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LABOR’S Brisbane lord mayoral candidate Rod Harding has been urged to produce details of a light rail proposal ridiculed as “fanciful” by his opponent.
Mr Harding yesterday announced that he was investigating light rail as part of his plan to tackle Brisbane’s traffic congestion woes.
He said no final decision had been made on a so-far un-costed project but he believed light rail would help “energise” Brisbane while “driving a new public transport culture in our city”.
Urban Development Institute of Australia Queensland president Brett Gillan last night questioned how viable trams were in the city.
“Light rail works brilliantly on the Gold Coast and it makes a lot of sense to have it there as it has a linear distribution of people,” he said.
“We have a more spread-out city (in Brisbane), and whether it works is to be (evaluated).”
Incumbent Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said previous investigations into light rail in Brisbane showed it “did not stack up against other options”.
“Trams have been investigated and investigated and investigated,” he said.
Trams have become popular on the Gold Coast. Picture: Mike BatterhamHe said the Brisbane City Council undertook its own examination in 2007, which found the City Glider bus services were a cheaper alternative to light rail.
Cr Quirk also labelled a $700 million costing of an 8km route as “fanciful”.
“They are under-cooking what would be the real cost of a light rail network to that extent,” he said.
Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg labelled Mr Harding’s announcement a “non-costed kite-flying expedition”. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, though, praised Mr Harding’s plan as a “great concept” the Government was prepared to look at.
Mr Harding said he would release his plan to tackle congestion next month.
This article first appeared on www.couriermail.com.au
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