ACT News

Andrew Barr and Simon Corbell test out cardboard tram but no photos please, we're politicians

It was only a matter of time.

With Canberra's first light rail services still four years away, the arrival of a large model tram shouldn't have been surprising.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr and Capital Metro Minister Simon Corbell at the May launch of consultation on the ...
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr and Capital Metro Minister Simon Corbell at the May launch of consultation on the government's light rail design.  Photo: Jay Cronan

On Wednesday, media advisers watched nervously as Andrew Barr and Simon Corbell explored the inside of the reinforced cardboard carriage, ahead of the pair's announcement of urban design features for the project.

Parked inside the Civic Library and complete with doors, windows and a hole in the driver's compartment just perfect for photos, the model is set to roll out around Canberra as part of a public consultation.

Andrew Barr and Simon Corbell get camera shy.
Andrew Barr and Simon Corbell get camera shy. Photo: Jay Cronan

Both tall, the ACT's two most senior politicians ducked their heads as they explored the faux tram, reading about the planned "urban meadow" on Northbourne Avenue and 25-minute journey time from Gungahlin.

The cameras were never far away, but despite the best efforts of the assembled media, savvy staffers were quick to rule out either minister posing for photos in the driver's window.

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Those images would have surely followed either man for years to come.

Opposition transport spokesman Alistair Coe will be delighted by the arrival. He has made a habit of questioning the cost of every promotional tool the government uses as part of its sales pitch, and the made-to-order model won't have come cheap. 

While some Canberrans think they are being taken for a ride, Mr Corbell's commitment is on display almost every day. As any good salesman must, he clearly believes in the ambitious promise of Capital Metro and is across every detail.

The government's signature infrastructure plan is set to be an election defining issue in 2016 - so Canberrans can expect plenty more trams coming down the line.