta and the CBD. Link
- Central Coast Roads Rescue Package: Labor will fast-track $60 million worth of road works planned for the New South Wales Central Coast to ease traffic congestion and improve road safety.
vii. Singleton Bypass: Labor will contribute $250 million towards construction of the Singleton Bypass on the New England Highway.
- Labor will implement a comprehensive plan for housing affordability and housing supply.
- Across Australia, Labor will build 250,000 new affordable rental homes over the next decade in partnership with the community housing sector for Australians on low and moderate incomes. We will also ensure that 1 in 10 employees engaged in building new housing stock under our scheme are apprentices.
- Labor will reform negative gearing so that deductions can only be claimed on newly built homes, which will increase new housing supply and support jobs. We will reform the capital gains tax concession and allow existing investors to maintain their current CGT and negative gearing entitlements. There will be no retrospective taxation or impost on existing investors.
iii. Labor will create a viable Build to Rent sector in Australia – giving institutional investors better tax concessions; encouraging more construction; and stimulating the housing market. We will do this by cutting the managed investment trust withholding rate in half from 30 per cent to 15 per cent to encourage new housing supply.
- Labor will establish a new and independent COAG Economic Reform Council that will be given the autonomy to examine, track and report to COAG on long-term reform priorities, including on housing affordability and supply.
Thanks again for getting in touch.
Federal Member for Fenner
Shadow Assistant Treasurer
Shadow Minister for Competition and Productivity
Shadow Minister for Trade in Services
Shadow Minister for Charities and Not-for-Profits
Response number 4 – (9 may 2019) Tony Hanley – UAP candidate for Bean
I would like to see the NATIONAL APPROACH ROUTES – CANBERRA AV. BARTON HIGHWAY – As Walter Burley Griffin, envisioned it to be a grand gateway. This is a Federal Issue.
The light rail went to the wrong Town Centre, as it has no major white collar; Employment base. But we need to move on now, long term I do not believe it will be utilised. Will see in Winter, “I guess! but I always applaud leaders that actually do things. More pertinent – Northbourne Av. Now looks like the dogs breakfast. Lime stone Ave. and others are gridlocked. Policy on the run, is always bad. I think it’s just matter of time before will have flashing Boom gates, and some major car Rail crashes (I drive daily for my work – and too many people don sunglasses and have tinted windows) just for one of many examples. Panel beaters have a roaring trade here. There are new innovations on low cost over passes. That allow Kangaroos, wild life to pass over as against them being culled. There is No more culling required as kangaroos dictate on multi plying, depending on climate conditions. I have an expert with ten thousand signatures to submit to Parliament.
The next stage of light rail has to be to Tuggeranong (not Woden) which is connectivity ideas I have from a main exchange shooting off to both Weston Creek -Coombes and Woden. I grew up in Weston Creek and it’s easy to walk cycle plus new innovations adopted), under tunnels, using the latest in transport. We need to stall all things at the moment, as just around the corner are better options being invented now. The local ACT Gov. has created a two class, society here and are treasonous to the “Spirit, essence and very Foundation of why Canberra was conceived. Barr (Libs V ALP) “biting the hand that feeds it” has eroded away Public Servants Department away to Regional areas. If ALP’s Negative gearing policy comes in, the ACT Housing market “will crash like a lead balloon”. It is not sustainable.
The ACT road designers have endangered cyclists lives, (Adelaide Av. For one) and turned us into a UK – Cotswold village and is just hopeless in all respects.
Plus, I would like to see (after 9pm) most Traffic lights to go to flashing amber mode and normal road rules applied.
I would foster APS swap job plans (car-pooling etc.) in the APS – to minimise car use at peak times to stop the gridlock at peak hours.
Tony Hanley “the NUMBER ONE AUSTRALIAN “by a Country Mile.
Response number 5 – (13 May 2019) ACT Greens
Work developing Stage 2 of Canberra’s light rail network is currently underway. Stage 2 will extend light rail from the City to Woden, creating a North-South light rail spine connecting Gungahlin to Woden.
The Greens have announced their plan to restore the public service to 2013 staffing levels and put a cap on the use of consultants and contractors. This would restore resources across the federal public service, including the National Capital Authority.
The Federal election is an important opportunity to improve local oversight of the work of the National Capital Authority. A Green member of the Federal Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories would push for the NCA to be better engaged with and more accountable to the needs of people living in the ACT.
Improved integration and connections to interstate transport hubs, improved services to regional heavy rail passenger stations, and proactive engagement with other jurisdictions to improve the sustainability and affordability outcomes of regional transport
The ACT Greens understand that there is a need for greater cooperation between all levels of Government to sustainably support the region’s growing population. Thanks to the Greens, the ACT is a model of ambitious investment in sustainable energy and infrastructure.
The Federal Government needs to play a stronger role, including:
between Canberra and Queanbeyan