Light rail still a gamble for Labor

By The Canberra Times
Updated April 24 2018 - 10:06am, first published October 19 2015 - 6:31am

The unpredictability of voters being a major occupational hazard, governments strive mightily not to leave matters to chance. So two recent surveys (one of them undertaken by The Canberra Times) indicating that Territorians are slowly "warming" to the idea of light rail will come as some relief to the Barr government. This newspaper's online survey of 7075 participants conducted earlier this month found that support for a proposal to build a 12 kilometre light rail track from Civic to Gungahlin stands at 49 per cent, with 47 per cent opposed and 4 per cent undecided. An almost identical survey conducted last year found 54 per cent of voters were opposed. In a similar survey conducted in 2014, 59 per cent of respondents indicated opposition. Coincidentally, a government-commissioned phone poll of about 1200 people has found support for light rail is now at 56 per cent (with 34 per cent opposed and 10 per cent undecided). That's a one percentage point increase from 2014, when the government held a similar tracking survey.