Project Status: In Progress

How you had YourSay:

Major Projects Canberra (MPC) is currently seeking environmental approvals for Stage 2A of the network extension, City to Commonwealth Park.

In accordance with Section 95A(3) of the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act (EPBC Act), preliminary documentation relating to the proposed action was submitted to the Federal Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment (DAWE) and put on display for a period of 20 business days. Due to ACT Health advice and restrictions associated with COVID-19 a public display was not possible, so documentation was made available online.

Interested parties and/or organisations were invited to submit an email or letter commenting on the preliminary documentation by 4pm Monday, 14 September 2020.

A submissions report following the public display period will be compiled and published to this YourSay page. The outcome of the decision will be made publicly available on the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment website and will assist in the development of the project.

We are looking at:

Major Projects Canberra (MPC) is currently seeking environmental approvals for Stage 2A of the network extension, City to Commonwealth Park.

As part of the approval process, MPC submitted a referral in December 2019 on the environmental and heritage impacts of Stage 2A, under the Commonwealth EPBC Act. You can view the referral here.

The Federal Department of Agriculture, Water and Energy (DAWE) determined that the light rail expansion to Commonwealth Park is a controlled action and that the project will be assessed through preliminary documentation to be submitted by the ACT Government. The controlling provision under the EPBC Act is ‘listed threatened species and communities’ (Section 18 and 18A), namely the endangered Golden Sun Moth.

Next steps:

MPC are working to extend the light rail network to Woden. We are currently progressing the planning approvals in the City to Woden corridor as two components:

  • City to Commonwealth Park (Stage 2A) - which will extend the existing City to Gungahlin light rail line to Edinburgh Avenue, City South and Commonwealth Park; and
  • Commonwealth Park to Woden (Stage 2B) - which will further extend the light rail network over Lake Burley Griffin, through the Parliamentary Triangle, and on to Woden.

By delivering Stage Two as two components it enables us to progress the City to Commonwealth Park element faster whilst we consider the sensitive and challenging heritage, environmental and design features of Commonwealth Park to Woden. These considerations will be carefully addressed in partnership with key stakeholders and can be progressed whilst the City to Commonwealth Park works are underway.

We will use your views to:

Any comments received will be managed by MPC and a response will be lodged with the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, along with the preliminary documentation, to make a final determination of the project. Once finalised, a submissions report will be made publicly available.

Major infrastructure projects like light rail undergo several assessment and approval processes before construction can begin.

Over the coming period we will be preparing the necessary documents for the multiple approvals processes, all of which will be open for public comment. Heritage and environmental approvals under the EPBC Act will clear the way for final project design work, which is subject to:

  • Development Application (DA) - All major infrastructure projects within the ACT require a DA. This DA will be assessed by the ACTPLA to ensure that it complies with Planning and Development Act (2007) and the current Territory Plan.
  • Works Approval (WA) - A WA is required through the National Capital Authority (NCA) regardless of any other approvals sought and there are no exceptions for these works under the Australian Capital Territory (Planning and Land Management) Act (1988), also known as the PALM Act.

The preparation of environmental assessments, consultation and the seeking of final approvals will progress separately for the City to Commonwealth Park Project and Commonwealth Park to Woden Project. Stage 2B is a more complex project which travels through the parliamentary area near areas of national significance and heritage requiring an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

Ongoing consultation:

Community and stakeholder input directly received or informing the assessment of regulators helps shape the planning, design and construction of light rail.

As well as informing the Gungahlin to City alignment, you have helped the light rail expansion projects:

  • Select potential routes
  • Explore the best route through the complex approval process via a Commonwealth Inquiry
  • Identify what information is helpful for the community and businesses to assist them contribute throughout the design, construction and operation phases of the project

Register your interest in the expansion of the light rail network to ensure we reach you with the right information and help you stay informed as the project progresses.