Tram politics

So it appears Labor has won again in the Australian Capital Territory election yesterday. Like Tasmania ACT uses the amazingly complicated Hare-Clark system for counting votes. I won’t even try to explain: read Antony Green instead. It appears it was a win for trams. This is what Labor proposed for Canberra:


Now I am personally rather fond of trams, as you may see in The silence of the trams (2014) and posts linked there.


A Railway-bound tram in Cleveland Street Surry Hills in 1960

But it appears tram politics is not an always easy thing. NSW Premier Baird’s Parramatta tram scheme seems to have hit a roadblock: Parramatta light rail costs blow out to more than $3.5 billion. And not everyone has been happy with the way the Sydney Light Rail is progressing: Felling of 150yo fig tree ‘a huge loss’, as NSW Government makes way for light rail project.

The shame in Sydney is that we scrapped our tramway system in the first place. See Shooting Through: Sydney by Tram whence comes this evocative photo of Sydney’s CBD:


Post script

I should have mentioned Time for Wollongong to look at light rail, though I doubt anything will come of it.

University of Wollongong academic Dr Philip Laird, a transport consultant to state and federal government, said the city needed to get on board the idea of light rail.

“It should be looked at,” Mr Laird said.

“Everyone else is either doing it or looking at it. It’s been very successful on the Gold Coast, which is now proceeding to its second stage and the mayor up there wants the third stage rolled out…”