Four Canberra buses are set to become rolling billboards supporting job creation from the government's light rail line to Gungahlin, as the ACT's peak trade unions body launches a new campaign for the project.
Unions ACT latest awareness campaign will seek to promote the employment benefits of the $783 million tram plan, using buses, posters, shopping centre advertisements and targeted digital and print promotion.
A new "Canberra Needs Jobs" website was launched as part of the campaign on Monday, promoting the benefits of the promised 3500 local light rail jobs.
Secretary Alex White said the campaign will talk up thousands of jobs in the years after tram services begin, due to a significant "economic stimulus effect". Union delegates and volunteers will spread the jobs message in workplaces around Canberra.
Mr White said on Monday it would be "one of the largest union awareness campaigns in Canberra's history."
"Unions ACT is launching this campaign to support the major jobs boost that light rail will bring, both in the short-term, and through the transformation of our local economy.
"Union members and working people will benefit from the jobs light rail creates. Every region of Canberra will benefit from the secure jobs created by light rail, from Tuggeranong and Woden, to Belconnen."
Last week, Mr White slammed Opposition Leader Jeremy Hanson over Liberal attacks on light rail and called on him to support local projects that create jobs.
An automated telephone poll commissioned by the group asked 1446 ACT residents if they supported or opposed a light rail system in Canberra.
With a margin of error of 2.5 per cent, the poll found 38.8 per cent supported light rail, 46.3 per cent were opposed and 14.9 per cent were undecided while 38.6 per cent of respondents said they were more likely to support light rail if it created 3500 jobs.
The government's environmental impact statement for the project said construction of the 12 kilometre line would see average employment of 500 people, up to 900 at peak times. Its 2014 business case said light rail would create 1450 "direct jobs" with a peak of 1780 positions.
An employment analysis report commissioned by the government, also forecasts 2100 "indirect jobs". The tram will see 125 ongoing jobs in Canberra once the line is operational from 2019.
Jobs growth across the ACT's construction, education and scientific sectors in the past 12 months saw boosted business confidence, but new analysis of Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed sectors were yet to return to 2013 levels.
Overall full-time employment was 158,691 in May, up nearly 3500 jobs or 2.2 per cent from two years earlier. The data showed losses in retail and hospitality jobs.
Mr White said phase two of the union movement campaign would be launched in July. On Monday, a new report released by Canberra University researchers predicted economy-wide benefits from the light rail project.
Opposition transport spokesman Alistair Coe said the report's comparisons with cities in Australia, Europe and North America were "too numerous to mention".
"The truth is, light rail in Canberra has simply come about due to a political deal between Labor and the Greens and now the government and their fellow-travellers are frantically trying to rationalise their decision to go ahead with the wasteful project."
Canberrans can give feedback on the project's draft environmental impact statement at the Gungahlin library on Tuesday construction and operation of light rail.
Consultation will take place at Dickson on Saturday and continue next week.
and 2 pm.
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