The Civil Contractors Federation (CCF) – South Australia is calling for an immediate reassessment of the proposal for the $500 million light rail or tram line connecting Adelaide Airport to the CBD.
The project, which CCF SA calls a ‘must do’ and ‘do now’ project, was first mooted in December last year with a follow-up call for Expressions of Interest.
The CCF cites immediate but much needed economic, tourism and construction benefits from the project, which it says would elevate SA “out of its sleepy holly mind set”.
According to CCF SA, the proposed line was raised last year as a private sector undertaking by Downer Group, which is already working on Adelaide’s current tram network expansion.
“It is time for government to revisit the proposal for a light rail-tram between Adelaide Airport and the Adelaide CBD,” CCF SA Chief Executive Officer Phil Sutherland said in a statement.
“The closeness of our airport to the city – six kilometres – is unique in Australia and as a flat ground level footprint, makes a battery powered light rail facility logical and value-adding,” Mr. Sutherland said.
“It is a no brainer that presents business people, tourists and local residents with an easily accessible, world-class, environmentally friendly, short commute to the State’s premier political, business, retail, tourist, accommodation and dining precinct – and its intra-light rail connectivity around our famed CBD square mile.”
Mr. Sutherland said whether the Downer Group still wanted involvement or not in such a project, the Government needed to “fire up” private sector interest.
“This should particularly be among Australia’s major super funds which understand the value of backing long-term (30 years), commercially viable infrastructure operations and investments in projects such as light rail, toll-based highways and airport ownership,” he said.
Mr. Sutherland said following the completion of a new hotel at the airport and plans for the airport precincts’ expansion, now is the time to introduce a modern battery powered tram link – such as those used in cities like Dubai – to the city
“These battery powered trams are available now, and recharge while at stations and through excess energy on their grid – negating any need for the poles and wires of our existing tram network,” he said.
“We understand there is provision in the airport expansion plan for a tram station outside the new airport hotel and that Adelaide Airport’s management is supportive of this proposal”
He added that a route could be established with a spur line out of the airport and along Sir Donald Bradman Drive with about three stops to then connect with the existing tram line in Victoria Square.
Mr Sutherland said that from a public transport perspective, the Downer proposal has ‘a great deal of merit’.
“People arriving into Adelaide Airport could have the option of a modern, quiet, pollution-free and relatively fast tram to get them to the CBD – a good ‘first impression’ of Adelaide and SA.”
“The CCF calls on the new government to back this plan and show the SA public it is a government of vision and capable of making bold decisions.”