Light Rail to Woden a step closer as environmental approvals progress

The ACT Government is moving to the next stage of the approvals process for the extension of light rail from the City to Woden.

Building on the success of Stage 1, light rail to the southside will create thousands of new jobs over the coming years and provide better public transport for Canberra’s south.

Now more than ever, we need to protect local jobs and support our city’s economic recovery.

The construction of light rail to Woden is part of the Government’s $14 billion Infrastructure Plan that will create more jobs for more Canberrans.

The Government has responded to the Preliminary Documentation requirements under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), and invites the community to comment on the publicly available documents.

The second stage of our city-wide network is a complex project that requires a number of Territory and Commonwealth approvals.

The Preliminary Documentation recognises the socio-economic benefits the project will bring to Canberra, as well as considering key aspects of Commonwealth environmental significance.

Light rail is a zero emissions way to travel, so taking measures to ensure the ACT Government’s sustainability objectives are considered during the project’s construction phase is important, with strategies being developed to minimise our construction footprint and support species conservation.

In December 2019, the ACT Government submitted a referral to Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) outlining the project’s proposed route along London Circuit and Commonwealth Avenue and anticipated environmental and planning impacts.

At that stage, it was determined that Light Rail Stage 2A would be assessed via preliminary documentation while Stage 2B to Woden would require a more rigorous assessment via a Commonwealth Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

We are also getting on with the Territory and Commonwealth approvals required for Light Rail Stage 2B, a process which is expected to take up to 18 months and require detailed analysis of the project’s route, environmental and heritage assessments, and consultation with a range of local and Federal stakeholders.

As stated by Minister for Transport, Chris Steel:

“We are committed to building a light rail network that benefits Canberrans.”

“The growth in public transport patronage and the benefits that light rail has delivered along stage one, are the same benefits that we want to bring to Woden and the southside.”

“With the planning approvals set in motion for the extension of light rail to Commonwealth Park, work will continue to refine the project’s planning and design development with a view to construction starting as early as next year.”

The preliminary documentation is available for an extended public comment from 14 August to 14 September, with comments received informing the project’s environmental safeguards and management strategies.

To view the Light Rail Stage 2A Preliminary Documentation and submit your comments, please visit

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