National Capital Authority chief executive Malcolm Snow appears to have softened his approach on how tough his authority will be if light rail makes Northbourne Avenue look like "scorched earth".
The NCA is concerned cutting down all the required trees at once along the avenue would destroy the look of the major boulevard into Canberra.
In a parliamentary hearing on Thursday Mr Snow said NCA would not approve the Capital Metro light rail project if the authority believed it would make the avenue look like scorched earth.
But by Friday morning he had changed his language.
When Mr Snow told ABC 666 the authority had asked Capital Metro about how work could be managed to avoid the "scorched earth" look, ABC presenter Philip Clark asked: "If you don't get a satisfactory answer, as far as you're concerned, the project is off?"
Asking Capital Metro "to do better" differed from what he told the national capital and external territories committee on Thursday.
In the hearing ACT Liberal senator Zed Seselja asked: "So with that scorched earth you're concerned about, what options are there for the NCA if you're not satisfied they're doing the right thing? That they're going to come up with something that will ensure that main approach will continue to be beautiful. What options are there for the NCA?"
Mr Snow replied: "Capital Metro does not get approved. The authority has the final approval. It's a national approach. It's very clear. That is why Capital Metro have been at pains to A; understand, and B; work with us on what our non-negotiables are."
According to the NCA, Capital Metro had received independent expert design guidance from the authority's design review panel which was evolving into an integral part of the NCA's development approval process.
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