The Greens have promised $400 million in federal funding for stage two of the ACT light rail on Wednesday.
ACT Greens Senate candidate Christina Hobbs said she hoped south Canberra residents would benefit from the planned funding, after launching a scathing attack on Liberal senator Zed Seselja, who she said had no long-term vision for Canberra.
As it is highly unlikely that Greens will form government in the federal election, Ms Hobbs said she would "push strongly for renewable energy funding for Canberra's transport industry regardless of who is in government", especially from Malcolm Turnbull, who she said has expressed support for light rail in Canberra.
"His entire election campaign has been trashing the Murrumbidgee Corridor by building a suburb over it, a light rail scare campaign that he has no jurisdiction over and plans to move one government department from one building to another," she said.
"The people of Canberra have not seen Zed Seselja for three years, and now he's popped out of the woodworks with one of the most expensive election campaigns we have ever seen in this city and people are sick of it."
Meanwhile, Mr Seselja slammed the announcement, arguing most Canberrans opposed the project.
"Instead of focussing on real issues, the Greens have chosen to support Shane Rattenbury and his Labor colleagues with their vanity project – light rail," he said.
"I'm extremely disappointed by this display of contempt by Christina Hobbs and the Greens."
With construction not yet begun for stage one, Ms Hobbs could not reveal when Canberrans would see the funding, which would come from the Greens' Australian Infrastructure Bank proposal by investing money on behalf of institutional investors.
But Shane Rattenbury said research had begun.
"It is obviously is a couple years of planning and preparation to get the works under way, and so a funding commitment now allows us to get the works for the second stage under way," he said.
"A commitment like this enables it to happen faster."
Mr Rattenbury also joined criticism against the Liberals for alleged push polling, relating to a telephone poll on Monday night targeting 2517 homes that asked questions about voting intentions and the cost of light rail.
"I think that if that's the best you've got at an election campaign, it doesn't say a lot about the vision Liberals have for this city," Mr Rattenbury said.
On Tuesday, he also criticised opposition transport spokesman Alistair Coe for continuing "anti-light rail propaganda" while admitting on ABC Radio that the light rail would be necessary in the future.
The ACT government is expected to release a plan for stage two of the light rail in coming weeks, including precisely where the tram would run, and the government would seek a mandate for it from voters.
Ms Hobbs said she had been talking to Tuggeranong residents and would see that a future expansion benefited them.
In March, Chief Minister Andrew Barr shelved a possible extension of light rail to the Russell defence precinct until after the October ACT election.
Mr Barr said he would now develop a much more ambitious stage two for light rail, taking in not only Russell but the wider parliamentary triangle, and possibly also Canberra Airport and the Australian National University.
He said work on the city-to-Gungahlin route would start this year and be complete by 2018-19.
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